Jack was taking his family’s prized cow to market to sell; times were hard, the coming winter was sure to be harsh and they needed money and supplies desperately. On his way, a strange old man stopped him in his path saying ”Say there, son; that’s quite a fine cow you’ve got there! How would you like to trade?” Jack looked forlorn at his cow and replied, “Sorry, mister, unless you’ve got the 200 gold pieces my papa wants me to get for her at market, I can’t!” The old man cackled and danced in a small circle and said “But you’ve no idea what I have to offer!” He reached into his pocket and revealed several small beans; “I’ll give you the LOT of these for your cow!” Jack smirked and said “Why would I trade a whole cow for handful of dumb ol’ beans?” The man laughed and danced again, “These are no ORDINARY beans!! They are MAGICAL beans!! Why, plant but ONE of these beans, even in the harshest, driest of weather, and it will you feed your family for 20 years with enough left over to sell at market making your family wealthy beyond your wildest imaginings! Why, you could buy a HERD of cattle, each finer than this one you have here!” Jack thought this over for a few seconds, wondering at how proud his father would be were he to bring home such a fine prize! Anxiously, Jack agreed; he handed over the cows leash to the old man and ran home as fast as his legs could carry him, the magic beans clenched tightly in his sweaty fist. He burst in the door shouting “Mama, papa! Come see what I’ve got!” Jack’s mother, father and two little brothers came rushing into the room where Jack proudly displayed the magic beans in his outstretched hand. “We’re going to be rich and never go hungry again!” Jack’s mother looked confusedly at the beans; “You traded our last cow… for a few beans?” “Yup,” replied Jack, brimming with pride; “ the old man said just ONE of these is enough to feed us for 20 years!” Jack’s father grabbed the beans out of Jack’s hand and threw them out the window before proceeding to beat Jack quite severely, breaking his arm, fracturing several of his ribs and covering him with every manner of welt and lesion before Jack’s mother, through panic and tears, was able to stop her husband from killing their eldest son. Jack soon after took ill as several of the lesions became gangrenous. They amputated his arm, but it was too late; the infection had spread and Jack died within the month. By that time, winter had come and it was every bit as harsh as they thought it would be; Jack’s little brothers both died of starvation and Jack’s Mother turned to selling her shriveled, malnourished body to any wayward traveler who would have her for a pittance. Shamed and in mourning, Jack’s father took to drinking heavily at the local tavern. One night, through the drunken haze he overheard the barkeep telling a rapt group of listeners about how he’d heard about an old man who’d duped some dumb kid out of his family’s prized cow for a few beans and that same old man was currently in prison serving 5 years for man-on-cow acts of bestiality. Jack’s father ran out into the night, wailing and crying, deep into the woods to escape the shame of it all. A pack of wolves heard him and attacked and killed him. Also, Jack’s mother got syphilis.
Moral of the story: children will ruin your life.