Jack looked carefully at the mysterious old man. His face was warm and friendly and his voice was kind. Jack felt sure he was telling the truth – that the beans really were magic - and that he would treat Daisy well.
‘I will accept your offer,’ said Jack. But please promise to take good care of Daisy.’
‘Of course I will,’ replied the old man with a smile.
Jack took the beans from the old man’s hand and put them in his pocket.‘Ah, before I forget, there’s one more thing...’ said the man. He reached into his coat and pulled out a pair of new shoes. ‘These are for you,’ he said. ‘You’re going to need them!’
The shoes fitted Jack perfectly. ‘Thank you very much,’ he said. Then he turned to Daisy and stroked her ear.
‘Goodbye, my friend,’ he whispered. ‘One day we will see each other again!’
Daisy nuzzled Jack’s face, as if to say goodbye.
Jack carried on walking home. It felt strange without Daisy and he was missing her already. But he was also feeling rather pleased with himself. The shoes were warm and comfortable. As for the magic beans, well, Ma was sure to be delighted...wasn’t she?
Ma was certainly delighted about one thing. ‘Well done for selling Daisy!’ she cried when Jack got home. ‘Did you get five gold coins?’
‘I did better than that,’ replied Jack. ‘Open your hand and shut your eyes, Ma. I’ve got a big surprise...’
Ma did as Jack asked. He carefully put the five beans on her outstretched hand. But when she opened her eyes, Ma’s smile turned to a look of horror. ‘Beans!’ she spluttered.
‘They’re magic beans,’ said Jack. ‘A kind old man gave them to me in return for Daisy. He said they will bring us riches. Perhaps they will turn into gold beans – just think of all the food we could buy with that!’
Ma was furious. ‘Oh Jack, you’ve been tricked!’ she cried.
‘But I trust the man,’ insisted Jack. ‘The beans really are magic – I’m sure of it.’
But Ma only said: ‘You’re to go to bed right now - without any supper! Not that there is anything for supper…or breakfast tomorrow. We can’t even eat these dried up beans. They’re only fit for the birds!’
And with that, Ma opened the window - and flung the beans out into the garden.