Buck and the Beanstalk

Point of view Challenge: Jack and the Beanstalk

Prompt: Re-tell this story from the first person point view from a character of your invention. Any first-person narrators are unreliable because the telling always is leans toward their personal agenda. 


“How in the Sam hill don’t y’all understand? Mr. Jensen, it’s like I told ya. It’s all that Jack’s fault. If he hadn’t gone up that beanstalk everything would be just fine.”

The chair was hard against my butt. I rubbed my hands against my thighs, the calluses of my fingers catchin’ on the worn fabric. There ain’t no way this fancy pants was gonna keep me from my money. I may not be the brightest light in the box, but damned if Jack would be the only benifitin’ from his stupidity. 

Jack had done gone up that beanstalk and come back with gold. So I followed ’em up the very next day. No one knows. But I wasn’t just comein’ back with gold. I was salesman. I could sell a ‘tater as a ‘mater to a farmer.

“Mr. Thorton,” Mr. Jensen started. He leaned forward to rest his forearms on his desk. His hands clasped together.


Mr. Jensen took a long breath. “Buck. As we’ve discussed the damage to your property was very clearly not from an external source.”

I could tell that Jensen was just like all those other city boys. Crisp suit and brushed hair, straight back and upturned nose. There he sat thinkin’ he was better than me ’cause my ripped jeans and the way I talked. Well, I’d show him.

“What in tarnation does that mean? Speak English, man.” I threw my hands into the air. “Mr. Insurance Man, I told you. The beanstalk fell on my home. Y’all heard the story. Jack sold his momma’s cow fer those magic beans. Overnight it grew all the way up to the heavens. So what’s he do? He climbs it. Not one day, but three! He’s nuttier than a squirrel turd!”

Mr. Jensen blinked slowly at me. I’d seen this before. For an educated man, he ain’t got the sense God gave an ant.

“Mr. Thom….Buck. The damage to your home was proven to come from an explosion originating from inside the home. The roof of your house was blown outward and was not caused by something falling in on it.”

“Y’all calling me a liar?” I stood, leaning over the desk and into his personal space. “Cause I’ll tell you that I take pride in my words. There ain’t no way that what y’all say is true. The beanstalk fell on my house. That’s why I’m here.”

Alright, He didn’t need to know that I followed Jack up and found my own treasure. He didn’t need to know that the magic flute I found, made a noise like screaming beaver. I’d just thought someone might pay a pretty penny for such a treasure. Well, not me, but someone. I ain’t that stupid. He also didn’t need to know that the golden egg I’d stolen would ‘splode if the flute was played. Come to find out that’s how the giant tamed that goose. Mammas protect their babies. 

Jensen leaned back his eyes wide. I was a big man and, to someone like him, there was no doubt the things he chose to see my eyes.

“Mr. Thorton, please take a seat. There’s no need…” 

I cut him off, “You sir are calling me a liar and I don’t take that. Not from anyone!”

Jensen shuffled through the paperwork on his desk. The stamp he pulled from his drawer made a resounding thunk as he pressed it to the claim. 


“I thank you for your time, sir,” I said, grabbing the paper and exiting his office.

I was gonna be rich!

Originally Published on OBW Blog November 13, 2020 © Tracey Canole and updated again September 24, 2021