I dedicate this story to Jane, the daughter of my good friends Jim and Alex.
Once upon a time there was a girl named Jane who lived with her brother and her parents in a nice house in Katy, Texas.
One morning Jane woke up early and thought to herself, "Well, it's too late to go back to sleep, but much too early to wake up anyone else. I'll just get up and be quiet. Maybe I can do something helpful."
So Jane got up and tried to find something to do. First she thought she'd wash the dishes but Jane's mother had already washed the dishes. Then Jane thought she'd take out the trash but Jane's father had already taken out the trash. Then Jane thought she'd put all of her and her brother's toys away but that job only took a few minutes.
Jane thought, "Well. I'll just sit down and quietly read my library book until someone else wakes up."
Jane got her latest library book ("The Adventures of Mr. Richard"), sat down, and started to read. She had just gotten to a very silly part of the story (Mr. Richard being a very silly character) when she heard someone outside in the back yard. It sounded like someone laughing.
Jane put her book aside and went to the window to see, and what she saw was was a giant beanstalk growing out of the ground! The beanstalk had branches sticking out and on one of the branches was a boy! The boy saw Jane peering at him through the window and started laughing again, "Ha ha ha ha ha! I bet you can't catch me! Ha ha ha ha ha!"
Jane was getting mad. The boy was laughing so loud he might wake someone up! Jane wanted to yell at the boy to be quiet but then her yelling might wake someone up! "Well." thought Jane, "This is a problem. I suppose the only thing I can do is go outside and quietly try to tell that boy that he's being inconsiderate of other people."
Jane quietly opened the door, quietly shut it again, and went over to the beanstalk. But the boy started climbing! The boy said, "Ha ha ha ha ha! You can't catch me! I climbed down from the top of the beanstalk and now I'm going to climb all the way back to the top again! Ha ha ha ha ha!"
Now Jane was really mad. The lowest branches were right in front of her so she grabbed one branch and used it to lift herself up onto another branch. The beanstalk's branches were all perfect for climbing so Jane started up after the boy. Jane was a good climber, but the beanstalk was so tall she couldn't see the top! Jane decided to climb until she caught the boy, or she got tired, or it got too scary.
The boy was climbing too and stayed too far away for Jane to quietly start teaching him some proper manners.
Jane thought she would get tired of climbing but it seemed like the higher she got the lighter she became. Soon she didn't need to use both hands to pull herself up, she could do it with one hand! Then she discovered she could climb with one finger! She was climbing so fast it was almost like flying! The boy was still ahead of her and climbing faster too. She could hear his laughter when he disappeared into a cloud.
Jane also thought that being so high up would be scary but it only started to be a little bit scary when Jane reached the cloud. Inside the cloud it was cold and dark and damp and foggy and Jane couldn't see very far. But Jane could still hear the boy laughing so she kept climbing.
Then all of a sudden it was sunny again! Jane had climbed all the way though the cloud and was on top! The boy wasn't above her on the beanstalk however, he was running away on the top of the cloud! He was still laughing, "Ha ha ha ha ha! You can't catch me!"
Jane wanted to jump off the beanstalk and chase the boy but she had just climbed through the cloud and knew it was just a big clump of fog and that she couldn't walk on it. She'd fall through! Jane watched the boy disappear into the distance and then she turned around on the beanstalk to see what was behind her.
What she saw behind her was a huge Giant!
Jane thought to herself, "Well, this is strange. Here is a huge Giant and I should be scared but I'm not scared at all. Maybe it's because the Giant is sitting down and crying like a little baby."
"Boo hoo hoo hoo," cried the Giant.
Jane now had to decide what to do. Climbing back down the beanstalk and going home seemed silly. Jane thought she should at least try to find out why a beanstalk was growing in her back yard and who that boy was. The crying Giant didn't seem too dangerous and if it tried to get her then Jane could just start climbing down. The Giant looked too big and heavy to follow Jane down the beanstalk.
"Excuse me Mr. Giant. Why are you crying?" asked Jane.
The Giant looked up and saw Jane for the first time. Then it stood up. And up, and up, and up. It was a BIG Giant! It loomed over Jane and tried to look fierce.
"FE, FI, FO, FUM!" roared the Giant, "I smell the blood of an..."
Then the Giant stopped and buried its face into its arms and started crying again.
"Boo hoo hoo," sobbed the Giant into its arms, "I just can't do this any more."
