Friday, October 21, 2011

The Giant Killer

Once upon a time
there was a boy named Jack,
who was told to take a cow
to market and...
Yeah, yeah, we know,
said the crowd to the old man,
about the magic beans
and the beanstalk
climbing to heaven,
where you met a giant
and killed him.

It's true, said the old man.
When I was young
I climbed a giant beanstalk
to the clouds
faced danger and excitement,
gathered wealth
and slew the terrible giant,
the story is true.
The old man harrumphed
eyeing the smiles of the crowd
that did not believe.

There are no such things,
said the crowd to Jack,
as a beanstalk so high
or a giant in the clouds.
You're old and senile,
confusing your life
with a fairy tale,
and if it were not so funny,
it would be sad
to listen to your delusion
day after day.

How can you scoff,
said Jack to the crowd,
when I have proof,
such as the magical harp
I freed from the castle
of the fearsome giant,
or the stump
of that great beanstalk
out in the field,
as wide as a house.
Don't take my word
see for yourselves.

What you call a harp,
foolish old man,
is only a radio
and the stump,
what is left of a tree.
What about the goose
who laid golden eggs?
Show that,
and maybe we will believe.
So Jack stood
and held out his hand.

The goose died,
since they never live long,
but I traded the last egg
for these.
He opened his hand
to show three dried beans
and said with glee,
These are worth more
than any gold or jewels.
They are the same magic beans
that I used when I was young.

And the crowd laughed
and walked away,
leaving Jack standing
his hand outstretched,
holding his beans,
till he knelt on the ground
and pushed the seeds
into the earth
and waited.
I'll show them, he said,
and waited.

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