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by Walter Everett Brown

The stars shone like bright eyes in the night sky. Great-grandfather and I traded toasted marshmallows and campfire stories of Lawmgrin the Giant until it was time to sleep.  We cradled our food high in a birch tree and laid out our sleeping bags under the full moon.

I knew there's no such thing as a giant.

As the night grew deeper, cold air flowed over us as if it had been poured from a pitcher above. Tall trees rustled in the dark. I did not see a giant's face.  It was too high in the clouds.  I could not see its serpent-hair and shrunken eyes.  I could not see its whale teeth or its quivering chin.  I could not see its long tentacle nose, stretched to sniff-out the youngsters of the world below.

Lawmgrin wanders the night, harvesting magical talismans like a bird might harvest insects from a rotting log.  Twisted carrots reveal the invisible.  Cat claw clippings keep away vermin.  Grasshopper spit sets the earthbound into the air.  The giant stores everything in clay jars in his pack. 

I stared at the birch glowing white in the dark. A shredded bag hung from the tree!

I hadn't seen Lawmgrin's talons reaching for the bag. I hadn't heard the writhing of his centipede fingers over the branch.

Lawmgrin prefers to play with his food, rather than immediately eating campers as less creative giants do. He had eaten our food, and we would be next.  

No amount of talking would save us, because there is no such thing as a nice giant.  Giants don't remember faces, so it's very hard for them to think of you as anything but a snack.  A giant is less likely to chat with a human than a human is to chat with a speck of dust.

I woke my great-grandfather.  "LAWMGRIN!" I said.

"No giant here," said my great-grandfather. "Giants are afraid of loud snoring."  With that, my great-grandfather went back to sleep.  His guardian snore rumbled loudly.

I didn't see a giant.  He fled too quickly from the sound of my great-grandfather's snores.

We lay in the night, happily snoring until the sun rose.  And as my great-grandfather assures me, no giant comes in the daytime.

poppy fairy art blue hound fairytale fairy on a horse magician lowmgrin

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Landscape of this painting