The Giant's Path 3: How Do You Wake A Giant?
Sleeping Giant from the Helena Valley
How Do You Wake A Giant?
Lost in thought, Kent placed the last stone onto the waist high pile of rocks that marked the location of the cave on the trail. Suddenly he heard Elizabeth scream!
He turned just in time to see both Elizabeth and Joshua come tearing out of the cave like the Devil himself was hard on their heals. A plume of dust followed them out. The sound of crashing rocks could be heard inside the cave.
They sprinted toward Kent at light speed. Yelling at the top of their lungs as they approached "He's awake! He's awake!
Kent's body flushed with anxiety, he immediately prepared himself for the worst. His eyes instantly went back to the cave expecting to see it burst open as the giant tore his way out!
He stared intently. Nothing happened. All was calm. There was no sign of movement. The dust was settling and the entrance to the cave was just as it had been before. All appeared to be well. By now, the children were hiding behind Kent. Out of breath, urging him to run! Kent took a deep breath to calm himself.
"Its OK!..... Look no one is after you," Kent assured them. "Settle down and tell me what happened."
It took a moment for them to catch their breath enough to speak full sentences but words finally made their way to their lips.
As all parents know, it takes some doing to get to the bottom of a story when their children know they have done wrong. Elizabeth blamed Joshua and Joshua blamed Elizabeth! The story was lost somewhere in between. After a lot of questions and words of assurance Kent finely got it out of them.
Finding a sleeping giant in a cave was more then any kid could handle. Their curiosity got the better of them. Initially they just wanted one more look. In all the excitement, Kent had foolishly left the torch at the entrance to the cave. Joshua discovered that it still had a few glowing embers and after a simple light puff, it was burning again. However, like any temptation, one thing lead to another until they found themselves at the cave's entrance, with a rock in their hands, counting to three. In their minds this was a game of doorbell ditch. They were going to throw and run. They hadn't thought beyond that.
The giant's head and shoulders were closest to the cave entrance. By now the sun had moved into a position that threw more light into the cave. The light from outside combined with the light from the torch made it possible to make out the giant's form with more detail. 1-2-3 Throw! The Rocks found their mark at the back of the giants head. While the missiles were in flight, Elizabeth and Josh bolted! But instead of making a graceful stealthy exit, they ran smack into each other. Tripping and falling flat on their rumps making enough noise to raise the dead. Instinctively they both froze in terror, sure that they were busted. However, nothing happened. The giant just laid there. He hadn't moved.
As you can imagine, this was very unsatisfying. So they did what any child with a death wish would do, they tried again! This time, they planned their escape a little better. 1-2-3 Throw! Elizabeth's rock hit it's mark around the lower shoulder. Joshua's rock, however, hit the roof of the cave just above the head, ricocheted to the wall just in front of the giants face, bounced off, and hit the giant in the nose.
The giant's hand lazily went up to his face as if he were batting a fly. But then it fell limp again. Of course, this only encouraged them to do more. A laugh escaped Elizabeth's mouth but was quickly squelched as Joshua started moving closer to the giant's back. He had a long stick in his hand. It was clear he intended to poke the giant. But the piles of debris made it impossible to reach with out some sure footed maneuvering and a free hand. He stopped then handed Elizabeth the torch and made his way over the pile of rocks. This frightened Elizabeth. "Joshua!" She scolded in as loud a whispered as she could muster, "Stop! Get back here! That's a really bad idea!" Joshua had disappeared into a shadow which panicked her even more.
"Hold On." I am almost there! Joshua's voice sounded strained as he extended the stick toward the giant's lower back! There was a pile of rocks in his way, forcing him to stretch to touch the giant.
In a rush of adrenalin, Joshua pricked the giants back, then in a flash, he dropped the stick and was about to fling himself toward the cave entrance for a quick exit, but once again, nothing happened.
"Josh? What's happening! Come back! This is to dangerous!" Elizabeth demanded. This was more than she had bargained for.
Ignoring her in the way that little brothers often do, he felt around for the stick and gave it another go! Still nothing happened. Joshua was sorely disappointed.
"You have got to be kidding" thought Josh out loud in a frustrated voice hoping the giant would hear him and wake up! But, as before, nothing happened.
"What did you do? What happened? Josh, I can't see you!" Elizabeth was still whispering. Secretly, she was wishing she was the one with the stick. She admired Joshua's courage but was not comfortable with him being out of sight. "Josh that's enough get back here I going to get Dad!"
Just for good measure he tried once more. This time he leaned into the stick until the end snapped off. Still no sign of movement.
Bummed, Josh turned and headed back toward the cave entrance. He had just stepped off the pile of debris when the ground started to shake. Rocks, dirt, and dust started to fly everywhere. The cave was falling in.
Elizabeth's imagination got the better of her. Just before the rocks and dust started going everywhere, She believed she saw the giant's head and shoulders move leading to the idea that the giant had awakened and was trying to claw his way out of the cave. She caught a glimpse of Josh just before the rocks had started to fly but had lost him again in the dust. She was sure he had been crushed. Just as she started to scream, Josh pushed past her on his way out. Elizabeth immediately followed hard on his heals screaming the whole way!
"You guys are lucky to be alive!" Kent recognized that it was partly his fault. He left the torch partly lit and got so engrossed in his thoughts that he lost track of them. Instead of scolding the kids harshly to the point that they would want to run and hide, he simply reinforced the obvious by stating that caves are dangerous places especially when there are giants in them. He couldn't believe he just said that. Then for effect he lectured while using 'The Look'. This is a particular facial expression that every parent must master by the time their child is five. It's the look that effectively communicates never do such a foolish thing ever again because if the giant doesn't kill you, I will. If you are a parent of a small child, and have not mastered this look, do it! It comes in very handy, especially at church.
Kent's thoughts then turned back towards the giant. He was concerned that he had been killed or injured when the cave fell in. Because of the giant's massive size, Kent knew he had a good chance of surviving such an event depending on the severity of the cave in. To make sure, he decided to take one more look inside to see if he was still breathing.
He instructed his children to stay outside. He explained to them that he was only going to go a few steps into the cave. That he had no intentions of putting himself at risk. He pointed out that if the giant needed help it is up to the three of them to do so.
Kent lit the torch one more time. "Where's a flashlight when you need one?" Kent asked in mild frustration.
Upon entering the cave he was delighted to discover that the giant was alive and well. In fact he had changed positions. He was now laying on his side facing them. His whole body was now exposed. He was a massive brute. It was still too dark to make out a lot of detail but as the children said, his face and shoulders were easily seen with the light available. As he glanced , he noticed that the roof of the cave, was for the most part, solid granite. It was unlikely that it would ever fully collapse on him. The giant had chosen his cave well. The debris that had been piled high around the giant was gone. It became clear that he had violently rolled over. Flinging debris everywhere inside the cave.
Kent stood there amazed that the giant was still sleeping. How could he have possible stayed asleep during that much commotion. Kent considered all the things that the giant had slept through: three rocks to the back of his head and one on his nose, a stab in the back, Joshua's loud frustration, Elizabeth's ear piercing screams, and enough debris flying around to simulate a cave-in. Kent had no explanation. Hopefully Granddad's journals will be able to answer, what is sure to become, one of the most pressing questions. How do you wake a giant?
Satisfied that everything was good, Kent stepped back outside. He took a moment to explain what he had seen to his kids. Assuring them that all was well. Then the three of them headed down the mountain. Anxious to consult Granddad's journals.
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