Jack and the Beanstalk - The Ogre's Wife's Story. A short story

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Mrs Ogre looked out into the morning as she wiped out the pot from last night’s meal. There wasn’t much to wipe as Mr Ogre had a hearty appetite and there was very little left of the wee boy she’d broiled up with some carrots. Mr Ogre had burped his appreciation and gone to put his feet up after a hard day’s ogre-ing.

In the distance, with the sun glinting off the road, she thought she could see another boy coming towards her. He was ambling along carelessly, kicking the stones as he came.

Mrs Ogre wondered if she could get away with serving up children for supper two nights in a row (curried perhaps). But as he came closer she thought this one looked different.

She put her head out of the back door and welcomed him.

He peered up at her, not in the least afraid, and she patted his head.

“Hello young man. What can I do for you?” She asked.

“Good morning mum,” he was such a polite wee laddie too, she thought, “could you be so kind as to give me some breakfast?”

He reminded her of a dog they’d had once, a real cutie with floppy ears and a winsome expression. He’d been Mr Ogre’s favourite and they’d spent many hours together. But the poor thing had got sick, up’d ‘n’ died.

She didn’t think Mr Ogre would feel the same way as she did about this little boy, and as she was giving him some bread and milk, she heard her husband coming.

“Quick! Quick!” She threw her hands up in horror and waved them so hard that Jack was nearly knocked out by her flabby arms. “Goodness gracious me! It’s my husband. He’ll see you broiled if he finds you! What shall I do? What shall I do?! Quick, jump in the oven. Jump in! Jump in!”

In he went and she slammed the door as Mr Ogre entered the kitchen.

“Fee-fi-fo-fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive or be he dead,

I’ll have his bones to make my bread.”

“Ach now Mr Ogre, you naughty naughty man,” Mrs Ogre fluttered at her husband, “that’s your tummy talking. Perhaps you can smell the scraps of the wee boy you liked so much for last night’s supper. There’s nothing to eat in here so off you go out of my kitchen.”

She turned and could see that the boy was about to hop out of the oven.

“Stay there laddie. Wait ‘til he’s asleep. He always has a sleep after breakfast.”

She tottered off into the front room where Mr Ogre was counting his gold. She sat down beside him and began to stack the coins from one of the two bags he’d got from the cupboard.

Eventually though they both nodded off into a doze and when they awoke one of the bags had gone.

“We’ve been robbed! We’ve been robbed! We’ve been robbed!” Mrs Ogre jumped up and down with stage-managed righteous indignation. She knew who’d stolen the gold but didn’t want to let on to her husband. She liked the wee boy and loved the doggie he’d reminded her of, so she’d keep quiet. And if truth be told, looked like he needed a bit of money.

Time passed and one day Mrs Ogre saw the boy coming along the road again.

“Go away m’boy,” she said, “or else my man will eat you up for breakfast. He missed that gold you took last time.”

“That’s strange,” said the boy, “I dare say I could tell you something about that.”

But before Mrs Ogre could ask what he meant, they heard Mr Ogre’s footsteps. Thump. Thump. Thump.

“Quick! Quick! Goodness gracious me! It’s my husband. He’ll see you broiled if he finds you! What shall I do? What shall I do?! Quick, jump in the oven. Jump in! Jump in!”

And in he went and she slammed the door as Mr Ogre entered the kitchen.

“Fee-fi-fo-fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive or be he dead,

I’ll have his bones to make my bread.”

“No no, no, husband dearest, no Englishmen in here.”

“Oh, OK, if you’re sure then. Well Wife, bring me my hen that lays the golden eggs.”

So she went into the garden and found the hen.

“Lay.” Said Mr Ogre and the hen popped out an egg.

Mr Ogre was happy so Mrs O went into the garden the clean the hen house, having forgotten all about the boy.

When it was time to put the hen back in her house, Mr Ogre’s snores were shaking the roof on the house. Mrs Ogre went into the front room but the hen was nowhere to be seen. She searched high and low, calling, clucking and shaking the pot of hen food. But no hen.

Then she remembered the boy in the oven. That horrid wee boy had had taken them both for fools again. And after all her kindness too. She was furious.

However, time passed again and they got on with their ogr-ing lives until one day Mr Ogre called for his golden harp, something they both enjoyed listening to.

“Sing.” Said Mr Ogre, and they sat down to listen to her singing.

It was beautiful and lulled them into a peaceful sleep.

But they were rudely awakened by the harp calling out “Master! Master!” and Mrs Ogre instantly recognised the thief.

Both Ogres leapt from their seats and gave chase. But pottering in the kitchen hadn’t made Mrs Ogre a fast runner and Mr Ogre was well ahead of her.

They ran and they ran and they ran, until Mrs Ogre saw a beanstalk up ahead, poking through the clouds. The boy had jumped onto it and Mr Ogre was in hot pursuit.

Both he and the boy disappeared down through the cloud but as Mrs Ogre arrived at the beanstalk it began to shudder and shake.

In the next moment there was an almighty crash.

“Mr Ogre! Mr Ogre! Where are you my love?”

There was no reply and Mrs Ogre began to feel her heart break in two. She fell to her knees with a thunderclap and wept and wept and wept. A storm of rage and loss.

So, dear reader, never wonder why Ogres have such a bad reputation. So would you if your kindness had been repaid by cheating, thieving little boys.

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Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

Well done...rated up for funny.

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