It's friday, and the first Friday of the month, making it my favorite day of the the month! I get to intriduce a new fairytale theme, attend my favorite MOPS group, and the weekend is in clear view!
This month is Jack and the Beanstalk. I choose this tale because, while I look out my window, I see the earth is covered in snow, but the reminder that it is now March tells me that soon plants will be growing again! Granted, I have no magic beans myself, and winters seems to last until May here, but I can keep dreaming about the sun's return!
The basics of the story is a boy named Jack takes his cow to market to sell by request of his mother, who is too poor to provide needs. Jack meets a salesman that convinces him to trade the cow for magic beans. Disghusted with Jack's trade, his mother throws the beans out of th window which grows into a larger that life beanstalk reaching the clouds.
As boys are, Jack sees this as a challange and climbs to the top of the stalk. There above the clouds is a giant's domain. He visits the place three times, each time stealing one of the giants possesions. First, the giants gold, second the gold egg-laying goose, and third an enchanted harp.
Enraged the Giant follows Jack down the beanstalk, only to be defeated when Jack reaches the end first and chops it down. Jack and his mother live happily ever after in riches with the new artifacts of the giant's home.
I really dislike the message this fairytale brings. Jack is a thief, and his mother comes off as a lazy unsupportive mother. The Giant is the victim. For all we know, the giant is just a retired wealthy man who hates to be disturbed by these Englishmen.
Despite the message, it's still one of my favorites. I have to laugh at that. I am not sure what makes it endearing, but golden eggs, and a magic harp seem worth the wrong.
There are many versions of the beanstalk tale, but my favorite is the 1967 musical starring Gene Kelly. But I'm biased, because Gene Kelly is one of the best nostalgic musical stars. I so was meant for that era!
Disney also has a version; part of the Fun and Fancy Free animated film. I'm not as impressed with it (Shame on me for being a huge Disney fan!), for some reason I just doesn't hold my interest. Then again, no Mickey Mouse Cartoon ever did.
So I've got a lot in store for this month, but it's going to be extremely busy! Bear with me if I'm not completely on top of everything! :0)