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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

And seeing the giant did not awake


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The giant returned at the

usual time, and walked in so heavily, that the house was shaken to its foundation. He seated himself by the fire, and soon after exclaimed: "Wife! I smell fresh meat!" The wife replied, it was the crows, who had brought a piece of raw meat, and left it on the top of the house. Whilst supper was preparing, the giant was very ill-tempered and impatient, frequently lifting up his hand to strike his wife, for not being quick enough; she, however, was always so fortunate as to elude the blow. He was also continually up-braiding her with the loss of his wonderful hen. The giant at last having ended his voracious supper, and eaten till he was quite satisfied, said to his wife: "I must have something to amuse me; either my bags of money or my harp." After a great deal of ill-humour, and having teased his wife some he commanded her to bring down his bags of gold and silver. Jack, as before, peeped out of his hiding-place, and presently his wife brought two bags into the room: they were of a very large size; one was filled with new guineas, and the other with new shillings. They were both placed before the giant, who began reprimanding his poor wife most severely for staying so long; she replied, trembling with fear, that they were so heavy, that she could scarcely lift them; and concluded, at last, that she would never again bring them down stairs; adding, that she had nearly fainted, owing to their weight This so exasperated the giant, that he raised his hand to strike her; she, however,
escaped, and went to bed, leaving him to count over his treasure, by way of amusement. The giant took his bags, and after turning them over and over, to see that they were in the same state as he left them, began to count their contents. First, the bag which contained the silver was emptied, and the contents placed upon the table. Jack viewed the glittering heaps with delight, and most heartily wished them in his own possession. The giant (little thinking he was so narrowly watched) reckoned the silver over several times; and then, having satisfied himself that all was safe, put it into the bag again, which he made very secure. The other bag was opened next, and the guineas placed upon the table. If Jack was pleased at the sight of the silver, how much more delighted he felt when he saw such a heap of glittering gold! He even had the boldness to think of gaming both bags; but suddenly recollecting himself, he began to fear that the giant would sham sleep, the better to entrap any one who might be concealed. When the giant had counted over the gold till he was tired, he put it up, if possible, more secure than he had put up the silver before; he then fell back on his chair by the fire-side, and fell asleep. He snored so loud, that Jack compared his noise to the roaring of the sea in a high wind, when the tide is coming in. At last, Jack concluded him to be asleep, and therefore secure, stole out of his hiding-place, and approached the giant, in order to carry off the two bags of money; but just as he laid his hand upon one of the bags, a little dog, whom he had not perceived before, started from under the giant's chair, and barked at Jack most furiously, who now gave himself up for lost. Fear riveted him to the spot. Instead of endeavouring to escape, he stood still, though expecting his enemy to awake every instant. Contrary, however, to his expectation, the giant continued in a sound sleep, and the dog grew weary of barking. Jack now began to recollect himself, and on looking round, saw a large piece of meat; this he threw to the dog, who instantly seized it, and took it into the lumber-closet, which Jack had just left. Finding himself delivered from a noisy and troublesome enemy, and seeing the giant did not awake, Jack boldly seized the bags, and throwing them over his shoulders, ran out of the kitchen. He reached the street door in safety, and found it quite daylight. In his way to the top of the bean-stalk, he found himself greatly incommoded with the weight of the money-bags; and really they were so heavy that he could scarcely carry them. Jack was overjoyed when he found himself near the bean-stalk; he soon reached the bottom, and immediately ran to seek his mother; to his great surprise, the cottage was deserted; he ran from one room to another, without being able to find any one; he then hastened into the village, hoping to see some of the neighbours, who could inform him where he could find his mother. An old woman at last directed him to a neighbouring house, where she was ill of a fever. He was greatly shocked on finding her apparently dying, and could scarcely bear his own reflections, on knowing himself to be the cause. On being informed of our hero's safe return, his mother, by degrees, revived, and gradually recovered. Jack presented her with his two valuable bags. They lived happily and comfortably; the cottage was rebuilt, and well furnished.


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