WARY-TALES: Ben and the Beans Talk; or How Ben Sold his ass, cheap


There was once a boy called Ben who was brave and quick-witted. He lived with his brothers, John and Larry in a small ballpark and their most valuable possession was their jackass, Josh. But the day came when Josh gave them no milk and Ben’s brothers said he must be sold.

“Take him to market,” they told Ben, “and mind you get a good price for him.

So Ben set out to market leading Josh by his halter. After a while he sat down to rest by the side of the road.

An old man, a General Manager from Chicago, came by and Ben told him where he was going.

“Don’t bother to go to the market,”

the GM said. “Sell your jackass to me. I will pay you well. Look at these beans. Only plant them, and overnight you will find you have the finest bean plants in all the world. You’ll be better off with these beans than with an old jackass or players or prospects. Now, how many is five, Ben?”

“Two in each hand and one in your mouth,” replied Ben, as sharp as a needle.

“Right you are, here are five beans,” said the old GM and he handed the beans to Ben and took Josh’s halter.
When he reached home, his brothers, John and Larry said, “Back so soon, Ben? Did you get a good price for Josh?”

Ben told them how he had exchanged the jackass for five beans and before he could finish his account, his brothers started to shout and box his ears. “You lazy good-for-nothing boy!” they screamed, “How could you hand over our jackass for five old beans? What will we live on now? We shall starve to death, you stupid boy.”

They flung the beans through the open window and sent Ben to bed without his supper.