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A Handful of Beans
A Handful of Beans
A Handful of Beans
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A Handful of Beans

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From the beloved children’s book duo, Jeanne and William Steig, comes six classic fairy tales retold with a refreshing twist that will keep you laughing from beginning to end!

“Is it Crumple or Blister, or Guggle or Nank? Williwaw, Flimflam, or Hiccup or Clank?” Says the Queen to Rumplestiltskin, of course!

In this delightfully odd and sublime collection of six classic fairy tales, Jeanne and William Steig put a quirky twist on “Rumplestiltskin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Frog Prince,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Retold in illustrated verse, A Handful of Beans is a wry and highly amusing take on the tales you thought you knew.
Data lansării2 feb. 2016
A Handful of Beans
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Jeanne Steig

Jeanne Steig is the author of several books for children including, most notably, Consider the Lemming, The Old Testament Made Easy, Alpha Beta Chowder, A Handful of Beans, and A Gift from Zeus; all of which were illustrated by her late husband and award-winning author/illustrator, William Steig. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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    A Handful of Beans - Jeanne Steig



    A poor miller went to sell flour to the King, and when he had finished his business, he couldn’t resist a bit of bragging. My daughter, he said, is more beautiful than all the flowers in Your Majesty’s garden.

    Hum, hum, said the King.

    What’s more, the miller went on, she is far more clever than all of Your Majesty’s wise men.

    Well, isn’t that nice, yawned the King.

    And, said the miller, who couldn’t begin to control his tongue, that girl can spin straw into gold.

    Why, the sweet thing! She sounds enchanting, said the King, who was known far and wide for his greed. Bring her around tomorrow at dawn. I’ll give her a little test.

    There was nothing the foolish miller could do but deliver his poor daughter up to the King, who wasted no time but led her at once to a huge room full of straw.

    There is your wheel, he told her. Get busy, my girl. You have till tomorrow morning to spin every blade of this straw into gold.

    That cannot be done! she cried.

    But the King said only, If you fail, you die. And he left her, locking the door behind him. When she was alone, she sat herself down at the wheel, gazed at the mountain of straw, and wept, for her beauty was useless, and her cleverness, too.

    All at once the door flew open, and in stomped a bizarre little man with a pickle-shaped nose and a lumpish body. He was just as tall as a sack of grain, and his clothes were outlandish.

    "What are you bawling and squalling about?

    Some fiddle-dee-diddle, I have no doubt,"

    he roared, with a snaggletoothed grin.

    If I don’t spin this straw into gold, I must die, she sobbed, and it can’t be done.

    "No, it can’t be done by you, my dear,

    As any clod can see,

    But give me those beads from around your neck

    And leave the job to me!"

    She gave him her beads, and he took his place at the wheel and began to spin. As the wheel raced and the reels filled up with gold, he sang:

    "A handful of straw and a whir, whir, whir,

    A thistle, a nettle, a cockleburr.

    Three times round, and the job is done,

    The beads are mine, and the gold is spun!"

    The sun hardly had time to raise its head when the King arrived. My, my, said he, staring at his new gold, what a lovely surprise. We must do this again. And he led the girl into another room full of straw, much larger than the first. I’ll see you tomorrow at dawn, he said. Spin for your life.

    Again the miller’s daughter wept, and again the door flew open.

    "What a terrible snuffle and screak and moo,

    It makes my blood run cold—

    When the one little thing you’ve been asked to do

    Is turn this straw to gold,"

    drawled the odd little person, glancing about with his odd little smile.

    But it can’t be done, said she.

    The fellow gave her a little pat, and crooned:

    "Well, it can’t be done by you, Young Miss,

    Not even to please a king,

    But I’m happy to do the job myself

    For the gift of your pretty ring."

    The girl pulled the little ring from her finger and gave it to him, and he sat down at once and began to spin and sing:

    "A handful of straw and a whir, whir, whir,

    Peppergrass, pigweed, and cockleburr.

    Three times round and the job is done,

    The ring is mine and the gold is spun!"

    The King arrived with the sun’s first rays, as happy as a hog

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