The giant, the little girl, and the butterfly

Long ago, there was a giant who could see across the whole world. In those days, it was a hard struggle to grow enough to eat. Dipping his great hand into a broad river, the giant would sprinkle water over the ground which was driest. Leaning over a geyser with his mouth wide open, he would blow hot air over fields swamped by rain. Where fields were abundant with wheat, he would sweep his palm through, and disperse seeds to those in need of them.

Seeing the good he did, groups of people would try to capture him for their own ends. But, dragging his finger in the earth, he would whirl up a storm of dirt that nobody could pass through. Cupping up a handful of water from the sea, he would let it cascade down through his fingers in front him, creating a torrent that nobody could keep their feet against.

In time, he came to allow nobody to approach him. Whilst he continued his work as ever, the sunlight no longer dazzled on his eyes like on the surface of two deep lakes.

There was a little girl who would run hither and thither amongst the fields and dwellings, with a butterfly who understood her when she talked, and whom she understood through intricate little dances that it dipped and twirled in front of her, a whirl of a thousand yellows and greens. As slight as she was sprightly, she walked noiselessly through the driest reeds.

The little girl asked the butterfly to try to fly close to the giant without attracting his attention. The butterfly blew daintily over the grasses and bushes, criss-crossing the valley; turned about, and pirouetted down to the giant amongst gliding dandelion heads. But a flicker of movement caught the giant's eye, and he turned his head to admire the intrepid butterfly.

After a time, the butterfly set off from the little girl to try once more. But the wind gusted strongly, and the butterfly was swept straight to the giant with the dust and the dandelion heads, touching the giant's cheek with its tiny wing.

Once the wind eased, it flew back to the little girl. The little girl waited, running hither and thither amongst the fields and dwellings with the butterfly as before. A strong wind for a butterfly was not strong enough for the little girl.

But a day came upon which a north-wester blew up, to which trees and mankind alike bowed. The little girl set off to the giant along with the butterfly, with the wind right at their backs. With her lightness of foot, she was indistinguishable from the blur of the grasses and bushes which she gently parted as she made her way.

When she came to the giant, she rested her cheek gently against his ankle, and patted it with her little hand as delicately as she would talk to the butterfly. In the shelter of the giant, the butterfly flew daintily up and caressed his forehead. The giant followed the butterfly with his gaze as she flew back down to the little girl. The wind eased, and the little girl and the butterfly ran and flew together back to their fields and dwellings.

The next morning, the sunlight dazzled white on the surface of the giant's eyes as he went about his work.

Written in the evening of the 4th of May, 2015

Last updated: 02:41 (GMT+1), 4th December 2022