“Fee fi fo foom, what’s this green stalk doing in my living room?” boomed the Giant. “I don’t remember putting a plant there. No, I’m definitely sure I didn’t put anything there. Which means this beanstalk is a trespasser! I hate trespassers!”
The Giant reached for a giant-sized pair of tree pruners and opened them wide to shave more than just a little off the top of Jeffery.
“Nooooo!” Jeffery shouted. But no one could hear him scream. He was a bean plant after all.
Suddenly, the Giant’s phone rang.
“Ugh, not now,” moaned the Giant. He put down the loppers and picked up the telephone. “Hello? Can I call you ba—oh, hi mother. Yes, I’ve been watching my weight. My no-little-boy diet is going well. Just legumes for me.” He glared at Jeffery’s stalk.
The Giant started to pace around the room as his mother rambled on. Finally, he left the living room to wander through a different part of the castle.
Jeffery took a nice breath of carbon dioxide and let out an oxygen-filled sigh of relief. “I hope out of sight is out of mind for that big guy.”
Just then, Jeffery felt a tug on his stalk’s lower half. “What could possibly be going on down there?”
It was Jack. That curious boy had decided it would be a good idea to climb a flimsy, skyscraping bean plant. Jeffery supposed his mother was only fine with it because it meant Jack wasn’t sitting on his rump inside playing those gore-filled video games or reading those thoughtless comic books.
Jeffery the beanstalk had it in his mind to warn the boy about the giant that would be waiting for him, but decided the young lad would not heed his caveat anyway. Mostly because he was a bean.
Someone climbing on your body is not comfortable at all. It’s an invasion of privacy, it tickles a little, and since Jeffery was so tall, it was taking Jack several minutes to get to the top. Jeffery thought about shaking Jack off, but just as he was about to start quaking, Jack hopped off. He was in the Giant’s castle.
Knowing that Jack would soon be eaten by the Giant, Jeffery felt a little bad for the boy. Jack had bought Jeffery after all, ensuring that he would have a full life as a beanstalk. Now his liberator would perish. Jeffery released a drop of water from his stoma. Beans have very strong emotions.
Suddenly, the living room floor began to shudder. The Giant was coming back. Jack stood frozen, looking around the gigantic room in awe. Jeffery took action, pushing Jack under the couch with one of his large leaves. Jack bewilderedly glanced around, looking for the source of the push. But he couldn’t dwell on this puzzle any longer, because the Giant thundered into the room:
“Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!”
“That doesn’t even rhyme,” Jeffery thought to himself. “What a dumb Giant.”
A look of consternation appeared on the Giant’s brow and spread to the rest of his face. “But how can there be a human in my house? I’m on the no-little-boy diet, and I haven’t cheated at all. Except for last Tuesday. Oh, what a tasty morsel he was.”
Jeffery started thinking through all the ways he could help Jack escape. “I could distract the Giant, but that would be a sure way to be cut by those large loppers the Giant had almost used earlier. Or I could—”
The bean plant stopped brainstorming, because his problem—and Jack’s—was solved for him. The Giant had retired to a table in the corner of the living room, which fortuitously faced the window, away from the couch and Jeffery. The Giant began counting a large pile of gold coins, dropping each into a velvet bag. He had taken up money counting as a distraction from boy eating. Whenever he got hungry for human flesh, he would focus on the gold coins, and his urge would disappear. (Jeffery understood clues in people’s actions very well.) Below the table were hundreds of other similar bags, already full of gold.
Jeffery sighed a sigh of relief. Jack could safely escape the castle and return home, unharmed. Jeffery would have someone to water him another day.
But Jack seemed to have a plan of his own. He was crawling out from under the couch toward the Giant. “That’s the wrong way,” Jeffery screamed in his head. “You’re going to die!”
But Jack did not die. It looked as if he was pretending he was in a video game. Lives are precious in games, so the boy was putting every effort into being sneaky. When he reached the table, he grabbed a bag of gold coins and quietly slid it back to Jeffery. Then, with only a single (but long) glance back toward the heaping pile of other bags, Jack began his descent. Only by the time Jack was safely down, relieving Jeffery of his discomfort, did the Giant glance around his living room. He and Jeffery made eye contact, briefly staring down one another. The Giant averted his eyes first, breaking the tension.
“Fo fee foo fuf, I sure have had enough!” said the Giant. He got up, stretched his back with a disgustingly loud crack, and left the room.
Back on the ground, Jack called to his mother to come out of the house for a surprise.
“Mother, come out of the house for a surprise!” Jack called.
His mother emerged from the door, saw the bag of gold, and ran toward her son with her arms outstretched. Jack opened his arms, preparing for the large embrace. But his mother ran right past him and hugged the sack of gold instead.
“What a strange family dynamic,” Jeffery thought. “Nothing like supportive bean families. Humans really are a disappointing species.”
“You’re welcome,” Jack mumbled.
His mother looked up at him and smiled. “Sweetie, just for this you can play all the video games and read all the comics you want tonight. This makes up for the lack of gold you got from selling the cow for a bean.”Jack was all right with this compromise. He dashed into the house and ran up to his room. Jeffery could see the flashing lights from the television through the window. His mother dragged the sack of gold coins inside. With all the excitement from the day, Jeffery was exhausted. He decided now was as good a time as any to get some shuteye. He fell asleep effortlessly…