Monday, October 3, 2016

Jack the Giant-Tamer, an Underfable

          Jack the Giant-Tamer

          Once upon a time, Jack the Mighty Hunter chased his quarry into an enormous cavern. The cavern was strange and square; it stank of giant, and was cluttered with weird treasure; but brave Jack continued pursuit. He crept up to his target; he leapt; he grabbed it hard and sharp. The grey-coat squeaked in despair; he severed its spinal cord; it died. Jack ripped it open, and he feasted on its heart and liver.
Then he heard the giant approach. Jack spun around to face it. He held up five knives and he hissed, “I am Jack the Mighty Hunter! I have fifteen more blades as sharp as these, and I have needle-daggers too! I’m a survivor, I’m a bad-ass, I’m a killer! So back off!
          The giant said, “You are beautiful.” The giant touched the wall, and by giant’s magic, flooded the room with light. “You kill greycoats.”
          “It’s mine!
          “It’s yours.”
“I love greycoats!”
          “I hate greycoats. So stay. Live here. Kill greycoats.”
          Jack considered this offer. “What’s in it for me?
          For answer, the giant produced, by giant’s magic, a huge shiny hollow filled with fresh water; and then another shiny hollow filled with ground meat. The giant said, “These are yours.” Then it conjured forth, before Jack’s wide-staring eyes, a bed just his size, and a sandy rest-stop. “These too are yours. So stay. Kill greycoats. Be mine.”
          Jack sampled the water and the meat. They were delicious. Jack told the giant, “I’ll think about it,” and he stalked off.
          He left the giant’s mansion the same way that he came in. Once outside, he sat down in a dandelion grove and considered his options.
          “It’s warm and dry in there. It has prey, and ground meat, and fresh water, and a soft bed, and a pit-stop… everything I need.”
          “But the place stinks of giant. I’d have to live with a giant. It’s bigger than me. And it’s magical. That giant has strange powers. What can it do? What will it do? Danger, danger!”
          “It’s up to something, I can smell it. But what? Think, Jack!”
          Jack’s eyelids drooped. It was late at day, too bright to see and too hot to hunt. He closed his eyes and he slept.
          And as he slept, he dreamed that his mother came to him. By dream-logic, she was his mother, but she was also a giant. He cuddled up close to her, and she said, “First you were Jack the Tiny. Then Jack the Bold, then Jack the Brave, then Jack the Mighty Hunter. Now I give you another name.”
          Jack awoke. The sun was setting; the working night was about to begin. Jack rose and stretched, and suddenly remembered his new name:
          Jack the Giant-Tamer.
          “I will make it mine,” he vowed; and he slipped back into the giant’s mansion.

          Moral: It’s courage that makes the hero.

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