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Mashup Tale: Jack, Rapunzel, and the Magic Beans
Once upon a time, there was a poor widow with a son named Jack. They had fallen upon hard times and decided to sell their only cow. Jack who had always been captivated by magic, sold the cow for what he thought were magic beans.
His mother was furious because the cow was all they had. Jack felt bad and decided to find work. He thought perhaps some lumberjacks would hire him so he walked to the forest but soon got lost.
He was trying to find his way when he stumbled upon a tall tower with no way in except a window high up in the top.
“Hello! Anyone up there?” Jack called out.
“Who are you?” a golden-haired girl looked out the window.
“My name’s Jack. I am lost, and cold. I need to find shelter.”
The girl disappeared from the window and Jack decided she would never let him in but to his amazement, she lowered her braided hair and told him to climb up. He was freezing so Jack did not hesitate.
“Thank you,” Jack said as he warmed himself by the fire. “Are you alone here?”
“Don’t even think of making a wrong move. I can turn you into a frog!”
“I am not a bad person. I am just lost in the forest.” He asked cautiously, “Are you… a witch?”
“No!” the girl retorted. “How did you get lost in the forest?”
Jack took a deep breath, “It started with the magic beans.” He showed her the beans and told her how he got them.
“No, they’re not magic beans,” she declared.
“I know,” Jack agreed and tossed them out the window.
“This is magic,” she intoned some incantations and she vanished but in a few seconds, she reappeared. “Ugh, I could never make it work long enough.”
“Where did you learn to do that?” Jack asked.
“From the witch’s book of spells.”
“I live with one. I secretly learned her spells. I wanted to escape long ago but I was young and scared.”
“Where is she?” Jack asked nervously.
“She comes only during the day. So you have to get out of here before the sun is up,” she warned.
“She climbs up using your hair?”
“Yes. My hair has never been cut since I was small. By the way, my name is Rapunzel.”
Jack slept by the fire. He was up before the sun rose. He came to the window and was shocked by what greeted him. He called out, “Rapunzel!”
Rapunzel was at his side instantly and saw the huge beanstalk growing next to the tower with its green sturdy vines creeping by the window.
“They’re magic beans!” Jack exclaimed.
“It has grown up into the clouds,” Rapunzel observed. “Hurry, we need to climb up!”
“We? Are you crazy? I will climb the beanstalk and you stay here lest the witch will… do what angry witches do.”
“I have been waiting for a chance to get out of here and that beanstalk is my way out.” She held up a pair of scissors.
“What are you doing?”
“Cutting my hair.”
“To make it easier to climb the beanstalk.”
“No, no! You climb down. I climb up,” Jack said.
“If I go down, the witch will find me. And let us move now because she will be here any minute and you don’t want her to find us both in here.”
They climbed up for hours until they reached the top of the beanstalk. To their amazement, they found themselves in a strange but beautiful land. It is thickly wooded with wide green meadows where they collapsed in exhaustion.
Suddenly, Jack exclaimed, “A castle!”
Rapunzel was up, “Let’s go there and ask for food.”
They followed a wide road that led to the castle. As they neared, its door opened and out came an ogre. They hid behind a rock. The ogre said goodbye to his wife.
Jack and Rapunzel stared at each other and shook their heads.
They walked away in fear. A few minutes later, a lady appeared to them, “Hello, Jack. Hello Rapunzel.”
“You know our names?” they asked in unison. Then Jack asked, “Are you a fairy?”
“Yes, I am. I assume you have seen the castle?”
“An ogre lives there,” Jack said.
“Let me tell you something about that ogre,” the fairy said. “Some time ago, there was a rich and kind-hearted king who ruled his kingdom peacefully with his wife and son. His subjects loved him but the ogre grew envious and attacked the king who died. But the queen and her son escaped.”
Jack and Rapunzel listened intently.
The fairy continued, “The ogre stole the king’s gold, the hen that lays golden eggs, and the golden harp. The sad thing is that when the golden harp was removed from the kingdom, the land became barren. The people had to leave because nothing could grow in it anymore, not even grass.”
Rapunzel sighed, “How about the queen and her son?”
“They have fallen on hard times. I am the fairy tasked to restore them to their rightful place.”
Jack asked. “Are you going to take the treasures from the ogre?”
“Not me, Jack. You!”
“Those treasures belong to you and your mother. You are the king’s son.”
“You are mistaken,” Jack told the fairy, “mother never mentioned that to me.”
“Your mother has chosen to keep that secret to protect you.”
“Then why are you telling me now?”
“Because now is the time to restore your kingdom,” the fairy said. “I am your fairy godmother and I will help you.”
“Did you give me the magic beans?”
“I arranged it,” the fairy replied. “And I also brought you and Rapunzel together. She can help you with her little magic.
“Little magic?” Rapunzel was slighted.
“I will increase the strength of your spells, Rapunzel.” The fairy handed Jack a small dagger, “A little scratch with this can hurt the ogre terribly.” Then the fairy vanished before their eyes.
“Some fairy godmother…” Jack muttered under his breath. He sighed and mimicked the fairy, “Now is the time to restore your kingdom….”
“She can help you with her little magic,” Rapunzel did her own mimicry.
And they burst out laughing.
They walked back to the castle. At the door, they hesitated before they knocked.
