Jack and the Beanstalk 

by Dogfire 

Story Copyright (C) By: Dogfire
 1998 - All rights reserved.

Story not to be reprinted, or redistributed, without author's Permission.

If you wish to use the stories, or 
anything copyright by me, please e-mail me.
I'll also forward any mail to the author.

By Dogfire

     "CURSES!, those Gnomes have chopped down my seed beans again!" The Gardener looked at the  remains of several rows of bean stalks, stems cut neatly by tiny knives. "Axes to those pox-faced buggers!" He turned his wheelbarrow around and headed back home, a stone structure with a thatch roof. He parked the wheelbarrow in the courtyard and opened the door to the side kitchen. Jean, his wife, was preparing breakfast. Nearby, a large, black dog sat quietly. He patted the Labrador Retriever, the dog nudged him affectionately, then she put her head down. Jean said "Coda’s still moping, It’ll be a week before she’s back to normal." Coda hadn’t accompanied him to the garden. The dog glanced at the large, elaborately woven straw basket that served as a whelping box. An empty basket. She’d been dispirited since her two puppies died a few days ago from Parvo, a fatal disease.
     "I know", grumbled the gardener, "She hasn’t been guarding the garden lately, and those damn Gnomes took the opportunity to chop a whole row of stalks down."
     "Not again! We need the extra beans for tomorrow’s fair!"
     "Jean, better bring more quilts for your booth, I won’t have that many seed beans to sell."
     She said, "Sit down, eat first." The large couple sat down to eat. They had only finished one bowl of porridge, when a loud noise disturbed their meal, "CLANK, CLANK!" The door knocker. Coda barked and followed her master to the front door. He pulled open the enormous door. A well dressed man stood before him. The visitor saluted the towering, beefy master of the household. He then bowed to the equally huge pooch, "Good day to you sir and to your lovely dog!" His skin was colored blue. Thunder!, thought the Gardener, a traveling salesman at this hour! To the Gardener’s surprise, Coda quietly looked at the salesman. Normally solicitors would be running for their lives, with Coda snapping at their heels. Coda just stood there, coal black head cocked in fascination at the salesman with the odd skin color. "What do you want?", growled the Gardener.
     "I couldn’t help but notice your fine bean field, are those stalks from the seed line ‘Legume Normandy’?", the blue-skinned salesman asked. 
     "That they are, what do you want?", repeated the Gardener. Slowly he recalled the name given to those with skins of blue.
     "Those seeds yield the finest beans this side of the mountains", quipped the salesman. "Alas, the local Gnomes cannot resist them. I’m a seed grower myself. After many years of plant breeding and testing, I’ve come up with these ‘Makawish’ beans!" The blue-colored salesman open a sack to reveal a handful of beans. He reached up to poured some into the huge man’s hand. "Beans guaranteed to repel Gnomes and other garden pests, or fulfill the dreams you cherish. I plan on trading these at tomorrow’s fair and I’m offering you a free sample."
     The Gardener’s critical eye saw nothing special in the beans. He threw them down on the door stoop. "Get out of here!" He shouted, "I never wanted anything from an Afrit. Every gift your kind offers always carries a hidden price! Now git, before I take an axe to you!"
     The Afriti politely bowed, "A good morning to you again, I won’t trouble your house anymore. However, what the beans offer are still free to whom ever wants them! Visit my booth at the fair." The salesman turned and walked down the path towards the village. Good riddance, thought the Gardner, he looked down and saw Coda’s muzzle scoop up the beans. He barked, "Coda, don’t!" Too late. Coda swallowed, the beans made tiny bumpy impressions as they rippled through the dog’s ebony neck and vanished into her depths. The Labrador Retriever flicked a large pink tongue over her chops. Sakes alive, the Gardener thought, I hope she won’t get sick from eating those beans. Her belly could just about absorb anything. He knelt down in front of the black creature and spoke, "Jean and I will be leaving soon to go to the village fair. We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon." He commanded, "Coda! Promise me you’ll keep an eye on things." She looked back at him with a ‘yes sir, sir’ look. "Good girl, Coda, now let’s finish breakfast." He arose, crossed the stone threshold and waited for the dog to slip inside. The massive door clanged shut.