The Giant sat down again.
After a polite moment Jane said, "I'm sorry if I disturbed you Mr. Giant. I climbed this beanstalk trying to catch a nasty noisy boy. He ran off that way on top of the cloud! How can you and he walk on top of a cloud? Who is that boy? What is this place? Why is there a beanstalk growing in my back yard? And why are you crying?"
It occurred to Jane that that last question might be impolite so she added, "If you don't mind me asking."
"This is the Cloudtop Kingdom." answered the Giant. "This cloud is no ordinary cloud, it's a magic cloud that everyone in the Kingdom lives on. The cloud is solid on top, the only time you can go through it is when you're climbing on a giant beanstalk. If you jump off the beanstalk you'll be on Cloudtop and can walk around. To go back to the Ground Below you'll have to climb down the beanstalk again."
"The horrible hateful boy who came up the beanstalk before you is why I'm crying. His name is Jack and he stole my magic mirror. I am a Giant from the Land of Giants and the Cloudtop Regency Council hired me to guard the borders of Cloudtop. It's a good job for a Giant but my family couldn't come here with me so I brought a magic mirror. The magic mirror let me see and talk to my wife and children any time I wanted, which made me happy. When I'm happy I'm strong and fierce and can do a good guarding job. Ever since Jack stole my magic mirror I'm weak and unhappy and can't do my job any more. All I want to do is sit down and cry. Boo hoo hoo hoo!"
Jane wanted to jump off the beanstalk and walk around and maybe find and yell at Jack but it was getting late. Jane was worried that her parents would wake up and find her gone. The giant beanstalk growing in the back yard would be a big clue as to where she went, but Jane didn't want to worry her parents unnecessarily.
"Thank you Mr. Giant." said Jane. "I came here to teach Jack some manners but after your polite answers to my questions I realize I've been here for longer than I should be. I must return home before I am missed."
"You needn't worry about that." said the Giant. "The giant beanstalk is rooted in the Ground Below so it obeys the laws of the Ground Below. This is why you can climb through the cloud and why, while you cling to the beanstalk, you still flow in Ground Below time. If you jump off onto Cloudtop you'll flow in Cloudtop time. You can spend as long here as you like and when you climb down the beanstalk again you'll see that no time has passed at all!"
"Normally it is my job to keep people like you out. When someone gets a magic bean and plants it I scare away whoever climbs up and then I use my enormous strength to rip the giant beanstalk up from the Ground Below. It was Jack who tossed a magic bean down to the Ground Below and now I'm too weak to do anything about it. If you came here to hunt down Jack then you have my support. All I can do to help you, however, is to tell you my suspicions."
Jane thought about all of this. She wasn't sure she understood. "Do you mean that if I let go of the beanstalk then time at home stops? I could be here all day long and when I go home it'll still be morning?"
"That's exactly what I mean," replied the Giant.
"So I have as much time as I want to find Jack?"
Jane jumped off the beanstalk and landed on Cloudtop. It wasn't like walking on a clump of fog, it was a little bit like walking on the big trampoline at Jane's school. The ground was firm but a little bouncy. Jane ran to and fro for a little bit. Being on Cloudtop was fun!
The Giant said, "I admire your determination but I have to warn you: I suspect that Jack is in league with the Dragon. As far as I know the only magic beans left were in the Dragon's hoard. Only for something very valuable like my magic mirror would the Dragon trade something from its hoard."
The Giant continued, "Jack ran off in the direction of the Dragon's cave which is in that mountain." The Giant gestured to a mountain in the distance. "The farther you go that way the more likely it is you'll find more than you bargained for."
Jane replied, "I certainly don't want to find a dragon! I'll go just a little ways and see if I can find Jack. If not then I'll come back here."
"Do what you must, but be careful!" replied the Giant. "I can't protect anyone right now."
"I'll be careful Mr. Giant, and thank you!" answered Jane.
Jane started walking towards the mountain but then remembered that Jack had been running so Jane started running too. It was easy to run on Cloudtop, the bouncy surface made each stride longer. The mountain looked very far away and Jane didn't think she could run all the way to it.
The Giant and the beanstalk were on one side of a field. Jane ran to the other side where some trees marked the border to another field. The far side of the second field looked like woods.
