"Why call me Jack?" thought Jack be Nimble, Jack Be quick.
Why not call me Reginald.
Or Brian or Arnold or Cediric or Calderwuggenbum?
Why call me Jack? The whole planet is covered in Jacks.
Jack and Jill. Jack Sprat. Jack the Giant Killer.
Jack and the Bean stalk. Jack and this and Jack and that. Union Jack. Everyone was Jack.
Little Jack Horner.
Jack in the box.
The House That Jack Built.
Little Jack Jingle, Jack-a-Dandy, Jack Rowland, Jack Tar, and Black Jack Davy.
The list went on.
Thieves and Buccan-ears. (except for Jack Foster who has small ears and is a good bloke)
Even in French - Frere Jacques. And one called Frost: "Look out! Look out! Jack Frost is about! He's after your fingers and toes!"
So many, many Jacks!
Finally, frustrated and fabulously confused, our Jack, nimble and quick, sat down in a huff.
He was tempted to sit in the corner.....
But, not wanting a demarcation dispute, decided not to.
Meanwhile, a few feet away, the small red flame of the candlestick flickered toward him, beckoning.
Jack looked out of the corner of his eye, peered at the candle and it's flame.
"I won't do it," he said aloud to the candle. "Once I've jumped over you ..... well, it's all over, isn't it?
The candle flickered back accusingly.
"And then what?" Jack said.
"And then what?" the candle seemed to ask.
"Hmmph, "said Jack. "They'll print me out on some cheap paper, stick me in another Mother Goose, give me some silly cute face, spread my skinny legs over the candle as if I am an olympic vaulter vaulting over a cage full of lions.
"The first kid to see it will go giggle giggle gargar goop and then most likely puke some half masticated Johnson's Baby Food on the page so it sticks together and the next time it's open they'll rip me in two. Riiippppp, just like that."
End of Jack!
Jack waved his hand around in agitation.
His waved it around. And around. Faster and faster.
But his hand froze in mid air as the candle flickered a little and began to sputter.
Jack's mouth opened wide.
The candle had never done that before.
The candle sputtered again.
Jack's eyes popped in disbelief.
For an instant he took in the candles' bright light.
For an instant he felt the warmth of it's friendly, flickering, faithful, fancy, fickle, felicitious, finicky, feeble, facetious, floribund, fibrillatingly fragile flame.
Then, without any warning, and with the eensey wheensy smallest of noises, the candle blinked out.
The world went black.
Jack blinked once.
He blinked twice.
He opened his eyes. He shut them.
But no matter what he did, the candle didn't come back.
The candle was dark, the candle was black.
The whole world was black.
Jack sat in the dark for a long time, looking towards the candle.
He sat there all night.
And in the morning, when the sun came up, the world was still black.
Still he sat there.
He sat there all day. And the next day, and for the next. And for the next.
He sat there waiting. And waiting.