Far away in a distant land, a man, called Jack, withered under the verbal assault from his brother. "JACK, CAN’T YOU FOLLOW SIMPLE DIRECTIONS!? All I asked YOU to do was sell a milk cow to JONES, our brother-in-law!" The exasperated man continued, "Six sovereigns was the agreed price for the cow! Did you go to him to sell her? NOOOOO! YOU had to stop and talk to a traveling salesman and trade MY COW for some friggen BEANS!" He stabbed a finger at the offending leather pouch hung around Jack’s neck. "Where were YOU when BRAINS were handed out! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!" 
     Jack slinked off to his hut. The hut was part of his brother’s estate, he had lived in it for years. A never-do-well young man, he liked the simple things in life, fishing, hunting deer and small game. The venison he brought in was the rental payment. His sister-in-law unflatteringly called him the ‘family pooch’ in reference to his lack of paying skills. Flinging open the flimsy wooden door, Jack stepped inside and surveyed his one room castle. A straw bed lined with fur blankets, chair, crude desk with a candle, eating utensils and a brick fire pit for cooking. The thatch ceiling was coated in soot around the roof smoke hole, he couldn’t afford a proper chimney. His household worldly goods? A few clothes and possessions stuffed into a chest next to the table. A new massive object filled the tiny room, a huge clay storage jar with a metal lid, three feet tall and almost two feet in width. Puzzled, Jack lifted the lid. He saw his reflection in the straw colored, slick gleam of cooking oil. Where in tarnation did this come from? He remembered, his sister-in-law purchased it yesterday at the market, she couldn’t resist a bargain, even if the oil was available in bulk jars.
     Jack slammed the lid down and snorted, "This is seven years worth of cooking oil! It’ll go rancid long before that!" His brother and spouse must’ve had no room for it in the kitchen of their stately stone mansion. They had decided Jack’s hut was the perfect place to store it. Of course, Jack bitterly thought, the ‘family pooch’ won’t mind having the jar take up what little room he had. A hut no better than a dog house! Well this old ‘pooch’ may just hit the road. And he had the means to do it! Jack walked over to his bed, opened the leather pouch around his neck and poured the beans onto the fur blanket. The beans, in the light from the window, glistened in rainbow colors. He imagined them being iridescent jewels. According to the salesman, the beans would fulfill anyone’s wishes for pest-free harvests, travels to distant lands and even cure warts. 
     Travels, Jack thought, new places to see, woods to explore, hunting, fishing and no tyrant brother snapping curses. He had no money to pay for road tolls out of the kingdom. But these beans will be my passport, all he needed to do was wish. But how? Jack took a deep breath, "Beans, Beans, of Rainbow Colors!" That should get their attention. "Take me to another land, far, tall and wide!" Nothing happened. "Come on! Up, up and away!" Still nothing, except for Jack’s embarrassed face. A few hours of pleas, abbracadabra’s and shouts failed to stir action from the beans. He flung the beans out the window. 
     Later, Jack changed his mind, he collected as many of the beans as he could, leaving several on the ground. Frugal, he dropped the gathered beans into his stew pot to simmer. That evening, he quietly sat at his table, eating bean soup and smoked meat. After cleaning his dishes, he removed his clothes, crawled into bed and pulled the fur blankets over him. He drifted off to sleep, wondering if he’d ever get the chance to travel. Outside the window, the missed beans sprouted, sending up shoots. The plant tendrils grew at an astonishing rate. Green tentacles snaked around the hut, becoming thicker and thicker. The growing plant stalks, now as thick as tree trunks, surrounded the hut, more silently grew through the floorboards. With a hushed groan, the hut was wrenched off its foundation. The noise failed to wake Jack. His room tilted like a wave-tossed ship, he continued to snore. The hut slowly arose into the air.