"I'll never find Jack if he got into that woods." thought Jane. "I'll go up to the edge and see if he's hiding behind a tree. If I don't find him then I'll go back to the beanstalk and the unhappy Giant."
Jane had almost reached the woods when she heard a big "Whoosh" noise. Something grabbed her roughly and then she was up in the air! It was the Dragon!
The Dragon was taking Jane to the cave! With big "Whoosh" noises of its wings the Dragon carried Jane across the woods, fields, rivers, and roads of the Cloudtop Kingdom. The Dragon was flying so fast that by the time Jane saw the Dragon's cave they were already inside!
The Dragon landed on its hind legs, reached over, and dropped Jane on to a pile of gold! The Dragon lowered its head to look at Jane and said, "What have we here? A young and tender morsel and I am so hungry!" The Dragon sniffed at Jane. "You don't smell like a Cloudtopper. I suppose you came up the beanstalk that grew from the seed that I traded Jack for the Giant's magic mirror. That was silly of Jack. I have many magic seeds in my hoard but there's only one magic mirror on Cloudtop. I got the better bargain there!"
The Dragon leaned down to look at Jane more closely and continued, "This is perfect. If you're from the Ground Below then no one will know or care that I've eaten you. You're like a free lunch! And I am very hungry."
Now Jane was scared when the Dragon snatched her up from the field. And being carried through the air was scary at first, but then Jane got used to it and actually found it kind of interesting to see everything from way far up. Being tossed onto a pile of gold and then told she was about to be eaten didn't scare Jane at all. All it did was make her mad. Really mad. Really really mad.
"How dare you snatch me up like that!" yelled Jane. "How dare you bring me here! How dare you talk about eating me!" Jane reached out slapped the Dragon right on the snout! "I demand you take me back to the Giant! And gently this time! If you don't you will regret it!"
"I like a bit of spunk in my meal," replied the Dragon. "It adds to the flavor. But now let me tell you what is really going to happen. First I'm going to swing my talons at you and, in one swoop, slice you into several bits! Then I'm going to roast the bits with my fire breath until you're medium rare, just how I like my roast girl! Then I'm going to eat you and enjoy every last bit! I'm so glad I found you. Ever since Jack stole the Giant's magic mirror the farmers have moved themselves and all their animals into the city which has many guards with bows and arrows. I've already eaten all the wild animals on Cloudtop and now I'm really quite hungry."
"So first I slice you up like this!' said the Dragon. The Dragon reared back, extended its right claw with talons extended, and lunged after Jane.
But Jane's mother had taught Jane karate! The Dragon was big and powerful but it was also slow. Jane could see what the Dragon was trying to do long before it happened. Jane took one step backwards and the talons just swished in front of her.
The Dragon looked surprised and said, "Like I said, I like a bit of spunk in my meal. So take this!" The Dragon lunged again at Jane but Jane sidestepped this time and again the talons cut nothing but air. Jane had an amused expression on her face and the Dragon got angry.
"You can't run away from me forever my little morsel." said the Dragon and then the Dragon attacked! Swish! Swish! Swish! went the Dragon's talons but Jane just moved away each time. The Dragon had driven Jane to the top of the pile of gold.
Finally the Dragon stopped and stared at Jane. 'Enough of this." said the Dragon "I don't have to slice you up before cooking you, you're small enough that I can cook you whole! Prepare to be broiled alive!"
The Dragon reared back and took several deep breaths, but so did Jane. Jane was beginning to understand what kind of place the Cloudtop Kingdom was and had a shrewd idea of what to do next.
So when the Dragon roared and blew flames at Jane; Jane huffed, and puffed, and blew the flames back at the Dragon!
"Ouch!" said the Dragon.
The Dragon pulled back and looked at Jane again and said, "I do not normally enjoy girl Tartar but in your case I will make an exception. Prepare to be eaten alive!"
The Dragon opened its jaws and lunged at Jane again but Jane knew what to do. She grasped the Dragon's jaws and held them open! The Dragon looked surprised and then started shaking its head back and forth until Jane had to let go.
The Dragon said, "My little morsel, this can only end one way. Against my talons, fire, and jaws you are as good as eaten. Why prolong the inevitable? I hate it when my dinner fights back. Adrenaline is so untasty."
Jane replied, "You think I'll taste good? You think you're going to win this fight and eat me? I think that if you were cooked, you'd taste bad even with a lot of mustard! I think that when I win this fight I'm going to keep you alive as a pet. I've always wanted a pet dragon."
