In this part of the Jack and the Beanstalk story, there's this one sentence:
There was a very big beanstalk in the yard.
My understanding of a の without any following noun is that either it's a normalizer (as in this answer) or that there's some sort of implied noun. In this example though, I don't believe it's the first case since they didn't need to normalize it since there's no succeeding clause, and could have had something like this
If it is the second case though, the provided translation doesn't give many clues, and I can only think of the generic もの in that context, and looking at the first point in another answer about もの, would it be correct to say that by using の, the narrator is expressing some sort of surprise?