     If a nocturnal visitor had stood outside, he would have seen a vast stalk in place of a hut. The hut was embedded in the joined trunks of several enormous bean stalks. Suddenly, the beanstalk, with it’s cargo, softly and quietly vanished away. Stalk, hut, and Jack faded into transparency; Gone, leaving a patch of disturbed, open ground in the moonlit night. Jack opened his eyes to green filtered sunlight. He yawned and stretched, feeling strange. It was those iridescent beans he ate last night. His head had the thick, inert hurt of a hangover and buzzed to strange, faint noises. Nothing that a brew of medicinal herbs, stashed in the pantry, could cure. He placed a foot on the twisted, crooked floor. Crooked floor? Earthquake!? Fully awake, the young man stumbled over a floor of green stalks, torn planks and furniture jostled about. The enormous clay jar of cooking oil was still upright and intact. But it had several hairline cracks and the jar’s sides glistened with a film of oil. Great, he muttered to himself, it’ll crack apart soon and coat everything with oil. Feeling a breeze ripple his hair, Jack noticed his door was missing. The outdoor scenery definitely looked different from yesterday. 
     He reached the warped door frame, stopped and stared out. A good thing, he didn’t walk out. The first step was a steep one, fifty feet, or so, to the ground. The hut was suspended around several green tree trunks. Like a tree house. Stunned, he stared at his surroundings and the unfamiliar green tree. Short branches supported the largest leaves he had beheld. But the leaves look familiar, they resembled bean leaves. Slap me silly, Jack thought, they ARE bean leaves. His broken hut was embedded in a tree-sized bean stalk, surrounded by a FOREST of gigantic beanstalks. No earthquake caused this, this landscape seemed to come from a friggen fairy-tale dream.
      Hangover forgotten, the man pondered, well the first thing to do is explore around. He reached down and gripped the course strands of the stalk. Mighty convenient handholds it’ll make. He swung his legs over the hut threshold and carefully clambered down like a monkey to the ground. No dream he had ever had seemed this detailed. The bean forest lay in rows, each stalk growing from a hillock row covered by boulder sized piles of sod, arranged by a skilled hoe. Shit, thought Jack, who ever did that, well tall couldn’t even begin to describe him/her. He started walking down the enormous garden row, picking his way over humongous clumps of sod with his bare feet. His foot pads were tough and leathery. He often hiked barefoot in the woods. His wiry frame shivered, thrilled at being immersed in such a scale, a Giant land to explore, but a bit chilly. Forgot something! Jack looked down at himself and laughed, He had been so engrossed of his surroundings, he forgot to dress! All he had on was his loincloth! He was about to turn around when he saw three huge shapes running towards him! Giants! The Giants wore blue pants, red shirts and oversized red caps topped their heads. Their gnome like feral faces panting in effort, fear in their eyes. They carried huge knives. Yikes!, Jack screamed to himself, I’ve no weapon! 
     He froze, the first Giant ran by him, ignoring him! He had to be sixteen feet tall! The second one also ran by him. The third almost collided with him, the red-capped Giant hissed, pointed back in the direction he came from before he tore off at an astonishing speed. What where the Giants running from? Jack looked in the distance, down the garden row, he saw the cause of their terror. A mammoth black shape, four-legged, galloping towards him. Large ears, muzzle and panting tongue, a GIGANTIC DOG! The gargantuan animal was too close, Jack had no where to run, or hide. Gripped by an insane compulsion, Jack turned around and held up his hands. "STOP!!", he yelled. The enormous canine, braked to a halt, forepaws throwing up dust clouds of sod. A pair of sooty paws the size of draw carts ground to a halt just before the man. Spitting dirt out of his mouth, Jack backed several steps away from the huge clawed toenails. The dog stood erect, towering over him. The tiny man glanced upwards at ebony tree trunk forelimbs supporting a coal black furred chest with a thick neck attached to a blocky, floppy eared muzzle and raven dark jowls. The huge tail, a curled shaft attached to gargantuan canine hindquarters, slowly wagged like an oversized flag staff. A river wide red tongue flapped in the breeze as the animal panted. It’s lungs bellowing like a gale wind rushing through a cave. Jack managed to collect his wits. The dog resembled a Labrador Retriever. Large, sometimes black, hounds bred for retrieving. Large could not even begin to describe this big fella, he thought. Looking again, he saw two rows of heavy, swollen nipples hanging from the animal’s belly. No, make that a big lady! By the looks of her, she must be nursing pups. He couldn’t believe he was before a monstrous dog as tall as a church steeple! Jack stared into her globe deep yellow eyes. He shuddered, from her perspective, he was as tiny as a mouse! What is she going to do? 