This was something Jane's mother taught her as part of her karate lessons. First, try not to get into a fight at all. But if a fight is inevitable then try to make the opponent angry so that it doesn't think straight and makes mistakes.
"Pet!" sputtered the Dragon. "...!" The Dragon was too enraged to talk!
Then the fight between Jane and the Dragon began in earnest.
Jane knew she couldn't defeat the Dragon by hitting it because it was too big, but it was also slow. When the Dragon lunged with its claws Jane just moved out of the way, sometimes giving the claws a karate kick as they went by. When the Dragon tried to breath fire at Jane, Jane just huffed, and puffed, and blew it back. The Dragon tried this so often that Jane learned how to direct the fire and burn parts of the Dragon that hadn't been burnt already. When the Dragon tried biting Jane, Jane just held the Dragon's jaws open until the Dragon shook her off.
The fight was like a dance with the Dragon leading but the dance seemed to be slowing down. The Dragon told Jane that it was hungry but it didn't tell Jane that it was actually starving. It hadn't had anything to eat since shortly after it made the trade with Jack. The Dragon was getting tired.
Then the Dragon suddenly stopped attacking Jane and flopped down to the floor of the cave! It said, "I give up! I'm so tired and weak! I wish I hadn't made the deal with Jack. I wish my hoard didn't include a fine collection of heroes' swords. You could slay me now and there's nothing I can do to stop you!"
The Dragon continued, "Spare my life and I will serve you forever, I swear on my own eggs!"
Jane hadn't known about the swords and had no intention of killing the Dragon anyway. She said, "Very well. I spare your life and accept your service. The first thing I want you to do is give me the Giant's magic mirror so I can return it to him. The second thing I want you to do is fly me back to the Giant and the beanstalk. The third thing I want you to do is stop eating the farmers' animals. You're a nice Dragon now and you will help the Giant protect the borders of the Cloudtop Kingdom. If you do a good job then the people will give you food as payment."
Jane continued, "These are my first commands to you. Obey them now!"
"Yes, Mistress!" replied the Dragon. "The magic mirror is in the ebony box in the alcove to your right." Jane went and got it. The Dragon continued, "It's been many an age since anyone has ridden a Dragon, but I have an ancient saddle, made from fine leather and jewels, in the hoard. If it pleases my Mistress, I will explain how to put it on me."
"That will be satisfactory." said Jane.
Jane fetched the saddle, put it on the Dragon, and got in it.
"Are you ready my Mistress?" asked the Dragon.
"Yes." replied Jane.
The Dragon flapped its wings and they were flying! Sitting in a saddle was much better than being carried in a claw.
Cloudtop passed below and then Jane saw a small figure running down a road.
"Dragon, is that Jack?" asked Jane.
"Yes it is my Mistress. Shall I swoop down and blast him with fire?" asked the Dragon hopefully.
"No, but land near him and prevent him from running off," said Jane.
When Jack saw the Dragon he started running faster. The Dragon flamed and circled around Jack creating a circle of fire around him. The Dragon then landed inside the circle. Jack looked terrified until he saw Jane climb off the saddle. Then he looked astonished. Jane walked up to Jack.
"Are you Jack?" asked Jane.
"Yes." said Jack.
"Did you steal the Giant's magic mirror and trade it to the Dragon for a magic bean?" At this Jack looked scared again.
"Did you plant the magic bean, climb down that beanstalk, and start making noise?"
"HOW DARE YOU!" yelled Jane. "MY PARENTS AND BROTHER ARE STILL SLEEPING! YOU COULD HAVE WOKEN THEM UP! HAVE YOU NO CONSIDERATION FOR OTHER PEOPLE?!"
The Dragon cringed at this outburst. Even when the Dragon and Jane were fighting, Jane was never this fierce!
Jack, on the other hand, looked embarrassed but also a little smug. He said, "Well, I had to. It was all part of my plan."
"Plan? What plan?" asked Jane.
"My plan to get you to come here to the Cloudtop Kingdom." said Jack.
Jane replied, "Well, here I am. And now I'd like an explanation. And if I don't like your explanation I'm going to ask my servant the Dragon here for advice on what to do."
At this the Dragon raised its head and blew a jet of fire at Jack.
Jack looked scared again but then he looked excited.
