Jack was ready to give up, it felt like he’d been climbing through the cloud forever. He cursed his impetuous nature for once again leading him astray. what kind of nuts was it to climb a beanstalk hundreds of feet up into the sky until it disappeared into the clouds?
Crazy nuts, he muttered to himself, even as he climbed higher.
Then, he was out, blinded by bright sunlight. He squinted, rubbed his eyes, tried to see what new world he’d entered.
“Fee Fi Fo Fum, you’d better run or I’ll bite your bum!” roared a deep voice nearby.
But before Jack could scamper off, he was plucked up by the back of his collar and held high in the air. He tried to turn to see his captor, but to no avail. Then, he became aware of the pungent odor. Whoever, whatever had him, it stunk.
“Ah, little man, you wrinkle your nose at me. Yes, it’s true I’ve had no bath for weeks, not since they shut my water off. Nothing but hard times here.”
Jack was spun about, suddenly face to face with the biggest man he’d ever seen, a man fully ten feet tall, unshaven with scruffy hair, and wearing a mismatched assortment of ragged clothes.
The giant smiled, revealing a mouthful of occasional yellowed, teeth, “never seen a giant before?
Jack was speechless as the giant twirled his limp body in a complete circle.
“What’s your name?” asked the giant.
“J-j -ack,” came the sputtered reply.
“Not another Jack,” exclaimed the giant, “you’re the third one this week. Is everyone down there named Jack?”
“My name is Rump, but you can call me Big Rump,” continued the giant, “eyeing Jack more closely now.”
“You’re quite fat Jack, a tasty treat, except, as you’ve noticed, my teeth are no longer able to enjoy chewing on a yummy kid.”
Jack sighed with relief.
“I suppose you climbed up here dreaming of riches and easy money, just like all the other Jacks. Well, too late buddy, look around, all the Jacks who preceded you have trashed the place.”
Jack cautiously turned to survey the surrounding landscape.
“See that smoke over there and the blackened debris, that’s what’s left of my castle. The last Jack was so miffed when he found I no longer had the golden goose, he tossed his cigarette butt into the yard, started a wildfire and burned the place down.”
Jack started to fidget.
“Hey, settle down, I’m talking to you. It’s lonely up here and I get tired of talking to myself.”
“Had to give up the golden goose to pay property taxes. Do you know how much it costs to run a castle these days?”
Jack shook his head.
“Taxes, heating bills, maintenance, rodent control, it all adds up. and the real bummer, I lost my insurance a month ago and I’m not getting a dime for what that other jerk Jack did.”
Big Rump continued, “everyone thinks us big guys have it made, but let me tell you, just because my dad was a giant and left me all his wealth, doesn’t mean I’ve had it easy. Look at these clothes. Do you know how hard it is to find anything decent and fashionable in my size?”
Again, Jack shook his head.
“Just about impossible, and even when I find something I like on amazon, no one wants to deliver up here.”
“Must be tough,” Jack muttered.
“Tough!?” You have no idea,” exploded the giant. Then, he paused and looked at his captive.
“You’re not like the other Jacks, you actually listen to me.”
Jack just smiled, not wanting to add that he seemed to have no other choice given the circumstances.
“Maybe you can come back again, shoot the bull, share a beer.”
“Sure,” Jack answered.
“Yeah, I’d like that, come back and visit, I’ll clean things up, we’ll have a picnic.”
Big Rump set Jack beside the beanstalk, “careful on your way down, that stalk can get slippery.”
Jack hurried to grab the beanstalk and began to ease himself down. He took a last look at the lonely giant, who gave him a mostly toothless smile and a little wave.
“Bye,” they each said simultaneously.
Moral: Even giants need friends.