Jackson and the Giant, part 1

Jackson is a serious boy who uses his head to tackle big problems. But maybe this time he has taken on more than he can handle?

Author’s comment: Jackson started out as many of my stories do: bedtime yarn that I told to my son to get him to go to sleep. It is pretty long, taking about 20 minutes to tell aloud. If you read it to your kids, I would love to hear what their reactions are (especially if they laugh at the beaver jokes).

Jack Jackson Junior, aka Jackson Jackson, was a very serious and practical boy.

But his family was very silly. His father, Jack Jackson, was one of the most powerful men in the castle. He was the king’s most trusted adviser.

Jackson’s dad would often say, “Lighten up, Junior! Be more silly!” He wanted Jackson to walk on his hands to go to school, and made him memorize jokes.

One day, Jackson had had enough. He wanted to sit in his chair normally, and do his homework, but his mother, father and little brother were having a pie-throwing contest and his books were covered in whipped cream.

“I don’t want to be silly! Sometimes it’s good to just be practical!” shouted Jackson, and he ran out of the house, slamming the door behind him.

Just then, a terrible earthquake started shaking the ground. Shutters on windows slammed open and shut, the whole castle seemed to bounce up and down a couple of times. Everyone screamed and ran outside.

When the dust had cleared, everyone gathered in the field in front of the castle. Luckily no one had been hurt. But the castle, on the other hand…

“Make way for the king!” called a herald.

The crowd drew back to let the king pass through, followed by Jackson’s dad and the king’s other advisors.

After seeing that no one was hurt badly, the king and his entourage stopped in front of where the castle gates once stood.

“It took a hundred men ten years to build this castle. Now it’s ruined. How will we ever fix this?” said the king.

“Winter is almost here,” wailed the people. “What will we do?”

Jackson’s dad said, “No problem at all, no problem at all! If the castle wants to stand on its head, so can we,” and he stood on his hands so that his feet were straight up in the air. “It’s not hard at all once you get the hang of it.”

Everyone struggled to figure out how to stand on their hands.

Jackson spoke up.

“Stop being so silly, all of you! You say it took a hundred men ten years to build the castle the first time? What if I can find someone who is as strong as a hundred men?” he said.

Everyone stared at him.

“Beyond the sea is the land of the giants. Why don’t we ask one of them to come help us?” he asked reasonably.

“Giants don’t build castles, they break them,” said a man in the crowd, “and then they eat the people inside them.”

“It never hurts to ask,” said Jackson.

The king nodded approvingly. “Jackson,” he said to Jackson’s dad, “You and your son will go to the island of the giants and bring one back with you to help us.”

Jackson and his father bowed low. (Jackson’s dad looks unhappy with this order)

Jackson packed his bag with more practical things like food, a small tent, a little multi-tool that had a knife, an axe and a can opener, and extra warm socks. His dad packed his bag with juggle balls, a rubber chicken and a pair of cymbals. They set out to find the island of the giants.

First, they journeyed over the mountains and through a forest. Jackson’s dad kept up a constant chatter of jokes and silly songs. At night, Jackson slept in his tent while his dad insisted on sleeping like a bird in a tree.

At last they came to the edge of the sea.

(To be continued…)

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