Tall Tales

Jack and the Corn Stalk

A Kansas Tall Tale 

retold by

S. E. Schlosser

Once, a Kansas farmer sent his son Jack to check on the growth of the corn in the field. Now Jack was not a tall lad, so he decided to take a ladder with him. When he found a nice big stalk of corn, he leaned the ladder against it and climbed up until he could reach the first joint. From there, he proceeded to the top of the cornstalk, and looked out over the field. There was enough corn there for a rich harvest.

Excited by his discovery, Jack started back down the corn stalk. He realized suddenly that it had kept growing while he was at the top. He stepped from joint to joint, but it grew so fast he never reached the ground.

Meanwhile, Jack's father wondered what was taking the boy so long. He knew there was no use in hunting for him in the forest of corn, so he climbed to the top of the windmill. He saw Jack's predicament soon enough, and gathered the neighborhood men. They tried to chop down the cornstalk, but the cornstalk was growing so fast there were eighteen inches separating every chop. Finally, they gave up, and Jack was forced to stay on the corn stalk until a drought came and it finally stopped growing.


Famous characters Ghost Stories Folktales


Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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