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from Child-Story Readers: Wonder Stories 3,  by Frank N. Freeman, Grace E. Storm, Eleanor M. Johnson, & W.C. French. Illustrated by Vera Stone Norman. New York: Lyons and Carnahan, 1927-29-36. pp. 43-64

     This is a fairy tale I am sure you will enjoy. A good average reader should read it in about twenty minutes. If you want to be sure that you understand this story after you read it, build an outline of it
which contains each part of the story. Have the other pupils in the class help you build the outline. Then re-tell the story part by part.


     Long ago in a great forest, an old man and an old woman lived all alone with their one son.
     Now the son Jack had never seen any other people in all his life. But he knew that there were some more in the world besides his own father and mother because he had lots of books and he used to read every day about them.
     One day, when his father was out cutting wood, Jack told his mother that he wished to go out and see the world, and see some other people. He said, "I see nothing at all here but great trees all around me. If I stay here, maybe I shall go mad before I shall see anything."
     "Well, well, my boy," said the old woman, "if you will go, here is a big cake for you. You may get hungry on the road."
     So Jack took the cake and started off down the road. Soon he met his father and the old man said:
     "Where are you going, my son?"
     Then said Jack, "I am going out to see the world, father."
     "Well," said his father, "I am sorry to see you go. But if you want to, it is better for you to go."

     Then the old man drew out of his pocket a golden box and said to Jack: "Take this little box, Jack. Put it in your pocket and be sure not to open it till you are near death."
     Away went Jack down the road. He walked till noon time, when he sat down and ate his cake.
     When night came, he was very tired and hungry. By and by he saw a light and he walked toward it.
     Soon he came to a house. He found the back door and knocked. A maid servant came and asked him what he wanted.
     Then said Jack, "Night is on me, and I want to get some place to sleep."
     The maid servant called him in to the fire and gave him plenty to eat. As he was eating, in came the young lady of the house. When she saw Jack she loved him, and he loved her. Then the young lady ran to tell her father, saying: "There is a pretty young man in the kitchen."
     Immediately the gentleman came and questioned Jack, and asked what work he could do.


     Jack, the silly fellow, said that he could do anything. He meant that he could do any bit of work that would be wanted about the house.
     "Well," said the gentleman to him, "if you can do anything, at eight o'clock in the morning I must have a great lake and some of the largest man-of-war vessels sailing before my house. One of the largest vessels must fire a royal salute, and the last round must break the leg of the bed where my young daughter is sleeping. If you don't do that, you will lose your life.
     "All right," said Jack. Then away he went to his bed.
     He slept till it was near eight o'clock. He had hardly any time to think what he was to do. All of a sudden he remembered about the

little golden box that his father gave him. He said to himself:
     "Surely I was never so near my death as I am now."
     He felt in his pocket and drew out the little box. When he opened it, out hopped three little red men who asked Jack:
     "What is your will with us?"
     "Well," said Jack, "I want a great lake and some of the largest man-of-war vessels in the world before this house. I want one of the largest vessels to fire a royal salute, and the last round to break one of the legs of the bed where this young lady is sleeping."
     "Very well," said the little men. "It shall be done."
     Jack had hardly time to get the words out of his mouth, to tell the little men what to do, when the clock struck eight.
     Bang! Bang! went one of the largest war vessels. It made Jack jump out of bed to look through the window. It was a wonderful sight for him to see, after living so long with his father and mother in a wood.
     Jack dressed himself and went downstairs laughing. He was proud because the thing was done so well.
     The gentleman came to him and said, "Well, my young man, I must say that you are very clever, indeed. Come and have some breakfast."
     While they were eating breakfast, the gentleman said:
     "Now there are two more things for you to do, and then you shall have my daughter in marriage. First you must fell all the great trees for miles around by eight o'clock in the morning."
     This Jack did, and it pleased the gentleman well.
     Then said the gentleman to Jack, "The last thing you have to do is this. You must get me a great castle standing on twelve golden pillars. Many regiments of soldiers must pass before the castle and go through their drills. At eight o'clock the officer must say, "Shoulder arms."
     "It shall be as you say," said Jack.
     Sure enough, when the third and last morning came, the third great feat was finished. Then Jack had the young daughter in marriage.


     But this is not the end of the story. There is more to come yet.
     The gentleman now made a large hunting party and invited all the gentlemen around the country to it.
     Jack rode a beautiful black horse and wore a scarlet coat in the hunt.
     After the gentleman and all his guests had left for the hunt, a servant was hanging up Jack's clothes. He put his hand in one of Jack's pockets and pulled out the little golden box which Jack had left behind by mistake.
     The servant was curious to know what might be in the box, so he opened it. Out hopped the three little red men and asked him what he wanted with them.

     "Well," said the servant to them, "I want this castle moved far across the sea."
     "All right," said the little red men, "do you wish to go with it?"
     "Yes," said he.
     "Well, get ready," said they to him; and away they went far over the great sea.
     Now when the grand hunting party came back and when the gentleman discovered that the castle upon the twelve golden pillars had disappeared, he threatened to take Jack's beautiful young wife away from him.
     Jack begged the gentleman to give him twelve months and a day to look for the castle.
     So poor Jack started in search of his missing castle. He traveled over hills and valleys and through deep woods and dark forests.
     At last he came to the place where lived the King of all the little mice in the world. One of the little mice was on guard at the front gate going up to the palace, and he tried to stop Jack from going in.

     Jack said to the little mouse, "Where does the King live? I should like to see him."
     Then the little mouse took Jack to the King. Jack told the King his story, how he had lost the great castle, and how he had twelve months and a day to find it. Then Jack asked the King whether he knew anything about it. "No," said the King, "but I am King of all the little mice in the world, and I will call them all up in the morning. Maybe they have seen your castle."

