After my last storytime gig, I decided that my Jack and the Robbers story needed sprucing up. I made some flannel-board figures:
Jack is now Almira (my princess finger-puppet) and the cow traditional to the tale became a camel. The robbers in the story are never specified, but I've made them three animals known for stealing: a raccoon, a rat and a crow. Those 6 colorful blobby things are bags of gold.
Margaret Read MacDonald once said that, after she taught this story in a seminar, one of the teachers complained that Jack and the animals were taking gold that actually belonged to other people. The teacher decided to change the story so that Jack and the animals brought the gold to the police before heading home.
Hiss! Boo! Grumble. In other words: please don't try to make a two-dimensional folktale into a three-dimensional contemporary fiction story. If I ever encounter the objection to the travelers' claims of the gold, I will explain sweetly that Almira went out to seek her fortune. What the audience didn't know beforehand was that the very robbers they met had stolen Almira's fortune before our story began. When the animals scared the robbers away, Almira merely reclaimed what was rightfully hers.