     Coda, the giant canine, was just as puzzled as Jack. She woke up that morning feeling strange, from eating yesterday’s raw beans. She felt compelled to go to the garden. She scented Gnomes and gave chase, yet she couldn’t catch them! Then she spotted a tiny two-legged thing. It told her to stop! It talked to her! She stood there confused, and panting. Catching her breath, she lowered her nose to investigate the curious little man. It didn’t smell like a Gnome! Jack saw her cock her head in curiosity as she lowered her snout. A door-sized coal colored nose descended downwards. Scrolled nostrils flared to inhale and blow warm dog breath around him like a fog. Just checking me out, he thought, she’s relaxed, no sign of aggression. Jack had a way with dogs. He calmly reached out with both arms and scratched the tip of her enormous chin. "Good girl, I’m a friend...that’s a good girl." He spoke in a loud reassuring tone, "You’re just a sweet, playful gal...am I right?" Jack had used his voice and mannerism’s to pacify wary dogs before. His charm worked. The immense dog raised her head, she backed up a few steps, then she put out her huge front paws and lowered her shoulders in a play bow posture. "Hey that’s my girl, I’d like to play too.", he said aloud, "Only I am a bit undersized, I don’t have a ball to toss." Jack was seized with a feeling that she seemed to understand every word he said! Coda’s eyes registered disappointment. She whined, vocal cords rumbling like an avalanche. She folded her hind legs, the dog’s enormous haunches smashed into the ground, throwing up dust clouds of dirt. The reclining animal giant rested her mammoth head on her paws. She looked at Jack.
     Slowly words started to form in the man’s head, with a hypnotic reassuring quality not unlike that of the traveling salesman who sold him the beans. Through the watery depths of her huge eyes, he thought he could hear a request, like speech. A sense of longing, a wish that he should come with her. She seemed to want him to follow her home! The words came unbiddened as Jack replied, "I’d be glad to. Only you have to follow me to yonder beanstalk first." Her eyes responded with a ‘yes’. Jack shook his groggy head, forgetting what had just happened, he turned and jogged back to the beanstalk. Coda followed, taking a paw step now and then to keep up. Jack stopped trotting and stood in front of the bean stalk, looking up at his hut. Abruptly a shadow eclipsed the sun as a pony sized forepaw thudded into the ground just behind him. Jack turned, he looked up at tremendous dog and commanded in a loud voice, "Sit!" He flinched as the dog swung her huge rear legs forward and leaned back to lower her hips. Her titanic rump crashed to the ground with an earth shaking thump! He recovered himself and called up to the obedient giant, "That’s a good girl! Stay here! I’ll be right back! When I return, I’ll follow you home!" Jack clambered up the stalk, gripping the convenient handholds. That’s a change of pace, he thought, following a stray dog to her home, not the other way around. Still it should be interesting to see what kind of place the dog lives in.
     Coda watched the tiny man wriggle into the twisted entrance of the hut. Curious, she moved forward and placed her tremendous muzzle against the bean stalk, just underneath the hut doorway. Inside the hut, Jack scratched his chin, I’d better get my traveling cloths on. The chest had been flung to one side of the room next to the jar. Jack knelt and tried rolling the clothes chest upright. He meant to be careful, but he bumped the chest against the cracked clay storage jar. The huge jar, filled with cooking oil, flew apart. Gallons of cooking oil spewed out like a waterfall, enveloping Jack. Soaked and blinded, Jack stumbled backwards, out the doorway, his feet planted themselves in thin air. He fell, but only a short distance. Instead of hitting the ground, he landed on something hard, and furry, knocking the breath out of him. An oil-soaked Jack lay draped on top of the dog’s snout. Coda, excited at smelling the fatty oil soaked treat, instinctively flipped her muzzle, tossing Jack skywards. She gaped her cavernous jaws open. Jack’s trajectory carried him up, he slowly spun around and fell into an eager canine maw. He dropped between white fangs, landing heavily in the back of her mouth. Coda snapped her jaws shut, Jack was clamped between the roof of her mouth and tongue, ivory carnivore teeth forming a cage around him. Saliva flowed around Jack, coating and lubricating him. The slick, creased tongue flowed back and forth, grinding his back against her palate ridges. Pebbled pores, from the enveloping, hot tongue, sucked in the taste of his body. The dog savored the wriggling mouthful, just the right size. Like a plunger, the muscular tongue surged backwards, shoving Jack into her craw. Powerful throat walls contracted, propelling him under the soft palate, over a closed flap and into the tightening funnel of dog’s gullet.
