GIANTS   9' Detective in the land of giants

Michaela's family went to the beach for a picnic. After lunch
Michaela flew her new kite. After she let out all of the string,
suddenly a big gust of wind came up and tried to pull the kite
string out of her hand.

Not wanting to lose her new kite, Michaela grabbed the stick
with both hands and held on tight. Before she knew it, the kite
had lifted her off the ground up to a hundred feet into the air.
Now, if she let go, she would fall and probably hurt herself.
So, she held on with all of her might as the kite carried her
miles out to sea.

Every second the winds blew faster and faster. Within a minute,
the beach where her family was picnicking was out of sight.
Within two minutes, all she could see was ocean.

Then suddenly, the wind quit blowing and the kite fluttered
through the clouds and then through the leaves of a tree and she
landed face down in the middle of a forest.

When she opened her eyes, she saw a man's shoe. But the shoe was
the size of her radio flyer wagon. When she looked higher she
saw a man's leg that was bigger than a tree trunk. She was
looking at a giant!

She backed away from him, but bumped into another huge shoe. No
matter which way she turned, there were giants all around.

Suddenly, the giants all dropped to their knees and bowed down.
Michaela looked around to see who the giants were bowing down
to. Noone else was there.

"Who are you bowing down to?" asked Michaela as she stood up and
dusted herself off.

"To YOU!" said a giant without looking up, "Please don't hurt

Michaela replied, "You could squash me like a bug. How could I
hurt you?"

The giant replied, "You flying people can do things."

Michaela asked, "YOU flying people? Are you saying that there
are other people like me in this land?"

The giant replied, "Yes. He flew in, just like you did."

"On a kite?" asked Michaela.

"No. He flew in under a flying watermelon." replied the giant.

Michaela thought for a moment, then decided that the flying
watermelon was probably a hot air balloon.

Michaela asked, "And you're afraid of flying people? Why?"

The giant replied, "You flying people can make us disappear and
you can change us into insects. Please, have mercy on us!"

Michaela explained, "Listen, I don't know about the others, but
I can't make things disappear. And I can't change you into

The giant replied, "Please, have mercy on us!"

Suddenly a loud horn sounded and a man's voice spoke very loudly
from loudspeakers in the trees, "Now hear this. Now hear this.
All giants must come to the meeting place at once. Come to the
meeting place at once." Then the horn sounded again and the same
announcement came again.

The giants backed away still bowing, "I'm sorry, Your Majesty,
we have to go. If we don't go, something bad will happen."

With that, they all stood up and began running through the

Michaela shouted, "Please, take me with you!"

One of the giants stopped, turned and picked up Michaela in his
huge hands saying, "Yes, Your Majesty, but we must hurry!" And
he ran after the others.

Michaela asked, "Where are you going?"

The giant replied, "To the meeting place, just like the flying
man commanded."

Michaela asked, "What I mean is, WHY are you going to the
meeting place?"

The giant replied, "The flying man has work for us to do."

Michaela asked, "How much does he pay you to do the work?"

The giant replied, "Oh, he doesn't pay us."

Michaela shouted, "He doesn't pay you for your work? That's

The giant put his finger to his lips and replied, "Shshsh! He'll
hear you. You'll make him angry!"

Michaela replied, "We'll see about that!"

As the giants approached a clearing in the forest, the giant
carrying Michaela stopped and put Michaela close to his mouth
and whispered, "I'm sorry, I mean no disrespect. But I can't
have you making the flying man angry. I need to keep you out of
sight. Please don't say anything."

With that, he dropped Michaela into his shirt pocket.

Michaela replied, "Alright, I promise I won't make any trouble
for you. I'll just watch."

The giants all sat in a circle around a huge tree stump in the
middle of the clearing. A man the size of Michaela's dad stood
on the tree stump and shouted, "Alright, you stupid giants,
today you're going to build me a new house."

"But we just built you a new house!" replied one of the giants.

The man turned toward the giant and sneered, "You big, dumb,
stupid giant! Who are YOU to question me?! Here's what will
happen to you if you question me again!"

With that the leader reached into his pocket and pulled out a
silver coin. He held it in the tips of the fingers on his left
hand and pointed to it with his right hand.

