Axe and the Beanstalk

Photo by Robert Hrovat on Unsplash

I have every right to be angry! I am the pivotal character in this story and I bet you don’t even know my name. Forget this story, I have been in hundreds of fairy tales, you know. 

The sheer disrespect with which they treat me is the reason why the fairy tale industry is dying. Our readers might be snotty but they are a smart bunch. They won’t take well to this discrimination dealt out to characters like me. I will make sure of it.

I got carried away, let me introduce myself. I am Velayuthan, the magnificent axe that chops down the giant green magic beanstalk in one, dextrous master stroke in Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack would be six feet under if it weren’t for me or better still, he would have ended up as the giant’s dinner. I saved him and I saved the day! But what do I have to show for it? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I don’t even have a line in the story or a name. Who doesn’t name their axe?

Wait, wait, wait. Hear me out.

Jack is a farmer boy, right? What kind of farmer boy doesn’t carry his axe around? A…a lazy one I suppose. But I am so useful. If nothing else, I could sit pretty on Jack’s shoulder and make that dimwit look desirable.

Okay, I will forgive him the first time. He woke up, he was shocked to see a beanstalk outside his window, he climbed right up the stalk and forgot about me. Understandable.

What about the next time when he stole the golden-egg-laying hen? Did you see that humongous piece of bread and cheese the giant’s wife gave him to eat? I could have helped him chop it into bite-sized pieces and even carry some back home for his mother. But who thinks of their mother on great adventures, right? 

My biggest beef with the writer is that he didn’t have Jack carry me into the climax. Can you imagine, my shiny, chiselled face against Jack’s panicked, sweaty one? I would have looked so handsome in the chase sequence with the giant breathing down my handle.

Oh, the travesty of getting me to chop off the entire beanstalk. I would never do that. I am a big climate crusader, you know. Why did Jack have to cut the whole damn beanstalk? But first, plot. How is it suddenly acceptable for the male protagonist to ask his mother to get his axe? Have they never heard of feminism, hello! She is not a farm hand waiting around to do his bidding. She is the matriarch of the family. Show some respect! 

Anyway, if it were me and if he had carried me with him to the giant’s castle, I would have just snipped the top end of the beanstalk touching the sky. Clearly, the giant is not going to risk jumping to his own death for the sake of an autoplay harp that speaks or a even a thieving boy. 

That darling plant. Her name was Latha. Gone too soon, and for nothing. Can you imagine the crop from a magic plant like her? It could feed the whole of England. Perhaps end world hunger.