Jack is a young lad living with his widowed mother. Their only means of income is a cow. When this cow stops giving milk one morning, Jack is sent to the market to sell it. On the way to the market he meets an old man who offers to give him "magic" beans in exchange for the cow.
Jack takes the beans but when he arrives home without any money, his mother becomes angry and throws the beans to the ground and sends Jack to bed without supper.