Stingy Jack

 

* * * *

 

“Did Jack live happily ever after?”  Timmy asked.

“No,” Grandpa assured him.  “Jack did not.  He lived the rest of his life having never met the devil again.  But after he died, and found himself before the gates of Heaven, God would not let him in.  For his wicked, sinful life, Jack was cast away from Heaven, never to return.  With nowhere else to go, Jack’s soul descended into hell.  But when he got to the underworld, he found that he wasn’t welcome there either.  For his trickery, the devil cursed him to walk the earth in continual darkness for all time.  To light his way, the devil gave him a single burning ember, then banished him to an endless night on earth.

With only his ember to guide him, Jack roamed the night, alone, lost.  Needing something to carry his ember in, he found a hollowed out turnip and carried it like a lantern.  When that turnip eventually rotted away, he found another, and then another.  In time, his wandering took him far from his native land.  He wandered many lands, and crossed many seas, and eventually made it to this country where he found a new fruit that grew only here: a pumpkin.  It was the perfect lantern for his ember.  In time, the people stopped referring to him as Stingy Jack and began calling him Jack-of-the-lantern.  Or as we know it…”

“Jack-O-Lantern,” Timmy finished.

“That’s right.”





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