Once upon a time there was a young giant. She lived on the edge of the forest because she was afraid of scaring the men. Once he had found a lady picking mushrooms, who widened her eyes and ran off in fear.
The young giant often stood at her window thinking about what her mother, a normal woman, had told her:
– A giant, still go. But a giant? You will be alone in life. No girl will want you as a friend because your size inspires fear. No boy will fall in love with you. Men like women to look at them from the bottom up.
It turned out that a ranger built his house on the edge of the girl’s, on the edge of the forest, and often looked at her from the other side.
The face that appeared at the first floor window pleased him. One morning, before going into the woods, he waved his hand.
The giant nodded shyly and followed the boy until he disappeared, tiny, into the trees.
If someone my size came now! She thought. From that day on, before going to work, the young ranger began to exchange a few words with his neighbor upstairs at the window.
By the end of February, as the days began to grow, he heard of a Carnival party in town. I’ll ask my neighbor if she wants to come with me, he thought.
At night, returning from work, he did not find her at the window. There was a knock on the door, but no one opened it. Then he turned the knob. From the doorway he looked at the room and was startled.
Sprawled on the floor on a huge mattress was a sleeping giant. His face was now even prettier than the window. A smile lit her, maybe she was having some nice dream.
Noiselessly waking the giant, the ranger closed the door and went home. He should keep a secret about what he had witnessed.
The next morning, the boy stopped under the window and shouted up:
– There’s a Carnival party in town. Don’t you wanna go there, neighbor? Maybe I can recognize her, even in disguise. Look it was fun!
– Oh! She stammered. – Carnival? I wouldn’t know what to get dressed for!
“At Carnival anything is possible,” said the ranger laughing. “Surely there will be many goblins, fairies, witches, giants!”
The young woman thought, “This is a good opportunity to mingle with people. Everyone will think I’m masked as a giant. No one will be scared of me.”
So the young giant went to town and mingled with the masked ones. It felt good in the midst of so many witches, gypsies, Indians and dwarves. Many people, especially children, stopped staring at her in wonder.
A little girl exclaimed:
– I like you, giant. I’d like to ride your piggyback at the zoo and finally be able to look the giraffe in the face.
The young giant closed her eyes for a moment and wondered what it would be like to be with the girl and the giraffe.
“And I,” exclaimed one little boy, “liked to ride your shoulders in the circus.” At yesterday’s show I had to sit behind and saw almost nothing!
The giant closed her eyes for a moment and imagined herself at the circus with the boy.
“I’d be happy too if I had you,” said an adult. “Some shingles on my farm are broken and the gutter is clogged.” It wouldn’t be hard for you to get that.
The giant closed her eyes briefly and imagined repairing the farmer’s roof. Knowing that people might need someone his size made her happy.
Suddenly a whisper passed through the crowd and a second giant emerged. He crossed the bridge toward the young woman and grabbed her by the hands.
The giant and the giant danced together a gigantic minuet. People clapped. The giant liked to dance. Finally he could look into some eyes directly in front of him and not far below him. Through the opening of the mask, he looked into marvelous eyes, where were reflected forests, clouds, the blue of the sky.
Finally someone my size! She thought. “Isn’t this what I dreamed for so long?”
A masked Spaniard reached out and tugged at the giant’s trouser leg. I wondered if those long legs were true. The giant began to falter and a pair of stilts fell to the floor. It was then seen that he was not a giant but a man of normal size.
Behind the displaced mask, the young woman recognized her neighbor, the ranger. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
– And thou? One of the children asked the giant. – Are you really serious?
The young girl wiped the tears with the back of her hands. Anger and sadness gave him courage and shouted:
– Everyone has to get to know my secret! Yes, I am a true giant! I live alone on the edge of the forest not to scare you! He paused. But no one ran away scared.
– Seriously? But this is great! Said a little boy. And he looked at her with wonder.
The ranger, who, very embarrassed, had walked away, approached the young woman and, bravely, told her:
– I also want to break free of my secret. I have known for some time that you are a giant. But is that reason not to love you? Also my friends, the trees, are big. If you want, I’ll show them to you tomorrow.
The next day, the ranger and the young giant were strolling through the woods. And they went hand in hand! Eveline Hasler Die Riesin München, Ellerman Verlag, 1996 (Translation and Adaptation)