|Jack lived at home with his mother and younger sister. One day, his mother said, “Jack, we are running out of food. Would you go to the market and see what you can buy?” Jack agreed.Jack went outside. His family owned three goats and a cow. He thought, We don’t have a lot of money. I should take one of the animals to the market. Maybe someone will trade food for it.He tied a rope around the neck of one of the goats, then started down the road to the market. When he arrived, he tried to find someone willing to trade for the goat, but nobody seemed to want it. Everyone he talked to asked, “What would I do with a goat?”
After a long day at the market, Jack was tired. The sun was setting, he’d been walking around all day, and he still didn’t have food for his family. He wished he’d left the goat home, and brought coin money instead. He didn’t want to have to walk all the way home with a goat, with nothing to show for being in the market all day.
Just as he was about to leave, a man walked up to him. The man wore a black coat that hung to his knees.
|He said, “I see you’ve had some trouble selling that goat.” The man reached into one of the coat’s giant pockets and pulled out a handful of seeds. He said, “I’ve been looking for a goat. Would you be willing to trade her for these fine seeds?”Jack nearly laughed. A goat for a pile of seeds? he thought. That won’t feed my mother and sister this winter.The man seemed to know what Jack was thinking. He smiled and said, “These seeds aren’t as they seem. They’re magic seeds. If you plant them, you’ll get the biggest, best-looking plants you’ve ever seen in less than no time.”Jack thought for a minute. Plants like that would be good to have. He could plant some as soon as he got home and have fresh vegetables ready for supper.
“How can you prove it?” he asked. He didn’t want to be tricked – anyone could claim to have special seeds for sale, but that didn’t make it true.
The man thought for a moment, then handed one of the seeds to Jack.