Monday, May 3, 2010

A Welcome Welcome

As Jack walked
He wondered what to say
To such rich people
As would live in
A castle on a cloud.

Never had Jack seen
Rich people before.
He would have to
Consider that, yet
Jack felt very hungry
And thought maybe,
Just maybe, people
So rich as to live on clouds
Might feed a poor boy.

And so it was
That Jack came
To the looming door,
And, after scratching
His Considering Cap,
He reached high
On his tippy toes

And barely budged the knocker
That was heavy and iron
And as big around
As a barrel.

Went the knocker,
Ever so faintly,

Requiring all Jack’s strength.

Jack considered
Running away—considered
Climbing right back
Down the beanstalk.

But he considered again—
How hungry he was.

And so he stayed waiting
At the bottom of the big door.

Which, after a huge clang
And much creaking,
Leaving Jack nearly
Scarred from his wits.

For there before him stood
A giant as tall as the buildings
In the village, at least
Two stories, if not more,
If not as tall as the chimneys
In the village,
Which were very tall.

A very tall giant.

Was this the giant everyone told of
Who ate children in their sleep?

“Hello, little boy,” said the giant,
Bending toward him.
Yes, this was a giant,
No doubt of that,
But this giant had a kindly face;
A grandmother sort of face,
And the face smiled.

“Hello,” said Jack.

“It’s very nice of you to come,”
Said the kindly voice. “But you
Really must leave. My husband
Eats little children like you, you know.”

“I didn’t know!” said Jack.

“Well he does. He’s off hunting even now.
You mustn’t be here when he returns!”

Jack gave a scratch to his Considering Cap.
“But I’m ever so hungry,” Jack said.

“Ah,” said the kindly voice.
“Yes, you do look wan.”

And so the kindly giant led Jack through the castle grounds and into a vast banqueting hall with roaring fire.

A Question of Complicity

Why was it then
That she stayed there,

Complicity agreeing,

In her small way,
But none the less—

The thefts, the murders. . .
Her complicity?
All Things Delightful

Inside the banqueting hall Jack felt quite small.
Teacups were the size of laundry kettles.
Chairs were as tall as hedges.
And the fireplace was the size of his cottage.

Yet the warmth of the room comforted him, and a beautiful music filled the room. The music he had heard in his sleep! He looked about the room and saw there in a corner a golden harp that played of its own accord and had carved on it the face of a beautiful goddess.

The music was as
Sweet as honey,
As dark as molasses,
As mysterious as
The darkest night.

And the smell in the room. It was hasty pudding!

“You will be wanting hasty pudding,” said the kindly giant.
With that, she ladled a bowlful as large as the tub Jack used for washing.

Ah, thought Jack, if only I could take some of this pudding to Mother!

The giant smiled.

“What a lovely hen!” Jack commented as he ate. And she was.

“Yes, said the giant. And she is a magic hen. She lays eggs of gold!”

Golden eggs! thought Jack. How marvelous was this place.

Jack ate and ate. And then ate some more, to his heart’s content, using his hands, since the giant could find no spoon small enough for Jack.

Jack was a very content boy.

That is, until the giant started, looking frightened.
“I hear my husband!” the giant wife said. “You must hide!”

And indeed when he listened to something besides the music, Jack heard it too—the stomp, stomp, stomp of tremendous feet.

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