"The Cloudtop Kingdom moves around everywhere. I like to go to the edge and look down to the Ground Below. One day the Cloudtop Kingdom passed over your school and I saw you in the playground! That's when I stole the Giant's magic mirror and traded it for the magic bean. Then I waited for the Cloudtop Kingdom to pass over your home. I threw down the bean and it sprouted! Then I climbed down the beanstalk to get your attention and to try to get you to climb up."
"But why?" asked Jane.
"Because I saw you in the playground! You're the prettiest girl there, you run the fastest, you're the smartest, and when you make up a new game everyone plays by your rules! I love you and I want to marry you!"
Jane was nodding her head up until the last bit.
"WHAT?!" yelled Jane.
Jack fell down to his knees and said, "You're the best girl I've ever seen. You're the best girl I'll ever see. Let's get married and then you can come live with me here in the Cloudtop Kingdom. It's loads of fun!"
There was so much wrong with this that Jane didn't know where to start.
"Married? I'm not old enough to get married! I think you have to graduate from school before you can get married!" (Jane was a little unsure about this.)
Jane continued, "And live on Cloudtop? I only came here to tell you to be quiet! I live at home with my brother and my parents and I don't want to live anywhere else!"
"And marry you?!" Jane glared at Jack who grinned at her.
"Just look at you! Wash your face! Wash your hands! Wash your hair! In fact, go take a bath! And wash your clothes! Or throw them away and get some new clothes! And what are you doing spying on people and stealing stuff? Why aren't you in school? People who've never gone to school and can't read and write and do arithmetic are boring!"
Jane continued, "I'm not marrying anyone for a long time and if you were the last boy on earth I wouldn't marry you! If you want to have hope of marrying me, or anyone, then you need to go to the city and become civilized!"
Jack jumped up and said, "Yes! I'll do that at once!"
Jane looked at him and said, "Yes, you will."
Jane continued, "Dragon, I'm changing my plan. You will carry Jack to the city where you will both explain yourselves. Dragon: You will offer to help the Giant protect the borders of Cloudtop. Jack: You'll enroll in a school."
"If I'm not mistaken, the Giant and the beanstalk are a little ways in that direction?" Jane gestured.
"Yes!" said both Jack and the Dragon. The Dragon continued, "But my Mistress, there might be dangers on the way!"
"Yeah!" said Jack.
"Dragon," said Jane in a dangerous tone of voice, "do you not think I can take care of myself?"
The Dragon stiffened to attention.
"I beg your pardon my Mistress." said the Dragon, "Jack, we are commanded to go."
Jane showed Jack how to mount the Dragon's saddle and watched them fly off. She was glad to be alone again for she had much to think about. She wondered if there any books about pet Dragons in the library.
Jane entered and made her way through the woods in which she once thought Jack was hiding. She crossed the field from which the Dragon snatched her up. She entered the field where the Giant and beanstalk were.
The Giant was asleep. He snored. Loudly. Like this, "Grunk-kkkk! Grunk-kkkk!"
Now Jane knew it was impolite to wake up sleeping people but she had the Giant's magic mirror and thought the Giant might not mind being woken up so she could give it back to him.
"Mr. Giant?" said Jane. Then louder, "Mr. Giant?"
The Giant snored, "Grunk-kkkkk!"
The Giant was snoring louder than Jane's voice!
Jane made her way to the Giant's head, which was almost as big as Jane, and she yelled right into one ear:
The Giant jumped up so fast that Jane almost fell to the ground. The Giant said, "FE FI FO FUM! I smell the... Oh, it's you again. Did you find the rascal Jack?"
Jane replied, "Yes Mr. Giant. And I found the Dragon who gave me this."
Jane held out the ebony box.
"Oh my." said the Giant as he took it.
The Giant opened the box and took out the magic mirror. He looked into it and started crying again but this time it was tears of joy. The Giant said, "My beautiful wife! My beautiful children! I see you again! I am so happy!"
The Giant seemed to get taller and fiercer. He looked down at Jane and bellowed, "FE FI FO FUM! I smell the blood of an Englishman!" Then he winked at Jane and said in a much softer tone, "To whom I will be forever thankful and forever in debt. Thank you very much."
"You're welcome." said Jane.
"I would like very much to hear the tale of your encounter with Jack and the Dragon and of your recovery of my magic mirror but you already said you didn't want to stay here too long. May I help you back on to the beanstalk?"