The ogre’s wife opened it. Jack said, “Ma’am, could you spare us some food? We are lost and hungry.”
The ogress thought for a while, “Well, I will give you food but you have to do chores for me.”
The two agreed. They were led into the kitchen and given bread and milk to eat. After their meal, they were delegated to clean the kitchen and wash the pots and pans.
“Hurry up! My husband is coming home and he hates strangers.”
Just then, they heard the thumping on the door. “He’s here!” the ogress exclaimed. “Quick, into the pantry!”
Jack and Rapunzel hurried into the pantry in the kitchen corner.
“Wife, bring me my dinner!” the ogre ordered.
From where they were, Jack and Rapunzel watched as the ogre devoured his food. After dinner, he called his wife, “Bring me my gold coins!”
The ogress poured out gold coins from a bag into the table which the ogre lined up in columns. After that he called again, “Bring me the hen!” His wife came and set a hen on the table.
The ogre roared, “Lay!” In seconds, the hen laid a golden egg. The ogre grinned, then bellowed, “Bring me the harp!”
A golden harp was placed on the table and it began playing beautiful music by itself. It was so beautiful that Jack and Rapunzel fought hard not to fall asleep. In minutes, the ogre dozed off.
“How can we carry those treasures all at once?” Jack asked Rapunzel.
“I have a spell that makes things smaller. I will try it on them,” Rapunzel said.
Jack slowly pushed open the pantry door and they crept out slowly. They tiptoed to a safe distance where Rapunzel worked her spell.
Jack could hardly contain his glee when the gold coins slowly decreased in size, as well as the hen and the harp. “It worked.”
“Put them in your pockets,” Rapunzel whispered as they dashed to the table. When all the coins were in Jack’s pockets, he grabbed the hen and Rapunzel seized the harp.
To their dismay, the hen clucked and the harp screamed, “Master! Master!” Though their sounds were muted due to their small size, Jack and Rapunzel rushed out the kitchen anxiously.
Before they could even reach the door, the ogre hollered, “Wife! Wife!” Then footsteps came right after them as the harp called out, “Master! Master!”
“Now is the time to do your invisible spell,” Jack said as he took the harp from Rapunzel. They continued running as Rapunzel intoned the spell.
They froze when the ogre overtook them. To their relief, he didn’t see them. The spell worked.
“Hurry before it wears off,” Jack said.
Though the ogre was blocking the door, Rapunzel rushed out but the harp yelled, “Master! Master!”
The ogre bent down just when the invisible spell wore off and he caught sight of Jack.
He moved to grab Jack who quickly took his dagger and stabbed the monster’s thumb. He lifted his hand and jumped up and down in pain. Jack ran off and caught up with Rapunzel. The ground shook as they reached the top of the beanstalk. Then they saw the castle crumbling down.
“I hope that’s the end of the ogre,” Rapunzel said.
They climbed slowly down but they were not even half-way down when another spell was wearing off. Jack called out to Rapunzel, “The coins in my pockets are slowly going back to their size. The hen is also growing back!”
The harp was also getting larger. Jack climbed down to where Rapunzel was and took the harp from her.
“I have never done a spell twice in a day.” She proceeded to pronounce the incantations again while the treasure kept getting larger and heavier.
After the spell was cast, Jack heaved a sigh of relief, “They are not getting smaller but they stopped getting bigger. That’s good enough!”
They continued climbing down until the beanstalk started swaying back and forth. Jack did not have to look up to know that the ogre was coming down.
“We have to move faster!” Jack said.
Their descent became more difficult because the beanstalk swayed heavily but soon they saw the ground and Jack quickly jumped off. He took everything out of his pockets and started up the beanstalk.
“Where are you going?” Rapunzel asked.
“I have to stop the ogre…” Jack said but before he could finish, a shrill voice permeated the air, “Rapunzel! You wicked girl.”
The witch had her crooked finger pointed at them. Jack pulled Rapunzel behind the beanstalk as some kind of light struck it.
“You cannot escape from me, Rapunzel!” the witch shrieked as a flash of light struck the beanstalk again.
Suddenly, the huge beanstalk started to crumple like burned paper. Jack and Rapunzel raced to safety as the beanstalk folded down and the ogre came crashing on the tower and on the unsuspecting witch.
Howls and shrill screams were heard before everything became quiet. It took a long time before Jack and Rapunzel gathered courage to go back and take a look.
There were no signs of the beanstalk, the ogre, nor the witch. Only the crushed tower was there. And there were no gold coins, no hen and no harp either. Jack screamed in frustration.
Jack’s fairy godmother appeared. “Your treasures have been delivered to your mother. She is waiting for you in your kingdom which is now restored to its former glory.”
To Rapunzel, the fairy said, “I will take you back to your parents. They are good people but they have offended the witch so she took you away to punish them.”
A year later, Prince Jack stood on the palace stairs with his Queen Mother, waiting for his bride. When the golden carriage arrived, Jack came down the stairs and stood by the carriage. The beautiful golden-haired maiden came out and Jack offered his hand to her as she came down.
“Your highness,” she said and bowed gracefully.
He bowed with exaggeration, “My lady.”
Jack chuckled and Rapunzel giggled at their attempt to be formal. Then they burst out laughing as they went up to the waiting queen.
© 2015 Virgo908