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Jack and the Beanstalk revisited

 

Blog headlines

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  • Guest blog: David Hotchin
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  • Boosting your resilience
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  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

 
 
Thursday, 28 April 2016

Jack and the Beanstalk revisited

Jack lived with his mother. They were very poor. The king had decreed that everyone should live in poverty for as long as it took to rid the land of debt and balance the books.

One day, Jack’s mother told him to take their sacred cow to market. “Whatever you do, get a good price for her,” she said.

On his way to market, Jack met a mysterious stranger who said he was from the king’s counting house. He offered Jack a handful of coloured beans in return for the cow.

“These beans are magical,” the man told Jack. “They can be used to pay for everything at once and they will never run out – unlike your poor cow, which is clearly on its last legs.”

Jack liked the sound of the beans, but he remembered what his mother had told him. “How do I know these really are magic beans?” he asked.

The man replied: “They are from last autumn’s bumper spending review crop. Just issue a press release promising to use them at some time in the future, but don’t actually spend any,” he said.

Jack knew a good deal when he saw one. He handed over the cow and put the beans in his pocket.

The village doctors were cross because everyone kept getting sick and coming to them for help. Jack showed them the magic beans. “You can have these tomorrow,” he said. “Use them to buy new premises, pay yourselves more or go on holiday.”

The doctors were very pleased.

Next Jack went to the hospital, which was falling down and running out of money to pay the bills. “You can use my magic beans if you like,” he said. “I am going to put them in a special transformational place, where everyone can share them.”

The people at the hospital were very pleased.

Then Jack went to social services, where all the poorest people of the village gathered.  “These beans will solve all your problems, too,” he said. “I am going to set up a bean cultivation fund so you can grow as many as you wish. Details of the application process will be available shortly. A notice will be posted in the food bank.”

The people from social services were very pleased.

When Jack got home and told his mother what had happened, she was very angry.

“You stupid boy!” she cried. “These beans are worthless and there are not enough to go round.”

With that, she took the beans and flung them out of the window, sending Jack to bed without any supper.

The next morning, hearing a loud commotion, Jack went outside. He expected to see that a huge beanstalk had grown up overnight next to a sign reading: “Large pot of gold and easily slain giant this way”.

Instead, all he saw was an angry mob. The village doctors wanted their beans. So did the hospital. The ragged people from social services had come armed with staves and rolled-up copies of The Guardian.

Jack ran from the village as fast as his legs could carry him. He was never seen again.

The man from the counting house got a good price for the cow at market. His friends laughed when they heard how he had paid for it with a handful of beans.

They all lived within their means happily ever after.

Disclaimer: The value of beans can go down as well as up. Your cow may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments. Fairytale ending not guaranteed. Terms and conditions apply.

Children’s editor: Julian Patterson

@NHSnetworks
websupport@networks.nhs.uk

 
Anonymous says:
Apr 29, 2016 08:01 AM

Very funny as always "the village doctors were cross because everyone kept getting sick" hahaha.

Clive Spindley
Clive Spindley says:
May 02, 2016 01:45 PM

hi again,
... and to bring you right up to date, Pps and PiCMs have evolved in to the Health Journey, IT's real, this is no "fairy tale" (i'll leave the **** **** to the pansies)
LET THE DOG OFF THE LEAD AND "do" WHAT COMES NATURAL
Clive

Anonymous says:
May 03, 2016 10:39 AM

"He expected to see that a huge beanstalk had grown up overnight next to a sign reading, Large pot of gold and easily slain giant this way."

Who had chopped down the beanstalk and thrown away the sign? There was a goose up there as well which laid golden eggs. (I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!)

Anonymous says:
May 04, 2016 04:59 PM

I read this blog every week. It really made me laugh out loud this week... in a week when there's not a great deal to laugh about!