"Thank you Mr. Giant. Even though you told me that time stops in the Ground Below while I'm here on Cloudtop, I still feel like too much time has passed. I want to go home!"
But the Giant was no longer listening to Jane. He was staring at something in the direction of the city.
"It is the Dragon!" said the Giant. "Get behind me and I will repay my debt to you by defending you to the death!"
Jane replied, "Thank you Mr. Giant, but I've already dealt with the Dragon. How do think I got your mirror back? If the Dragon is coming here then I expect it has a message for us."
The Dragon landed and said, "My Mistress, as instructed, I took Jack and myself to the city and explained what happened. I am here to help the Giant and I was asked to convey a message. If it pleases my Mistress, the city officials respectfully request an audience with you. They set out on their fastest horses and should be here soon."
"I see much dust on the road, as if raised by an entire herd of horses, perhaps a mile distant." said the Giant.
"Thank you, Mr. Giant." said Jane. "May I present my servant the Dragon who I have commanded to assist you in the defense of the Cloudtop Kingdom?"
'Your servant?" asked the Giant.
"Indeed," replied the Dragon. "My Mistress conquered me in single combat and then spared my life."
The Giant looked at Jane and said, "I want to hear your story so bad that I may be forced to be rude and ask that you stay here for the time it takes you to tell it."
Then a herd of horses galloped up. All but one were ridden by men and women wearing rich robes. The other horse had Jack on it. Jack was all wet. It looked like he tried to take a bath and wash his clothes all at the same time by jumping into a pond. The road dust stuck to him and now he was dirtier than ever. He grinned at Jane.
An old man with gray hair approached Jane. He bowed and said, "O Formidable One. We are the Regency Council of the Cloudtop Kingdom and we are here to pay you our respects. You have defeated the Dragon. You have tamed Jack. You have recovered the Giant's magic mirror. We would like to erect a statue of you in the city's central square in your honor. But we do not know know your name."
Jane replied, "My name is King. Jane King."
The members of the Regency Council all said "Ah!" at the same time. They looked at each other quickly and then they all bowed down low to Jane. (One of them kicked Jack until he bowed down too.)
The old man rose and said, "Your Highness, long ago the last King of the Cloudtop Kingdom climbed down a beanstalk to the Ground Below in search of learning, truth, and enlightenment. Before his departure he prophesied that one day a King would return and prove himself (or in this case, herself) with great deeds. Ever since then the Regency Council has ruled the Cloudtop Kingdom but now the prophecy is fulfilled! The King has returned!"
The Regency Council bowed again, as did the Giant, the Dragon, and (unkicked this time) Jack.
The old man continued, "You are Her Royal Highness, Princess Jane of the Cloudtop Kingdom and we proclaim unto you the title of "The Compassionate Warrior" in honor of your great feats of valor this day. We understand that, like your illustrious forebear, you are completing your education on the Ground Below. If, when Your Highness is of age, should you return to the Cloudtop Kingdom, we will crown you Queen and graciously submit to your enlightened rule."
Now Princess Jane was well brought up and knew that when adults were saying silly things, the best thing to do was to be polite and non-committal. So all Princess Jane said was, "Thank you Mr. Regent, but I must return home now."
But Princess Jane also had to make sure that some things, for which she had already accepted responsibility, were well in hand.
"Yes, my Liege?"
"Are you willing to assist the Giant in the protection of the Cloudtop Kingdom and submit to his authority?'
"Yes, my Liege!'
"Yes, Your Highness?"
"You will go to school?"
"Yes, Your Highness!"
"Very well." said Princess Jane.
Princess Jane then held her hand out to the Giant who, with one finger, helped her on to the beanstalk. She looked sternly at the Dragon and Jack and said, "I'll be back."
Jane climbed down the beanstalk, through the cloud, and down to the back yard. She jumped off and then gave the beanstalk a hug and tugged it down a few times. This was the quiet signal that Princess Jane had arranged with the Giant. Jane let go of the beanstalk and the Giant pulled it up into the cloud.
Jane went inside, picked up her library book, and resumed reading. Shortly after Jane's mother got up.
"Jane, you're up early!" said Jane's mother.
"Yes, I woke up but instead of staying in bed I decided to get up but be very quiet."
"That's very considerate of you, dear." said Jane's mother. "Now, if you'd like, you can help me make breakfast."