"This is the giant who questions me!" he shouted.

He made a grabbing motion with his right hand and the coin in
his left hand disappeared. The giants groaned. Then the leader
showed everyone that there was no coin in his right hand. The
giants groaned louder.

"You question me," he shouted, "And you disappear! Never to be
seen again! Understand?!"

The giants all nodded. One of the giants bowed down saying, "I'm
sorry I questioned you, Your Majesty! I promise I will never
question you again!"

With that, all the giants bowed down and Michaela fell out of
the giant's shirt pocket. But instead of climbing back in, she
decided to sneak up on the the stump where the man was standing.

"Now, as I said," said the man, "All the giants will work to
build me a new house. If you work together, you should be able
to build the house before sundown. If you don't finish the house
by sundown, here is what will happen to one of you."

With that, the leader reached into his pocket and pulled out a
stack of cards. He pulled the top card off of the stack and
showed everyone a picture of a giant.

"This is one of you BEFORE the sun goes down." he explained.

Then he put the card face down on the stack.

"And when the sun comes up tomorrow morning..."

The leader lifted the card off the stack again, and showed it to

"This is what you'll look like when you wake up tomorrow!"

The picture on the card had changed to a lady bug. All the
giants groaned loudly.

"Now," shouted the leader, "which one of you wants to be turned
into a bug?!"

All the giants bowed down and begged, "No, please! We'll finish
by sundown, we promise!"

The man shouted, "Well?! Get busy. Build me another house by
sundown... Or ELSE!"

The giants all jumped to their feet and began to chop down trees
and saw them up into boards for building the house.

After a while Michaela sneaked back from the tree stump with the
flying man's stack of cards and his coin. "Giants, listen to me!
You have nothing to fear from that man and you have nothing to
fear from me."

"What do you mean?" asked the giant.

Michaela explained, "He can't really make a coin disappear and
he can't make YOU disappear."

"But we saw him!" replied a giant.

"What you saw was a trick. Watch." explained Michaela.

She held the coin in the tip of her left hand and did the same
trick that the man did earlier, except she turned her hand so
the giants could see what really happened to the coin. As she
made a grabbing motion in slow motion with her right hand, she
let go of the coin in her fingertips and it fell into the palm
of her left hand.

"Because he was making a grabbing motion with his right hand,"
explained Michaela as she demonstrated, "you all ASSUMED that he
was grabbing the coin but here it is in the other hand. And
while you were all looking for the coin in his right hand as it
waved around, he was putting the coin in his pocket with his
left hand. Like this."

All of the giants gasped and closed in.

"Show us again!" they insisted.

Michaela repeated the trick over and over again, slower and
slower, saying, "It's just a trick to make you think he has
power over you."

"Yes, but what about changing us into a bug?!" asked a giant.

Michaela pulled the stack of cards out of her pocket and
explained and demonstrated, "You all thought he was picking up
ONE card from the stack. But he actually picked up TWO cards. He
held them in such a way that you could only see one card. Then
he laid both cards face down on the stack, like this, and tapped
them, then he picked up only one card, the top card and showed
you that one."

All of the giants gasped and closed in.

"Show us again!" they insisted.

Michaela repeated the trick over and over again, slower and
slower, saying, "It's just a trick to make you think he has
power over you."

"He didn't change the card! It's a different card!" exclaimed a

"It was all a lie!" explained Michaela, "You could squash him
like a bug, but he got you to believe that he was more powerful
than you with a lie!"

"So, he CAN'T make us disappear?" asked a giant.

"No." replied Michaela.

"And he CAN'T turn us into a bug?" asked a giant.

"Nope!" replied Michaela.

The giants ran toward the liar, intending to throw him out of
the forest. But he heard them shouting and saw them running at
him, so he took off in his hot-air balloon and they never saw
him again.

All the giants had a party for Michaela and celebrated her
victory over the liar.

Suddenly, a fierce wind came up, blowing toward Michaela's home.
She ran to her kite and got it flying just as a gust of wind
lifted her off the ground. And just as swiftly as she'd come,
she was back on the beach with her family.

She told them about the giants and about her victory over the
"flying man". And they all lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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