NCE upon a time there was a boy whose name was Jack, and he
lived with his mother on a common. They were very poor, and
the old woman got her living by spinning, but Jack was so
lazy that he would do nothing but bask in the sun in the hot
weather, and sit by the corner of the hearth in the
winter-time. So they called him lazy Jack. His
 mother could
not get him to do anything for her, and at last told him, on
Monday, that if he did not begin to work for his porridge
she would turn him out to get his living as he could.
This roused Jack, and he went out and hired himself for the
next day to a neighbouring farmer for a penny; but as he was
coming home, never having had any money before, he lost it
in passing over a brook. "You stupid boy," said his mother,
"you should have put it in your pocket." "I'll do so another
time," replied Jack.
On Wednesday, Jack went out again and hired himself to a
cow-keeper, who gave him a jar of milk for his day's work.
Jack took the jar and put it into the large pocket of his
jacket, spilling it all, long before he got home. "Dear me!"
said the old woman, "you should have carried it on your
head." "I'll do so another time," said Jack.
So on Thursday, Jack hired himself again to a farmer, who
agreed to give him a cream cheese for his services. In the
evening Jack took the cheese, and went home with it on his
head. By the time he got home the cheese was all spoilt,
part of it being lost, and part matted with his hair. "You
stupid lout," said his mother, "you should have carried it
very carefully in your hands." "I'll do so another time,"
On Friday, Lazy Jack again went out, and hired himself to a
baker who would give him nothing for his work but a large
tomcat. Jack took the cat, and began carrying it very
carefully in his hands, but in a short time pussy scratched
him so much that he was compelled to let it go. When he got
home, his mother said to him, "You silly fellow, you should
have tied it with a string, and
 dragged it along after you."
"I'll do so another time," said Jack.
So on Saturday, Jack hired himself to a butcher, who
rewarded him by the handsome present of a shoulder of
mutton. Jack took the mutton, tied it to a string, and
trailed it along after him in the dirt, so that by the time
he had got home the meat was completely spoilt. His mother
was this time quite out of patience with him, for the next
day was Sunday, and she was obliged to do with cabbage for
her dinner. "You ninney-hammer," said she to her son; "you
should have carried it on your shoulder." "I'll do so
another time," replied Jack.
On the next Monday, Lazy Jack went once more, and hired
himself to a cattle-keeper, who gave him a donkey for his
trouble. Jack found it hard to hoist the donkey on his
shoulders, but at last he did it, and began walking slowly
home with his prize. Now it happened that in the course of
his journey there lived a rich man with his only daughter, a
beautiful girl, but deaf and dumb. Now she had never laughed
in her life, and the doctors said she would never speak till
somebody made her laugh. This young lady happened to be
looking out of the window when Jack was passing with the
donkey on his shoulders, with the legs sticking up in the
air, and the sight was so comical and strange that she burst
out into a great fit of laughter, and immediately recovered
her speech and hearing. Her father was overjoyed, and
fulfilled his promise by marrying her to Lazy Jack, who was
thus made a rich gentleman. They lived in a large house, and
Jack's mother lived with them in great happiness until she
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