     Coda swallowed the tiny man in a great gulp, she felt the little bundle glide down her neck and into her chest, towards a waiting belly. Jack smoothly slid through a slimy passageway, the embracing walls firmly squeezing him along. A few moments later, he felt himself being forced through a tight, thick ring and then splash down into a humid, dark hollow. Gasping for breath in the pitch blackness, he slid about in the chambered blackness. The consumed man sat, upright, in a pool of foul smelling sludgy muck, unsure what do. The dog’s warm gut echoed to the bellows inrush of her breathing and the bass thumping of the gigantic animal’s heart. He heard faint rushing noises and the grumble of various things in the dog’s innards. Oddly, Jack didn’t panic from being engulfed alive and trapped inside an immense cur’s stomach. He figured this whole situation had to be a dream. I try to make friends with a colossal black Lab and she swallowed me! Despite his peril, he laughed aloud in the sludge filled darkness. Could you blame that dog for considering you, oil-soaked and tiny as a mouse, a delectable snack? A sudden heaving motion pressed him to the belly wall.
     The pitch-black chamber swayed to the graceful rhythm of a trotting dog. A short interval later, he felt the bottom drop out from underneath him, he bounced about as the walls adjusted themselves to a new equilibrium. Then stillness Coda trotted into the farmhouse courtyard, she sauntered into the side kitchen to curl up in her basket. She closed her eyes and dreamed a wish. Detecting the morsel of live meat, Coda’s stomach began contracting and relaxing in a wave-like motion. Jack was tossed like a cork in surf against the convoluted walls. Potent gastric juices flowed up from underneath and around him. Churned about by muscular contractions, he felt his own body gradually dissolving into the burning mix of acids and enzymes. Slowly being incorporated into the gargantuan animal. He choked in the foul air. He was losing sensation to his legs, arms and torso. Deep inside the dog who had eaten him, Jack wished this nightmare was just a bean induced dream, it wasn’t really happening to him. He wasn’t being digested and absorbed into the canine’s body. The surrounding warm, dog flesh was his bed, of course. All he’d have to do was wake up. He closed his eyes and drifted away. Jack opened his eyelids to sunlight coming from a window. His head laid against a wall of warm fur, his bed. A bad dream, growing bean stalks, running madly about. He opened his short muzzle, yawned deeply, flexed his long tongue and wriggled his pawed limbs. He whined a call, awaking the sleeping wall. The massive black trunk twisted about, a giant dog snout investigated, the nose poked into his back. A wide warm tongue gently scraped over and massaged his furry body. He felt a gnawing emptiness within him. The inky snout pushed him against a nipple, he started suckling, pushing his paws against the warm flesh. Why did he think he was called Jack? He forgot the name, he focused on consuming the nourishing milk, while his mind finished being assimilated into the canine world. 
     The giant and his wife looked down at Coda, curled up in her basket and nursing a pup. The giant turned to his wife. "A different pup! How did Coda find an abandoned puppy so quickly? He can’t be more than eight weeks old!" The wife replied, "Dear, it’s not coincidence, those free wish beans the salesman left behind. You threw the beans to the dog!" The giant shook his head, "No it can’t be, that salesman was just an Afrit wagging a crooked tongue. Those had to be plain beans. Besides wishes come with a hefty price tag!" The wife said, "If that’s true, then Coda got a free deal. Her litter died a few days ago. Now she has an orphan to take care of. I think this one will make her proud! What do you think?" He mused, "Hmm...you know I believe this little pup will grow up to be a fine hunting dog. He’ll rid us of those Gnomes infesting the garden. Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, this dog will smell out the blood of Gnomes. We’ll grind their little bones to make fertilizer!" 

This version of Jack And The Beanstalk is ©1998 by Dogfire. This story may be freely distributed by electronic media provided NOTHING is changed or omitted (including the copyright notice)