There are always giants at the end of beanstalks. This was proven long before anyone knew of Jack, that poor and petulant farmer, and proven again long after. It’s a tale told time and time again, always forgotten but sometimes deciphered from the trills of uncertain cicadas. (When cicadas tell each other bedtime stories, their focus is on the beans, and not Jack.)
Sometimes the giants are angry–another boy, and another beanstalk? How can the world below suffer such tiny memory? Do they not remember this story the first time this happened, or the fiftieth?
Giants traffic in novelty, and given the nature of most human stories, you understand their ire. In the world of giants, there are no tropes, no allegories, no traditions. These things are not tools, but sins.
Most giants, though, are different. Some Jacks will climb some beanstalks, and these Jacks will smell shampoo–a strange and uniquely imperfect medley that, were Jack the sort to understand this, could be traced to thirty-seven tiny bottles of free shampoo all combined in one. You know the kind–from motels, in scents you cannot buy in bulk.
Jack will smell shampoo, and when he reaches the top he’ll see, peeking out from red shoes, blue shoes, the single solid gold toenail of a giant.
He’ll look up, and she has braided her nostril hair for the occasion. Her eyes are the color of hope.
Dance with me? she’ll ask.
And Jack and these giants, they will dance.
No one remembers the dancers, though. There is no great violence. Jack does no vanquishing. You’d think, what with girls in high places, wishing for the novelty of some young boy to find them, your storybooks would love these giants.
But this is the tradition: Giants die. And their dances are no story to pass on.