Thursday

THE GIANT'S TOE

Once there was a giant who found the crack into the garden. He wondered what it was, so he lay himself down on the ground and put an eye to the crack and peeped through it. His long legs stretched out behind him and kicked over a picket fence that belonged to a witch. This frightened the witch's house so much that it got up and ran away with the witch inside.

"Help! Help!" cried the witch, but the giant did not hear. He was busy looking through the crack.

He put one big, blue eye against the crack and looked through.

At first he did not know what he was looking at. There were too many green things in his way. There were little leaves nodding in a breeze and grasses rustling. What he was looking at through the crack was a garden.

Then he saw a black and white bird. The bird saw his shiny, watery eye.

Is that a bit of the sky?” asked the bird. The blue did not answer so the bird hopped across and gave it a great, big peck.

Ow,” cried the giant, and jerked away from the crack. “Ouch! That hurts.” He slapped a hand over his eye. “Ow." He had clapped his hand over his eye so hard it hurt his head. "What a stupid crack,” he wailed, and gave it a furious kick.

He kicked it so hard that his old, flappy boot flew off and went flying right through the air until it landed upside down on the Rainbow Queen's palace.

The giant was so cross when he saw his boot fly away that he kicked the crack again. This time his toe got stuck in it.

"Ow!” he cried. “Ouch! That hurts.”


On the other side of the crack, the black and white bird saw a great, big, pink, fat worm.

I want that worm,” said the bird. It grabbed the big fat worm in its beak. It grabbed as much of that big fat worm as it could and pulled. The bird pulled with all his might to get that fat worm out of the ground.

Ow! Ow!” roared the giant. The bird could not hear the giant because it was on the other side of the crack.Everyone in fairyland could hear him, though.

The Rainbow Queen heard the noise. She flew out of her palace with her fairy attendants.

"Who put that ugly old boot on my palace?” she asked. "And why is that giant making all that noise?"

The Rainbow Queen's fairies flew to the giant and scolded him.

You must stop making that noise,” they told him. “And you must take your boot off the palace roof. The boot is making the windows dark and the air all stinky.”

Ow!” said the giant. “Ouch! Something stabbed my eye," he told them, "and now someone is pinching my toe. Oh! Oh!”

He hopped on up and down on one foot and tried to pull his toe out. His head wobbled and his belly jiggled like a sea of jelly, but his toe stayed stuck. He pulled and pulled, but the toe would not come out.

 “What shall we tell the Queen? She wants him to take his boot off her palace.”

“Grab him by the ears," a voice called. "And pull hard. Really hard. That's the way to get his toe out of the crack." It was the witch. She had brought her house back to see what the fairies were doing.

So the fairy attendants grabbed the giant by the ears and began to pull.

Ow,” said the giant. He waved an arm to shoo the fairies away. “Go away you stupid fairies. Now I've got a sore eye, a sore toe, and sore ears. Oh.”

How rude,” exclaimed the fairies. “We were only trying to help.”

You can help,” the witch told them. “Give him some pepper. When he sneezes his toe will come out of the crack.”

So the fairy attendants gave the giant some pepper. He sneezed. He sneezed so hugely he blew the rest of the witch's fence over. The frightened pickets got up and ran off with their railings, leaving the witch and her house behind.

The giant sneezed again. He sneezed so enormously that he blew his boot right off the tower and over a hill and so far away that it landed on the moon.

Then he sneezed a third time. He sneezed so humongously that he fell over on his back.

Oh,” he cried. His toe was still in the crack.

What,” asked the Rainbow Queen, “is the meaning of all this sneezing?” She flew over and stood on the giant's belly. It was like standing on a sea of jelly, but she kept her feet and looked sternly at him.

Every one is so mean to me,” cried the giant. “The fairies have been pulling my ears and making me sneeze, and now the moon has taken my boot.”

The Rainbow Queen looked around and saw where the giant's toe was stuck in the crack.

You don't take very good care of your socks,” she said. “You've got a great big hole in one of them and now I see that a bird on the other side of the crack has mistaken your toe for a worm.”

The Rainbow Queen could see through the crack even with the giant's toe in her way. Any fairy queen could have.

Why is that bird so mean to me?” the giant cried. His tears made big streams that poured down the sides of his face.

We'll just have to cut his toe off,” called the witch from her house. “He'll have to hop around for the rest of his life. And serve him right.”

Before we cut his toe off,” the Rainbow Queen answered, “perhaps we could rub some grease on it. Then it would slide out.”

Where will you fairies find grease in your nice clean castle?” asked the witch.

In the kitchen,” said the yellow fairy. “We have cooking oil so that our cakes will slide off the trays.” And she flew off to the kitchen.

In the lamps,” said the red fairy. “We use lamp oil to light the passages.” And she flew off to the passages.

And the candle wax,” said the pink fairy. “We use that sometimes when we want to make the floor smoother for dancing on.” Then she flew off to the dancing hall.

Well,” said the witch. “What about some of my bacon grease then?”

Oh no you don't,” said the Rainbow Queen. “If the bird thinks it smells delicious bacon on its worm, it will try even harder to pull it through.”

Nuts,” said the witch, seeing that she wasn't going to trick the Rainbow Queen into being mean to the giant.

The three fairies came back. They tried the baking oil, and pulled. They tried the lamp oil and pulled. Finally they rubbed the wax on the crack itself and pulled again.

Pop!

The giant fell back again as his toe came out.

Hooray,” said the fairy attendants. “Now we can visit the garden again.”

And I,” said the Rainbow Queen, “will see if the moon is all right. Perhaps the man in the moon will be kind enough to give the giant his flappy old boot back.”

Nuts,” said the witch.

And you,” said the Rainbow Queen to the witch, “now that your house is unharmed you must mend your fences. After that, would you please be so kind as to mend the giant's sock?”

Oh.” The did not like to be kind, so she pulled her head in through the window so they couldn't see her anymore. “Nuts,” they heard her say. All the same, when she had mended her fence she found some cobwebs to mend the giant's sock with.

So the giant got his sock mended, and the moon gave the boot back, and the fairies were able to fly through the crack and visit their favourite garden again.

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