Jack’s family was very poor. Ever since his father had died his mother had struggled to put food on the table, and now that the cow had gone dry it would be even more difficult. She put her hands and sighed.
“What’s wrong mom?” Jack asked.
“I’m afraid we’ll have to sell the cow.”
“That’s too bad.”
“She’s dried up, and we just don’t have enough money to feed her if she’s not giving milk.”
“What are we going to eat if you can’t make cheese?”
“I don’t know, Jack, but we’ll do the best we can. Take her to the market tomorrow and try to get a good price for her.”
The next morning Jack woke up bright and early and began to lead the cow to market. When they were about halfway there a stranger stopped them.
“That’s a very nice cow you’ve got”, said the stranger.
“Why, thank you”, said Jack.
“Why are you leading her along this road?”
“I’m taking her to the market to sell”, said Jack.
“I could buy her right now”, said the stranger.
Jack remembered that his mother wanted a good price for the cow, so he sensibly asked the stranger what he would be willing to pay. The stranger reached his hand into his pocket and pulled out a handful of beans.
“I could give you these bean”, said the stranger.
The beans were very colorful, and looking at them made Jack happy, but it didn’t seem like an offer that his mom would be happy with.
“I don’t think that’s an offer my mom would be happy with”, said Jack.
“She would be happy with it if she knew that they were magic beans”, said the stranger.
Jack’s eyes grew wide. He had never encountered anything magical before. In fact, his whole life had been rather boring.
“Are they really magical beans?” Asked Jack.
“Indeed they are”, said the stranger.
Jack couldn’t resist any longer.
“Sure I’ll take the beans. Here’s your cow.”
Jack waltzed happily back home, with the beans jangling around in his pocket. When he walked in the door his mother looked up from her sewing.
“Did you sell the cow?” She asked.
“Yes I did!” Jack said excitedly.
“Well, what did you get for her? Asked Jack’s mom.
“You’re gonna love this”, said Jack as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the beans.
“What are those?”
“Magical beans!” Said Jack.
“Okay, but what did you get for the cow?”
“Magical beans, thats what I got for the cow.”
“You stupid, stupid boy”, said his mother.
She through the beans out the window, and sent Jack to his room.
The next morning, when Jack looked out his window, the beans were still lying on the ground.
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