The Thirteen Days of Halloween - Stingy Jack by MR.QUIPTY at

Stingy Jack

written by: MR.QUIPTY



forever a glow that orange

glimmer single point


mark of a sinner


spectre of the woods is the horror

of Stingy Jack

of silver tongue

and thirsty too


this lad of County ‘saffron and blue’

lived by his wits and the games he

would do.


ever eager to dare:

at a bar in Clare



“Tonight I shall drink

and not a shilling

will my purse shrink”


dark corner there held

that old gambler of

souls who to Jack



“never a coin shall you turn


if you wager your soul

that you’ll drink free in

this tavern”


Stingy Jack turned to that

devil and said he could

have his soul for a devil’s

penny to pay for his



hungry for a spirit that



to the floor.


in a flash that penny was lost

and held up close

to Jack’s silver cross

at the Devil’s cost.


shaking his purse for year or more

Stingy Jack drank free on the lore

but the Devil so wanted to even

the score.


A night of heavy drinking

Jack stumbled on

cobbles – sinking –


out clinked the

devil into a crevice

and true to its promise

turned to devour

Jack curled up there.


the smell of Hell

and opening of Hades

shook from Jack these phrases


“my soul you take but

surely the condemned

is due a final meal”


Devil paused


“look I have fallen

at Adam’s tree

deny me an apple

given it’s destiny”


the Devil was sold on

that story silverly told

so set to climbing that tree


Stingy Jack

his tea.


Jack, the

silver tongue liar

had that Devil

climbing higher

in pursuit

of bigger fruit.


Jack up in flash

blade in hand


to carve in a ring

crosses on the

trunk and began

to sing


“10 years in this tree

you will rest

and never my soul

can you accept”


Devil could do little

and the matter settled

until some years later

after hard drinking

Jack’s heart faltered …


Turned away from gates

of pearl to fiery grates

did that soul go


that Devil below.

tied to the bind

told Jack to mind

the woods and walk

them forever.


Jack turned away .

the Devil called Jack

back with

one hand in fiery sack

“here Stingy lad a coal

from hell may it burn

forever in that selfish



And there we have the

story of

Jack O’ Lantern

carved from pumpkin’s


a reminder in trick or treat

to be avoiding the heat


always pay your way in silver

Or from Stingy Jack’s haunting



Stingy Jack at

Series Navigation<< Halloween Es El NombreDeath And The Old Man >>


crack of the quip

I have poetry and stories in "Not Enough To Quit" by Modern Writers published by ATLA Publishing, and a children's poem in "Un-Turn This Stone: short stories for children" by Aviva Treger et al.

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This publication is part 9 of 90 in the series 13 Days of Halloween