We read Jack and the Beanstalk to Tom for the first time at bedtime this evening and Mark and I were struck by something we hadn't thought of before...Jack is completely morally corrupt. First off, he's a complete idiot. I mean who would sell a cow for five beans! Granted, stupidity isn't a crime, but the nasty little creature then gets into this poor unsuspecting giant's house and steals from him not once, but on three separate occasions. Not content with a little burglary, the thieving little monster then mercilessly murders the giant, who is doing nothing more appalling than trying to get his stuff back. Granted, the version we read is aimed at the under-fives, so they don't really elaborate on the whole people-eating theme. In fact, in the version we have the giant eats his tea of jacket potatoes and jelly before falling asleep, at which point our villain strikes. The moral of this story appears to be that it's okay to steal and it's okay to kill to cover your tracks. Hmmm...think we'll push this one to the back of the bookcase!
Edited to add: I've changed the picture on this post to show you the version of the story we read to Tom. Seriously, the giant isn't even a little bit mean in this version! Tom rather likes the story though, so it is now a firm bedtime favourite!