Thursday, July 28, 2005

An awakening, and a feast

The night was shorter than I thought.

Then again, we are still in the season of near 24-hour sun, so night is not quite the right word.

I lay in bed for less than an hour, when there was a sudden bellowing.

The sound of one giant bellowing is awe inspiring. But 200 giants? It’s enough to turn your bones to string candy!

I threw on my clothes, ran downstairs and out of my home.

Elves in various states of dress were gathering. Some brought weapons.

I felt a sudden chill.

This is the North Pole. Weapons should not be here.

“Has anyone seen Eomar?” I asked.

He came to me a moment later.

“They woke him,” he said, gasping. “They hummed and hummed, and then suddenly we heard a scream. The humming stopped. Then the bellowing started. We saw them leading the frozen one out of the tent. That’s when they all joined in.”

“Santa,” one elf said, “should we prepare for battle?”

I looked around at the elves, the dwarves, the humans.

“No,” I said brightly. “Let’s prepare a feast.”

Many of them looked at me as if I was crazy. I wondered if maybe they were right. Butt I was not about to risk war at the North Pole.

What kind of example would I be setting for the children?

So the elves began preparing the great hall. The kitchen elves began to prepare all sorts of delicacies, including some giant favorites. The music elves dug through their closets for giant songs and dances.

Meanwhile, the bellowing stopped. It was replaced by chanting.

Watcher elves kept sending back reports of wild dances in the giants’ camp. They reported great clubs were being swung around in the air.

At 6 a.m. when all was ready, I summoned Eomar again.

“Prepare a color guard in full costume,” I said. “Ready some of the musicians in costume, too. We leave in 30 minutes. But remember: no weapons.”

At 6:30, we gathered in the village square.

“Musicians,” I said, “a giant marching tune.”

They began to play. We marched in procession, dressed in our best. The elves back in the village began to clam their ands in time to the music.

We marched around the hill that separated us form the giant camp. As we rounded the hill, we saw some of the giants standing there, staring with their mouths open. Many of them held clubs.

We continued to march to the music.

Kackanokack, Kracknovag, and Gikanogark suddenly appeared on the edge of the camp. They approached us.

I bowed.

“Honored guests,” I said. “We have heard your brother is better. We rejoice. We ask you now to join us in a feast to celebrate.”

They looked at each other. Gikanogark was scowling (well, scowling more than a giant normally scowls. He said something to Kackanokack, who growled!

Gikanogark sneered, but then nodded to him. Then he turned to me.

“We accept your hospitality,” he snarled.

We had a wonderful feast. There was much laughing, singing, dancing, and wrestling. It will take us weeks to repair the hall!

The frozen giant, Kickingik, was weak, but he joined in with the feasting.

It turns out he had slipped into a crack in the ice 600 years before. But being a snow giant, he simply hibernated. His family now lived at the South Pole. He planed to join them.

The feast lasted until noon. Then the giants began to go back to their camp.

Gikanogark was one of the last to leave.

“You have been a good host,” he said. “We leave in peace.”

“Maybe some day we can feast together again,” I said.

He smirked. Or was it a smile? Hard to tell with a giant.

“Maybe,” he said.

They will leave in the morning. I will be happy to see the southern giants gone.

But I fear we will see them again.


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