Jack & The Beanstalk.


Are you satisfied now?
You have everything, the goose, the harp, the treasure.
You even took away my only way out of here.
So, I’m stuck here, in the house in the clouds, rattling from room to room, no one to talk to, nothing to do.
And I helped you, hid you in the flour bin, looked my husband in the face, lied, denied all knowledge of the tiny shivering boy, cowering behind the salt cellar.

Of course, he chased after you, you stole from him, what did you think he would do, just roll over, open the doors wide, say come help yourself.

But it wasn’t enough for you to steal from him, you had to kill him too.

Can you imagine his last moments ?

Feeling the beanstalk give beneath his feet, falling, hard and fast towards the ground, his last sight your grinning face as you clutched HIS goose, HIS harp to your chest.

I don’t even know what you did with his body, did you bury him or sell the carcass to a travelling showman, so that the gawpers, the curious, those with a penny to spare could have one last chance to point, to laugh, to stare.

Why do you think he lived up here? Far from even his own kind.

You never saw past his size, his reputation, his anger, but was more than that.

Sometimes, at night, we would sit together, quietly and the harp would play and the goose would snuggle in my lap and he would hold my hand and we would be peaceful, at rest together.

But you never saw that, to you he was just a stereotype, the wicked, greedy giant.

Your visits here were a just a big adventure to you, you broke his heart when you stole the goose. He spent hours searching for her, calling her name, holding back the tears and when you stole the harp, the only thing that brought him peace, stilled the voices in his head, well, something died in him and I watched it die.

Did you even know he had a name, my big angry husband ?

And yes, he was angry, he did make terrible threats, shout and stomp, but did you ever stop and ask yourself why?

What it might be like to be so big on the outside and so small and fearful deep down inside?

How do you think the world treated him?

Those fingers pointing, villagers always quick to lay the blame for any disaster on his oversized shoulders, impossible to hide when stand head and shoulders above the rest.

We came here to be safe, but you came, a thief in broad daylight, bringing all those memories of past persecution and you couldn’t see beyond the raging to the little lost boy I loved.

He was kind to me, in his own way and I was grateful for the care he showed me.

Did it ever cross your mind to wonder what would happen to me, afterwards?

A small giantess is still too big for your world, my hands and feet too large, my voice too deep, my face too plain, no chance for love once my giant was dead.

At first, I though he would come back, I couldn’t believe a stupid, ne’er do well teenager could take all we had and still not be satisfied, so I waited, I cooked his favourite meals, sometimes out of habit, I still prepared seeds for the goose, hummed the tunes the harp had planted in my head.

Days went by, then weeks and finally I accepted that he was never coming home, that you had taken every treasure I owned and then I cried, giantess sized tears that splashed on the ground.

I thought about coming to find you, I wanted to make you pay, but I have no way to leave this house in the clouds, so I sit and when the loneliness threatens to engulf me, I sing the songs the harp taught me and they comfort me.

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About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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