| Jack O'Lantern (an Irish tale)

Posted by admin at 2005, October 25, 8:04 AM
More of this topic in Fairy tale

Once upon a time there lived a farmer named Jack. He had a great wit and a quick tongue, but he was lazy. Over the years his fields went to seed, all but a field of turnips, which survived in spite of Jack's neglect. Jack was known as a trickster, and no one could pull a trick on Jack. But one day there came a knock upon the door, and there stood the devil himself.

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"I'll make you a wealthy man," the devil told Jack. "All you need to do is sell your soul to me. If I know you, that won't be a worry at all."

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Now Jack was no fool. He had no interest in selling his soul to the devil. "Let me think a while," said Jack.

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"Very well," the devil said. "Let's take a walk. I'll give you time to think."

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So Jack and the devil began to walk among Jack's fields. Оxy々낱WWw.FaIrY-tAle.infoОぅィ

They stopped beneath a tall tree. That's when Jack knew how to trick the devil. "Autumn is a pretty time," he said. ョけОwWw.FAiry-tAlE.infOニК

"So it is," said the devil. くàσWWW.FAIRY-TAlE。iNFO

"A perfect time to climb a tree," Jack added. KЗwww.faIrY-tALE.Infoφξˇ∮ㄚ

"'Tis that," the devil agreed. ヵ♂Www.fAirY-TAle.inFokGに≮

Then Jack burst out laughing. "You couldn't climb a tree," he said. せWWW.FAiry-tale.InFoāμБマㄑ⊙&

"Who says I couldn't climb a tree?" the devil asked, insulted. ※ЩˇㄋRWWW.FAIRy-tale.iNfoをJ

"I say," Jack said, laughing still harder. ЕlネWwW.FaIRY-TalE.InFo9gムД|

So the devil began to climb. He climbed with difficulty because of his cloven hooves. "There you are, Jack," he called down triumphantly when he had reached the very top of the tree.

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But Jack had already carved a cross in the trunk. The devil can't pass before a cross. So the devil could not climb down the tree. "Remove that cross," the devil roared.

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"First, promise me that you'll leave and never return to tempt me anymore," Jack said.

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"I promise," growled the devil, so Jack scratched out the cross. Then the devil clambered down to the ground and ran away so fast, Jack barely saw him leave. ねケ|WWW.FAIRy-TalE.inFoュㄓョァネト

Now the years passed, and Jack continued playing tricks, but the devil never crossed his path again. And then, one day, Jack died. ムˇネㄛWWw。FAirY-tAle。INFOà

When Jack reached the gates of heaven, the angels would not let him in because of all the cruel tricks he'd played on people, but when he traveled to hell, he wasn't permitted in there either because he had tricked the devil. ǐfWww.fAIRY-taLE。inFOM±pゅūそ

"Please," he begged. υWwW.FaIrY-TalE。INfoFゥ|O◎У

But when the devil saw Jack, he remembered how Jack had humiliated him. "Go away!" he said, and he slammed the gates in Jack's face. üサwWW。fairY-TAle.InFo€ィíAヰ

"Where will I go?" Jack begged. "It's so dark out there that I can't see my way."

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So the devil picked up a pair of tongs, and handed Jack a single burning coal from the smoldering fire behind him, along with one hollowed-out turnip from Jack's fields. "Put this flame inside the turnip to light your way," the devil said. 『ǚ∷€MWwW.fAiRy-TalE.Infofǔ0c

Ever since, Jack has walked along, carrying the burning coal inside that hollow turnip to light his way. Everyone calls him Jack of the Lantern, or Jack O'Lantern. ЕWww.fAiry-TaLe.iNFo

Today we remember Jack and his lantern when we carve out pumpkins and put burning candles inside them on Halloween. wwW.fAiry-tale。INfOùゑひq#∏

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