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Canadian Wonder Tales by  Cyrus MacMillan


 

 

THE BOYS AND THE GIANT

[198]

T
HREE little boys were hunting in the Canadian woods in old times. They pretended to be big like men. A giant was prowling about looking for food. He saw the boys through the trees. He thought he would catch them and have a good meal. So he slapped his hands together rapidly and made a noise like a partridge drumming. The little boys heard the noise. They thought it was a partridge, and they went towards the sound. The giant caught them. He picked each one by the heels and struck the head of each on the ground. He thought they were all dead. Then he put them in a big birch-bark bag, put it on his back, and started home, well pleased with the thought of the nice meal he was going to have.

But the ground on which he had struck the boys' heads was soft. The boys were only stunned by the blow. And after the giant had walked a little way, the boys came to life again. But they made no sound. One of the boys had a little hunting knife made of stone. The giant walked under the trees, and the branches rattled on the birch-bark bag. When the branches rattled, the boy cut a hole in the bag, and the giant could not hear the noise of the cutting. The boys [199] slipped through the hole, one after the other. Then they ran home as fast as they could.

The giant was very strong. He had not felt the weight of the boys on his back. And he did not notice a difference in the weight when they slipped out. When he reached home, he left his load outside. One of his brothers was waiting for him. The giant said, "I have a good fat meal outside in my bag. Come out and see it." When they opened the bag, it was empty. The giant was very cross. But with his brother he sat before the fire to eat greedily what food he had in his cave.


[Illustration]

THE PEOPLE SET OUT TO FIND THE GIANTS. SOON THEY CAME TO THEIR CAVE.

When the boys reached home, they told their people what had happened to them. The people set out to find the giants. Soon they came to their cave. The giant and his brother were sleeping before the fire after their hearty meal. The people hid in the trees and shot at the giants. An arrow struck the old giant. He awoke and said to his brother, "I have a stitch in my side." But soon a shower of arrows struck them and they fell dead, and the place was troubled no more by giants.


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