     Jack had a good supper and went to bed. In the morning he and the King went out in the fields where the King called all the mice together. Jack never saw so many mice. They came from every barn, hole, field, and cellar. The King asked them whether they had seen the great beautiful castle standing on
golden pillars.
     All the little mice said, "No." Not one of them had seen it.
     Then the old King said to Jack:
     "I have two other brothers. One is King of all the frogs; and my othcr brother, who is the oldest, is King of all the birds in the world. If you will go to them, perhaps they will know something about the missing castle. Leave your horse here with me till you come back, and take one of my best horses. Give this cake to my brother. He will know then whom you got it from. Tell him I am well, and should like dearly to see him. Good-bye." Then the King and Jack shook hands.


     As Jack went through the gate, the little mouse on guard asked to go along.
     "No," said Jack, "I shall get myself into trouble with the King."
     But the mouse said, "It will be better for you to let me go with you. Maybe I shall do some good for you sometime without you knowing it."
     "Jump up, then," said Jack.
     The little mouse ran up the horse's leg and made it dance. Jack put the mouse into his pocket and trudged on his way.
     He traveled for many days. At last he found the castle of the king of the frogs.
     There on guard at the gate with a gun on his shoulder was one of the frogs. He tried to stop Jack from going in. But when Jack told him he wanted to see the King, he allowed him to pass.
     Jack went up to the castle door. The King came out and asked him his business. Jack told him all from beginning to end.
     "Well, well," said the King. "Come in and spend the night with me."
     Early the next morning, the King made a queer sound and called together all the frogs in the world. Then he asked them, did they know or see anything of a castle that stood upon twelve golden pillars.
     But the frogs all croaked, "No."
     Then Jack took another horse and a cake and set out to the King of all the fowls of the air.
     As Jack was going through the gates, the little frog that was on sentry asked to go with him. Jack refused him for a bit, but at last he told him to jump up. Then Jack put him in his other coat pocket.
     Away Jack went on his great long journey. He traveled three times as far this time before he found the castle of tbe oldest brother.
     There at the gates was a fine bird on guard. Jack passed him without trouble and went straight to the King. He talked with the King, and told him everything about the missing castle.
     "Well," said the King to him, "you shall know in the morning from my birds whether they know anything or not."
     Jack put his horse in the stable; and after having something to eat went to bed.
     The next morning he went out with the King into the fields. The King made a funny noise. Soon the sky was black with birds. There came all the fowls that were in all the world. Then the King asked them:
     "Did any of you see the fine castle standing on twelve golden pillars?"
     All the birds answered, "No."
     Then the King said, "Where is the great bird?"
     No one had seen the eagle.


     The King sent two little birds high up in the sky to whistle to him to hurry. They had to wait a long time for the eagle to make his appearance. When at last he arrived the King asked the great bird:
     "In your travels did you see the great castle upon twelve golden pillars?"
     "Yes," replied the eagle, "I came from there now."
     "Well," said the King, "this young gentleman has lost it. You must go back to it with him. But stop till you get something to eat."
     They killed a calf and sent the best part of it to feed the eagle on his journey over the seas. Then with Jack on his back, the eagle set out. They traveled across the sea for seven days and seven nights. On the morning of the eighth day they came in sight of the castle.

Now they had found the castle, but they did not know how to get the little golden box.
     They thought and thought. At last the little mouse peeped out of Jack's pocket and said:
     "Let me down and I will get the box for you."
     So the eagle flew down to the great steps. The little mouse stole into the castle and got hold of the box. As he was coming down the stairs, he fell down with the box and was very near being caught. He was all out of breath as he came running out with it.
     "Did you get the golden box?" cried Jack.
     "Yes," replied the little mouse.
     Jack seized the mouse and the golden box and put both into his pocket. Off they went again, and left the castle behind.
     As they were flying over the great sea, Jack, the mouse, the frog, and the eagle all fell to quarreling about who it was that got the little box. By looking at it and passing it from one hand to the other, they dropped the golden box to the bottom of the sea.
     "Well, well," said the frog, "I knew that I would have to do something. Let me down into the water."
     The eagle flew low and the frog dived into the sea. He was down there for three days and three nights. At last he came up, and showed his nose and little mouth out of the water.
     At once Jack, the mouse. and the eagle asked him, "Did you get it?"
     "No," said he.

     "Well, what are you doing up here?" asked they.
     "Nothing at all," replied the frog, "I came up to get my breath."
     Then the poor little frog went down the second time. He was down for a day and a night, but on the second morning he came up with the little box.
     Away they went, after being there four days and four nights. Over seas and mountains the eagle flew till he brought them back to the palace of the old King, who was master of all the birds in the world.
     The King was glad to see them, and gave them a hearty welcome.
     Jack opened the little box and told the three little red men to go back and bring the castle with the golden pillars there to him.
     The three little red men went off in a great hurry. When they came near the castle, they were afraid to go near till the gentleman and lady and all the servants were gone out to a dance. Then they ran off with the castle at full speed.
     At length, after a merry journey they came again to Jack and the King.
     Now Jack's time of twelve months and a day was almost gone. Besides he wished to go home to his young wife. So he gave orders to the three little men to get ready by eight o'clock the next morning to be off on the journey to the next brother.
     After thanking the King of all the birds of the air for his kindness, away went Jack and his castle again.

     They stopped one night with the King of all the frogs. Then away they went again to the youngest brother, the master of all the mice in the world.
     Jack shook hands with the King, and returned many thanks to him for his help in finding the castle.
     Then Jack told the little red men to spur up and put on speed. So off they went towards home.
     It was not long before they reached their journey's end. Out came the young wife to meet Jack, and they all lived happily ever afterward.
-Jacob's English Fairy Tales.