There was once a tiny little boy who bought some magical beans from a homeless man in the street. They looked like any ordinary can of baked beans but the homeless man said they had astonishing powers that would make all the boy’s wishes come true. Amazed at the mere idea, the boy handed over all his money and ran home with the beans, wondering what they would do, what wishes would come true. He arrived home and dug an enormous hole in his garden with a spade. It was about 20 ft deep. Then he threw the can of beans in it and put all the soil back in the hole.
The next morning nothing had grown, and none of the boy’s wishes had come true. He went back to the tramp and complained that the beans hadn’t done anything. The tramp told him that he wasn’t supposed to bury the beans, he was supposed to eat them. So the boy went home, dug up the beans and ate them. Still nothing happened.
The next day the boy woke up and when he looked in the mirror he realised he was a big fantastic tiger. Wow! He said. He leaped around his house tearing things up with his teeth. Then he found his parents, and he ate them. Then he saw his brother, and ate him too. Then he was full, so he fell asleep in the garden under a tree. When he woke up he was a normal boy again, but his parents and brother were still inside him and he wished he hadn’t eaten them all in one go. They hurt his tummy.
He went to the doctor and explained his problem. The doctor sedated the boy, opened up his tummy, took out the people and sewed him up again. When the boy woke up he was surprised to find his parents and his brother still alive. But they were only four inches tall! This isn’t what I wished for, thought the boy. The homeless man was a lier!
So he went back to the tramp and said ‘Your beans are rubbish.’ He explained what had happened and the man said ‘Sorry, I gave you the wrong can of beans.’
So the tramp gave him a different can of beans. The boy ate them all on the spot, even though they were cold. When he woke up the next day, his tummy had healed and his parents and brother were the right size. There were no other changes to his life though. He spent the whole day trying to work out if the beans had granted any of his wishes, or if they had changed anything else. But there was no other change. So he went back to the tramp and said ‘Your magic beans are rubbish.’
‘Ah,’ said the tramp, ‘but you have everything you want. Your parents and brother are now normal people, the wound on your stomach is closed, and you live without fear of becoming a tiger. You are as happy as you were before you met me.’
The boy stamped on the tramp's toe and ran away. He has never eaten beans since.