Jack and his mother were so poor they had only a cow. When the cow stopped giving milk, his mother told Jack to sell the cow. You knew that. What about the rest of the story? What about the old man with the beans?
Why trade magic beans for a cow? The old man was a secret wizard and was dying. He wanted that cow for his granddaughter. He housed the cow in the guest bedroom and called the girl to his bedside, “I will die tonight. Listen to the cow and care for her. She will protect you.”
She buried her grandfather the next morning.
She fed the cow salads on china platters. She bathed the cow and dressed her in silk dresses. She rubbed her ears and massaged the cow’s hooves with peppermint lotion. She told her adventure tales and sang lullabies to help her sleep.
The cow said, “Moo.”
One week later, debt collectors pounded on the door. This was a time of debtor’s prisons. The girl hid in the shadows when anyone knocked.
When she served the cow breakfast in bed, she told the cow, “I know you say ‘Moo,’ but I wish you could help me.”
“You only had to ask, sweet girl. You have at least three wishes.”
“Pay off the debts and obligations of my grandfather so I can begin with a clean slate.”
Gold coins fell from the mouth of the cow.
“My second wish is to have adventures traveling the world helping people.”
“We must be properly attired.” Said the cow.
The cow transformed herself into a white mare. The girl was dressed in armor. They enjoyed twenty years of adventures in twenty days.
When they returned to the wizard’s cottage, the cow became a cow once more and asked the girl,
“What is your next wish?”
“You can have the third wish, dear cow. What do you want?”
“If you agree, I’d like to go home to Jack’s place. Will you come with me?”
The wizard’s granddaughter fell in love with Jack and married him. They had nine children. Jack’s mother and the cow cheered at the children’s harp recitals. The large wealthy family lived happily ever after.
Now you know the rest of the story, the story of Jack’s Cow.