and the Bean Stalk
upon a time there was a giant. He was a big giant, as giants
should be. But his mother was very tiny. In fact, she was
so small that when she wanted to say something to him, he
had to pick her up and hold her up to his ear.
Giant's mother had to work very hard to support her young
son. But he ate so much that, hard as she worked, they were
Every now and then, Giant's mother saved enough to get him
a treat. One day she gave him a whole quarter to go and buy
something for himself. Giant took the quarter and went skipping
down the road. (Wherever his feet landed, he left behind a
big hole in the road.)
Soon Giant met a little old woman. He got down on his hands
and knees to say hello to her. "Good morning," he roared,
and the wind from his breath almost knocked her down.
you like to buy something, my lad?" asked the old woman, holding
up her basket.
yes!" exclaimed the Giant. "I have a quarter to spend. My
Mommy gave it to me."
Giant reached into his pocket. It was empty. He began to sob.
"I lost my quarter!" Tears as big as watermelons rolled down
his cheeks. Soon the ground was soaked. Huge puddles began
to form and joined together to make a little lake. Giant tears
continued to splash down. The old woman was afraid that she
a minute, Giant," she shouted. "if you stop crying, I'll give
Giant cheered up immediately. He rubbed away the last tears.
"What will you give me?" he asked.
have a wonderful bean," she said. "It's as big as an orange."
She held it out to him, and he carefully took it from her.
Giant skipped home to tell his mother about his wonderful
bean. But when she heard that he had lost his quarter, she
was very angry. "I sent you out with a quarter, and all you
brought back is a bean!"
it's a big bean, Mommy," said Giant.
bean is a bean," she said, and threw it out the window. Then
she sent her son to bed without his supper.
Early the next morning, Giant looked out his window and was
surprised to see an enormous bean stalk growing in the garden.
It reached up, up into the clouds and beyond. "I wonder where
it goes," said Giant. "I'll climb it and see."
Although his mother tried to stop him, Giant wouldn't listen.
Up he went. He climbed and climbed. The bean stalk still stretched
up as high as he could see.
At last he reached the clouds. He climbed higher still. Then
he came to a strange land. Orange cows grazed on purple grass.
The trees all had purple leaves. Far in the distance he saw
wonder who lives there," he said. He walked up to the house.
It was a regular-sized house, but it only came up to Giant's
knees. He knelt down and peeked through a window. Inside a
boy sat by the kitchen table, playing with a hen. While Giant
watched, the hen clucked loudly and laid a golden egg.
Giant wanted to see if the egg was really made of gold, so
he poked his finger through the window. The glass shattered
and cut his finger.
The boy, whose name was Jack, looked up and saw Giant holding
his finger and crying. Frightened, Jack snatched up an axe.
He came out of the house and ran after Giant.
But Giant did not even notice Jack, for he was already running
back to the bean stalk. He scampered down the bean stalk,
sobbing all the way. "Mommy, I cut myself," he said. "I need
His mother sighed, "I wish you would be more careful, Giant."
She went to the medicine cabinet and took out a bottle of
iodine and a box of bandaids. It took a whole bottle of iodine
and a hundred bandaids, but soon Giant's finger was as good
He told his mother about the hen with the wonderful golden
eggs. Then he started up the bean stalk again.
Giant did not know it, but all the time he had been gone,
Jack had been chopping away at the bean stalk. It was such
a thick bean stalk that he still had not cut through. When
Giant reached the top, it was just about to crack.
Giant called. "I'm sorry I broke your window. I'll help you
fix it." So they patched up the window with some of Giant's
bandaids until they could get some new glass. They used some
more bandaids to fix the cut in the bean stalk.
Jack was lonely in the land in the clouds. Now he was so pleased
to have a new friend that he promised to share his golden
eggs with Giant. Now Giant would never have to be hungry any
2013 The Silversteins