The giant’s strides moved him quickly along the path. He held his young close to his chest as he walked. The falling snow was light enough that the father needed no special gear, but he was glad for the bear hide that kept his son warm. Together they traipsed the long miles away.
As they came closer to the town passersby grew more frequent. The giant would keep on eye upon them, careful not to give the appearance of staring. He would gauge their shock and decide how best to reassure them he meant no harm. Sometimes he would offer a simple nod and smile. Other times, when he crossed another parent also with babes, they would trade the knowing and sympathetic looks that only parents can understand. Most of the time he merely trained his eyes on the horizon and kept moving forward. It was the safest course. Giants were not always held in high regard, and as he was carrying his child he did not wish to risk confrontation. So he walked.
As night began fell he heard the sounds of strings being plucked and saw the distant glow of a fire. The giant tugged on his beard and contemplated. The child pressed his face deeper into his father’s chest and the decision was made.
Outside the glow of the fire the giant announced himself. The warmth of the greeting surprised him as room was made by the fire. Food and drink were shared. In return the giant offered his own fare. The travelers went back to their strumming and soon the bass of the giant’s voice joined the chorus. The babe cooed and kicked close enough to be considered in time. Laughter and song gave way to sleep.
The morning sun saw greetings our to farewells. From their wagon the musicians strummed and sang and waved goodbye as the wagon outpaced even the giant’s massive strides. The giant felt his loud was lighter and wished each day could end in such fellowship.
Snow had given way to sunshine and as he walked the giant whistled a tune he did not know the day before.
(As I go about my day, I sometimes wonder what the fantastical version of that day’s story would be. Today my eight-month son and I just walked around the less crowded parts of Tokyo so Mom could have some time to herself. I’m not a giant and my iPhone and a pair of headphones served as the band of musicians, but this is what I though of as I walked.)