as told by Raji Singh
Once upon a time…
Brer and Frer, the Frog brothers, are walking down the gravel road.
The ground shakes. They hop to stay steady. Grasshoppers and worms hide under leaves.
The Frogs look up and see two tall tree trunks walking toward them. The limbs are so high Brer and Frer can’t see leaves. The trunks sway back and forth. The brothers fear they will topple and crush them.
But things aren’t what they seem. Bending down towards Brer and Frer is a giant.
“You scared us,” says Frer. We thought you were an earthquake!”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was so happy I was dancing. My dances tend to shake things up. I’m sorry my happiness frightened you.”
“Think nothing of it,” says Brer. “We dance all the time ourselves.” They jump up and down, leap-frogging and in general having a good time.
They say at the same time, “We’ve never seen anyone so tall.”
“I’m a giant. That is my name too – GIANT!”
“How tall are you?”
“Would you like to see? Leap to my shoulders.”
The green brothers do. Giant stands up. Frogs find themselves lost in clouds. They cannot see each other.
“Ribbet, ribbet” they cry.
“Where are you brother?”
Giant laughs. “Do not be afraid.”
Suddenly they are above the clouds, just far enough that they feel they are standing on the feather-soft puffs. It is wonderful. They feel so light.
“It’s so blue and beautiful up here, Giant,” they say.
“I think of it as my own private world,” Giant says proudly. “Of course, I share it with the birds. And I can share it with you anytime you like.”
“That would be great fun,” says Frer.
Just then, Hawk flies up. She circles around the three. “SCREE! SCREE!”
“Hello Hawk. Meet our new friend Giant.”
“Nice to meet you Giant.”
“Nice meeting you Hawk.”
Hawk lands on Giant’s head.
Frer says,“Oh no! Your claws will hurt him, Hawk!”
Giant laughs. “To the contrary, Frogs. The scratching feels quite nice.” Giant sighs, “AHHH!”
“We live in the Lindian Woods down below,” says Brer. “Where do you live Giant?”
“I only roam. Most people and creatures are scared of me. So I don’t stay long in one place.”
“Come live in the Lindian Woods,” beckons Hawk. We shall introduce you to all our friends. There’s Captain Polly, The Ten Otters, the lovely Toad Sisters, Turt, Squirrel…”
“You don’t think they’ll be afraid of me?”
“Maybe at first,” Brer says. “But we shall tell them how friendly and helpful you are. To prove it, you show it.”
Frer says. “You can allow Squirrel to hop from the highest tree branch then climb to your shoulder to keep lookout for forest fires. And Birds can light on your neck to catch pesky swarms of mosquitoes. You’ll become part of our forest community.”
Hawk screes jubilantly. She flies in circles around them. “Yes, do come Giant. Your legs will look like the Lindian Woods tree trunks. You’ll blend right in.”
Tears stream from Giant’s eyes. For a moment, the Frog Brothers and Hawk think it is starting to rain.
“Don’t be sad,” they say to Giant.
“They’re tears of joy,” Giant says. He leans over and once again, Frogs pass through the clouds. Hawk flies through too. In a moment, Frer and Brer are near the ground and they hop down.
“Come with us Giant,” they say. “You’ll meet all our friends.”
And that is how a giant came to live in their Woods.
NEXT WEEK: THE FROGS AND GIANT SAVE HAWK’S HOUSE
(Join me every Sunday night at the Fiction House, your place for short story, lark, whimsy, and merriment. Meet the many residents as I archive their lives and centuries of adventures. You can read of their origins in my novel TALES OF THE FICTION HOUSE. They are completely different stories. My novel is available at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.)
©2014 Raji Singh