The next morning when Jack opened the curtains, he saw something very strange.
In the same place where his mother had thrown the beans, there was a giant, green beanstalk. It stretched from the ground, up, up, up… all the way to the clouds.
“The beans really are magic!” whispered Jack. "The old man was telling the truth!"
Jack's mother was still asleep, so Jack decided to climb the beanstalk to look for the riches the old man had described.
"Just five gold coins. That's all I need to make my mother happy," thought Jack.
Jack climbed up, up, up, higher and higher into the clouds. When he reached the top, he was very hungry. He saw a castle in the distance.
"Maybe I can find something to eat in that castle…" he thought.
Jack walked up to the door of the castle and knocked twice. Knock knock!
A giantess opened the door. She was as big as a house, but she had a warm smile and gentle eyes.
"Excuse me, Mrs. Giant," said Jack. "Could you please give me something to eat? I am so hungry!"
"Oh you poor boy!" said the giantess. She could see that Jack was very thin. "Of course! Come in! Come in!"
The kind giantess gave Jack some vegetable stew. He was enjoying it so much that he didn't notice when the kitchen table started to shake.
Stomp... Stomp... Stomp… Loud footsteps echoed down the hallway.
"Oh dear," whispered the giantess. "That is my husband! He is home from work! He doesn't like humans! Quick! Hide!"
Jack hid in the pantry.
The giant stomped into the kitchen and sniffed the air.
"FEE FI FO FUM! ... Hello my beautiful wife...
Wait! Do I smell a human man? YUCK! WHERE IS HE?"
"Good evening, my darling husband," replied the giantess. "There is nobody here. You smell the vegetable stew, nothing more."
"Good," grunted the giant. "I hate humans." He sat down at the table in the kitchen.
The giant took out a small sack of gold coins out of his pocket and counted them. One... two... three... four... five gold coins.
Jack watched from inside the pantry. "Five gold coins!" thought Jack. "If I had that money, I could fix our house!"
When the two giants left the room, Jack stole the five gold coins and slipped them into his bag. "This is all I need!" thought Jack.
But then Jack remembered that his family no longer had a cow. Without a cow, they would surely starve. He decided to stay and look for other treasures.
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