Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Friends(?) come to visit

It was in the middle of the afternoon today that Aelira came to get me.

He burst into the new fireworks factory, where I was helping install the wiring.

“Kackanokack is,” was all he could get out before he tripped over a spool of wire on the floor. He rolled across the floor, the wire wrapping around him. He came to a stop against the far wall.

I bent over him.

“Are you all right?”

He moved wire away from his face.


“Yes. And you are Aelira.”

He blinked at me. I laughed.

“Now, are you all right?”

He rose up. “Yes. Yes. Oh, Kackanokack is here.”

“Thank you.”

A few minutes later I was approaching the ice cliffs where the frozen snow giant had been found. I noticed several more tents were going up in addition to the one that housed the frozen giant.

There were dozens of snow giants. Some, I did not know.

Kackanokack approached me. He was 25 feet tall. His long white hair hung down in two braids almost to his feet.

A snow giant I did not know was with him.

“Santa Claus,” Kackanokack began, bowing low. ”Thank you for your care of our brother.”

I bowed.

“Your brother is my brother.”

He nodded, then indicated the giant next to him.

“This is Gikanogark from the South Pole. He has come to help.”

I noticed that he did not call him “brother.” That meant to me that he was not a friend of the North Pole.

“Welcome,” I said to him. “We are always pleased to have guests. Especially ones who have come to help a brother.”

By calling him “guest,” I was telling him that we each now had a role to play: Host and guest. Those roles do not involve fighting. I also made it clear that I considered Kackanokack a brother.

Gikanogark nodded.

“Thank you. Your hospitality is well-known.”

“More of our people are on the way back,” Kackanokack said. “When enough have come, we will hold a waking ceremony.’

“Let us know whatever we can do to help.”

“I thank you. For now, we are best working among ourselves to prepare. We should be able to do the ceremony tomorrow.”

I understood. “working among ourselves” meant that it would be best if we left them alone.

I bowed, and walked away with the elves who had come with me.

As soon as we were out of the giant’s hearing, I turned to Eomar, the North Pole’s chief of security. He had come back during the night from his vacation when he heard what was going on.

“Choose some sharp elves to keep an eye on the giants’ camp” I said. “Elves who know how to see without being seen.”

“Understood,” he said.

He hurried away.

“Why do we have to watch them,” Aelira said. “Aren’t the giants our friends?”

“The snow giants who live at the North Pole are our friends," I said. “But we do not know these southern giants. Remember, we beat the giants in a war a long time ago, and giants have long memories.”

“Oh,” he squeaked.

I will not sleep easy tonight.


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