Monday, September 11, 2017


You Don't Know Beans

So Jack walks into a bar and he says "I've got 5 beans. Who's with me?"

Nobody says anything at first. But then some guy says "lemme see 'em."

Jack shows him the beans and the guy says "You pay for these?"

"These ain't no ordinary beans," says Jack "these here are magic beans." He goes on like this, and pretty soon a few guys go with him.


The next morning we see this giant beanstalk coming out of the ground. Five trunks are braided and they're covered with throbbing veins that pump water up out of the earth. The dang thing shades half the town. Jack's mother says she doesn't know where he is.

So we wait a few days, but nothing happens except mushrooms are coming up everywhere and the corn isn't growing, what with dense shadow covering most of the arable land north of Jack's mother's house.

At first light on the seventh day we start in on the beanstalk. It's slow going. Then we get the idea of cutting through some of the vein-like things. Water spurts out like blood, and after a while the whole stalk kinda starts to deflate. We also mix up some salt water and squirt it up some of the tubes. Late in the evening a couple of things fall out of the sky. Some kid comes running up a few minutes later to tell us that bean pods 12 feet long are falling on the north side of town. One of them crashed right through the roof of the dentist's house. We gotta stop he says.

"No way," I tell him. "You tell Doc Wilson we'll be over to fix his roof after we're done here."

We keep going, and sometime after dark the thing starts to give. Longitudinal fibers are cracking like cannon shot and soon the noise is so steady we are half deaf. Maybe that's why, it already being dark and all, we don't realize at first when the stalk comes down.

The ground jumps and a tremendous cloud of dust explodes away from the stricken stalk. Things get quiet, and we feel pretty good until Jimmy the butcher, said "Where you figure it landed?" Don't really know what to say after that.


The beanstalk took out a good fifth of the town, but I still say it was a small price to pay. And we did get a few tons of beans out of it. But I do wonder what happened to Jack and the others, up above the sky.

Publ. Daily Cabal 2007

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