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More Giant Adventures


Giant was proud of the bean stalk in his backyard. He had grown it from a single big bean that he got from an old lady. It reached all the way up into the sky. And it was so strong that Giant could use it as a ladder to climb up and visit his friend Jack, who lived in the land of the clouds.

One morning, a dragon came out of the mountains to Jack's house. He saw Jack's mother feeding her hen in the yard.

"Aha!" roared the dragon. "I'll have chicken for dinner on Sunday!"

Jack's mother snatched up the hen in her arms. "This is a special hen!" she cried. "She lays golden eggs. You mustn't eat her."

The dragon laughed. He took a deep breath and blew it out again. And this was a very unusual dragon. He did not breathe fire. Instead, his breath turned everything it touched to ice. Instantly Jack's mother and the hen turned into a frozen statue. The dragon picked them up in a curl of his tail and rumbled off toward the mountains.

Jack was watching through the window. He dashed out of the house and ran to the bean stalk. Perhaps Giant could help him get his mother back. But just then the dragon turned around. He let out another great blast of breath, and the bean stalk froze. With a tinkle and a crash it cracked into a thousand pieces, and Jack fell down -- straight into Giant's pocket.

"Lucky I was standing here," said Giant. "What happened?"

Jack told Giant all about what the dragon had done. "We've got to rescue your mother," said Giant. "But how can we get there? The bean stalk is gone."

"Don't worry, Giant," said his mother, who had been listening from the doorway. "I saved some bean seeds. We'll grow another bean stalk."

Giant took one of the beans, which was as big as an orange, and planted it in the ground. But nothing happened.

Jack started to cry. "It will never grow in time! He said he'd eat the hen on Sunday!"

Giant started to cry, too. His tears splashed down and formed a pool on the ground. The water soaked into the bean, and it sprouted.

Giant popped Jack into one pocket and his mother, still holding the sack of beans, in another, and grabbed onto the top of the growing bean stalk. Up they rode, as the bean stalk shot up into the air. Soon they had reached Jack's home in the land of the clouds.

"Those mountains are so high!" said Jack. "How will we ever get to the dragon's castle?"

"They don't look so high to me," said Giant. He picked up his mother in one hand and Jack in the other, and set off. Soon they were getting near the dragon's castle.

"What will you do about his icy breath?" whispered Jack.

"Don't worry," said Giant. He set Jack and his mother down gently on the ground and then ripped up two trees by the roots.

"Mommy, light a match for me," said Giant. She did, and Giant made torches out of the trees. Then he went up to the castle gates.

"Come out, you bad dragon," he shouted, waving his huge torches.

The dragon gave a mighty puff and blew a cold wind. The torches went out. Once more the dragon puffed. And now poor Giant was frozen into a statue of ice. Then the dragon opened the gates and lumbered toward Jack and Giant's mother.

"What shall we do now?" cried Jack.

"Here," said Giant's mother. "Take these magic beans and throw them in front of the dragon."

While Jack was throwing the beans in front of the dragon, Giant's mother took the empty bean sack and filled it with water. She dashed out and splashed water on each of the beans. Then she rushed back to join Jack hiding behind a rock, but the dragon puffed out another cold wind. Now Giant's mother was frozen, too.

Now the dragon was standing right in the midst of the beans. Suddenly they all sprouted. Up they grew, twisting and turning around the dragon. With each second they grew thicker, until they formed a jungle around him.

The dragon huffed and puffed with rage. But the tangle of bean stalks was so thick that his cold breath bounced back at him. Soon the dragon was frozen solid.

Jack crept out and lit a torch. Carefully he melted the ice around Giant's mother. Soon she was free. Then they went to the castle and thawed out Jack's mother.

The three of them went out to thaw out Giant. It took them four days, but at last all the ice was melted, and Giant was free.

Happily they all went home and left the frozen dragon standing outside the gates of his castle.



©1972, 2013 The Silversteins