By Raji Singh
Lore of the Lindian Woods, as told by Raji Singh
Once upon a time…
As Brer and Frer Frog walk down the road, the ground begins to rumble. Grasshoppers hide under leaves, scared of the earth’s quake. But the Frogs aren’t afraid because they see Giant, dancing for joy.
“You sure shake things up,” Brer says as he and Frer hop to their own special little dance.
“I can’t help it. I’m so happy living here in the Woods.”
A sharp cry echoes from the clear, blue sky. “SCREE! SCREE!” It’s Hawk. She swoops in from her mountain home and lands between Giant and the Frogs. “All your dancing caused a huge boulder to fall and block my door. I was lucky to fly out. Now what shall I do? I have no place to live, and the nights are so cold.”
“You can come live with us,” says Frer.
“No,” says Hawk. “I must be up high on the mountain. That is where I like it.”
“I understand that,” agrees Giant. “Once you have found a home, it is a most special place. I am so sorry, Hawk, that I caused you to lose it. Next time I feel like dancing, I will remove my giant boots. Then I won’t shake things up so much.”
Giant hesitates. A big smile crosses his face. “I’ll get you back into your home, Hawk.”
Hawk shakes her head. “SCREE! The rock’s too big. It’s a giant, like you.”
Hawk’s scree is a challenge to Giant. He says, “We’ll just see about that.”
“It’s worth a try, Brer says.”
The Frogs hop on Giant’s shoulders when he leans down. He bellows, “You fly home, Hawk. I’ll follow. We giants are good mountain climbers.”
So, off they set.
When they get to Hawk’s cave home, Giant gasps. The rock is so huge. How can he ever shove it away? He leans and lets Brer and Frer hop onto it. The green brothers leap up and down on it.
“It will never move it,” Hawk cries.
“We’ve got to try,” the Frogs and Giant plead.
As the Frogs hop off it and onto the side of the mountain where Hawk perches, Giant bends. He pushes at the rock. He ‘ugghs’. He grunts. He ‘grr’s’. His cliff-like forehead creases and crevasses from the strain. He pushes harder. The rock moves – just slightly.
Frer suggests, “Maybe we can get some sticks under it to lever it out.” They gather sticks and push them beneath the rock.
Just then, about the tiniest things Giant has ever seen began crawling out along the sticks. Ants. They came by the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions. They cheer together, “You freed us Giant! And Frogs. We were trapped.”
Giant grunts. “My heavy booted dancing trapped you. I’m so sorry. It won’t happen again.” He is able to gasp out those words as he struggles under the rock’s weight.
“Let bygones be bygones,” the Ants chant.
“We’re trying to save Hawk’s home,” Frer Frog says.
The Ants huddle close together to talk. “We’ll help!”
Hawk questions, “But how can the littlest on earth ever expect to help move such a big stone when even the biggest on earth cannot?”
“We can try.” Each of the millions, or zillions of ants pick up a tiny piece of earth and move it from under the rock.
The rock teeters. More, and more.
Giant suddenly yells, “Run Ants! It will soon give way.”
They scamper off. When they are all safely out from under, Giant makes a mighty ‘GRR’ and pushes. The rock rumbles down the mountainside and lands loudly, ‘THUD-THUCK’ in a muddy ravine.
“Hurray!” Hawk, the Frog bothers, and Ants all shout.
Giant wipes his brow, “Whew!” and sits on the ground.
“Well done!” Ribbet the Frogs. “Hawk has his home back. Ants are safe. And everything again is all right on top of the mountain.”
Giant breathes deep and tries to relax. “And from now on when I dance, My Dear Friends, I shall remember to remove my giant earth-shaking boots.”
Hawk, Ants, Frogs nod to each other, “And be sure we will remind you of that, Giant!”
(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