Jennings & Ponder: World Tales & Celtic Music
PO Box 522 Montpelier VT 05601

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Folktales 4U


The Eating Contest

(Boots who ate a match with the troll)


Once there were were three brothers. And the King sent one of them into the forest to chop some wood, he was the oldest. And while he was chopping, a giant came along, and grabbed him up.


[Grab him, lift him to eye level, look at him, point at him, and speak like a giant-- giants talk slow, and rough-and-gruff, and thick-- like a ridiculous John Wayne, maybe.]


"Hey, you. This is my forest. No chopping in my forest. I'm gonna eat you up."


[toss him in your mouth and--- glup-- swallow him whole]


So, a little while later, the king sent the next brother in, and he was chopping wood, and the giant heard him, and grabbed him up.

[same as before]


"Hey you. This is my forest. No chopping. I'm gonna eat you up."

[toss, glup]


So, then the King sent the youngest brother, who was named Jack. But before he went, he got some cottage cheese, and put it in a little cloth bag, and he put it in his pocket,


[as you speak, without taking any time or making any fuss, show putting it in a pocket. You don't have to put your hand in a real pocket, pretend you're wearing a jacket if you can't easily slip your hand in for real.]


and he got a white bird, and he put it his other pocket.

[same as above, on other side]

And he got a big bag, and he stuffed it down into his shirt, like this.

[Pull out the neck of your shirt and right after "and he," stuff it in, easily & casually, as above. By the way, the neck of the sack should be at the top of your shirt, just so you know. Some people say, "A big bag with a rope around the top, and he hung it around his neck, like this, and stuffed it down into his shirt." This is nice, but for this telling, I was going for minimum words.]


So then he went into the forest, and he climbed up a tree, and he started chopping up near the top of the tree. The giant came along, and said

[Look up at Jack, near the top of the tree. Point]

"Hey you. This is my forest. No chopping in my forest!"

Jack said--

[Look down at Giant, from the tree. Keep these stances, as you tell.]

--"I didn't know this was your forest. What makes it your forest?"

Giant said, "Cause I'm big, and strong, and tough, and I take what I want."

Jack said, "Well, look, I'm all the way up here, I'm bigger than you are."

Giant said, "Yeah, you are all the way up there. You are bigger than me. But still, I'm strong and tough."

Jack said, "I bet I'm stronger than you are. Look, I'll bet you can't do this." And he took out his bag full of cottage cheese and said, "See this white stone?"

[Show this: go "into" your "pocket," take it out, hold it in front, "showing" it to the audience as Jack would show it to the giant. Again, nothing fancy, do it while you're talking, just the way you would if you were telling something that happened.]


"Well, I'm gonna squeeze it so hard, I'm gonna squeeze the juice out" And he went "Ng! Ng! Ng!"

[show him squeezing the bag]

And the water ran out of the bag through the cloth.


The giant went "I can do that!"

[remember, keep the giant charecter-- rough, gruff, and slow-talking.]

And he leaned over and picked up a white rock, and went "Ng ng ng", but nothing happened, he just hurt his hand.

So the Giant said, "I'm still stronger than you. I bet you can't do this." And he threw the stone up as hard as he could, straight up into the air, so high up you couldn't see it, and the Giant counted "One...Two....Three...Four..." and he got all the way up to a hundred, and then the rock came back down and landed nearby.

So Jack said, "That's nothing, I can throw a rock so hard, it'll never come back down at all." And he went to his pocket, and took out the bird, and threw it up, and the bird flew away. The giant waited and waited, but the bird never came back down.

[show all this, the same way, easily as you talk]


So the Giant said, "Well, you're bigger than me, and stronger than me, but I bet I can eat more than you."

Jack said, "Let's find out, we'll have a contest."


They went to the Giant's house, and made up a big pot of oatmeal. The giant put two big bowls on the table, and said, "Ready. Begin." Jack waited a second until the Giant was busy eating, and he

[show this. Pick up the bowl, pull out the neck of your shirt, and dump ]

quick dumped the oatmeal into the bag. Then he said

[hold out bowl]

"More please."


The giant said, "hunh!" and dished out another bowl, and went back to eating and Jack quick dumped the oatmeal

[same business]

and... "More please!"

[you can do this more often if it's working]

So finally the bag is really full, and it's sticking way out in front of Jack, and it looks like his belly.

[lean back, pat the belly way out in front of you]


And the giant said,

[hunched over bowl, unhappy]

"Uh! I can't eat another bite. I never would have believed a little guy like you could eat so much. Don't you have a stomach ache?"


And Jack said, "Yeah, I do. But I'll show you how to get rid of a stomach-ache."

[Show the following, as you talk]


And he took up a knife, and stuck it into the bag, like this, and all the oatmeal came pouring out.

[little waving motion to show the oatmeal coming out]


And the giant said, "What? Don't it hurt?"


And Jack said, "Not if you're tough!"


And the Giant said, "Well, I'm tough!" And he picked up a knife and went UN!


And that was the end of the Giant.


And that's the end of the story.

Folktales 4U
Jennings & Ponder: World Tales & Celtic Music
PO Box 522 Montpelier VT 05601

home page: