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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.
Jack the giant killer.
From English Fairy Tales, by Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)
Start of Story
When good King Arthur reigned, there lived near the Land's End of
England, in the county of Cornwall, a farmer who had one only son
called Jack. He was brisk and of a ready lively wit, so that nobody or
nothing could worst him.
In those days the Mount of Cornwall was kept by a huge giant named
Cormoran. He was eighteen feet in height, and about three yards round
the waist, of a fierce and grim countenance, the terror of all the
neighbouring towns and villages. He lived in a cave in the midst of
the Mount, and whenever he wanted food he would wade over to the main-
land, where he would furnish himself with whatever came in his way.
Everybody at his approach ran out of their houses, while he seized on
their cattle, making nothing of carrying half-a-dozen oxen on his back
at a time; and as for their sheep and hogs, he would tie them round
his waist like a bunch of tallow-dips. He had done this for many
years, so that all Cornwall was in despair.
One day Jack happened to be at the town-hall when the magistrates were
sitting in council about the Giant. He asked: "What reward will be
given to the man who kills Cormoran?" "The giant's treasure," they
said, "will be the reward." Quoth Jack: "Then let me undertake it."
So he got a horn, shovel, and pickaxe, and went over to the Mount in
the beginning of a dark winter's evening, when he fell to work, and
before morning had dug a pit twenty-two feet deep, and nearly as
broad, covering it over with long sticks and straw. Then he strewed a
little mould over it, so that it appeared like plain ground. Jack then
placed himself on the opposite side of the pit, farthest from the
giant's lodging, and, just at the break of day, he put the horn to his
mouth, and blew, Tantivy, Tantivy.
This noise roused the giant, who
rushed from his cave, crying: "You incorrigible villain, are you come
here to disturb my rest? You shall pay dearly for this. Satisfaction I
will have, and this it shall be, I will take you whole and broil you
for breakfast." He had no sooner uttered this, than he tumbled into
the pit, and made the very foundations of the Mount to shake. "Oh,
Giant," quoth Jack, "where are you now? Oh, faith, you are gotten now
into Lob's Pound, where I will surely plague you for your threatening
words: what do you think now of broiling me for your breakfast? Will
no other diet serve you but poor Jack?" Then having tantalised the
giant for a while, he gave him a most weighty knock with his pickaxe
on the very crown of his head, and killed him on the spot.
Jack then filled up the pit with earth, and went to search the cave,
which he found contained much treasure.
When the magistrates heard of
this they made a declaration he should henceforth be termed
JACK THE GIANT-KILLER
and presented him with a sword and a belt, on which were written these
words embroidered in letters of gold:
"Here's the right valiant Cornish man,
Who slew the giant Cormoran."
The news of Jack's victory soon spread over all the West of England,
so that another giant, named Blunderbore, hearing of it, vowed to be
revenged on Jack, if ever he should light on him. This giant was the
lord of an enchanted castle situated in the midst of a lonesome wood.
Now Jack, about four months afterwards, walking near this wood in his
journey to Wales, being weary, seated himself near a pleasant fountain
and fell fast asleep. While he was sleeping, the giant, coming there
for water, discovered him, and knew him to be the far-famed Jack the
Giant-killer by the lines written on the belt. Without ado, he took
Jack on his shoulders and carried him towards his castle.