One evening when it was story time, we were sitting outside in the twilight shadows. All of us were there, my mom, John, Bobby, Natalia, and Virginia. John spoke up. Usually he let my mama do the storytelling, she had a lot of good ones.
“Honey, tell us that story about the boy and the giant.” John asked. My mom looked confused for a moment and then she understood.
“Once upon a time in a place across the ocean, there lived a giant who wanted to kill everybody in the next kingdom. He was so big that he did not fit in the bathtub. His hair was long and stringy because no one was tall enough to cut it. His beard reached below his knees and he was so big that birds made their nests in it. This giant was so smelly that people knew he was coming when he was still many miles away.”
“He said to the good king, ‘I’ll fight your army all by myself! And then I will have your little babies for dinner.’ The King and everyone else were frightened.”
In my imagination I could almost see that happening. What was the king going to do? What were the people going to do? I had to wait for the answer.
“All the kings’ soldiers were too frightened to attack the giant. But there was this one little boy went before the king said “I will fight him. I will take a bath first and then he won’t be able to find me.”
“The King looked down at him and thought about his plan. He was surprised that nobody had thought of this before.”
“When his advisers told him how silly this plan was, he got mad at them. At least he came up with a plan. So he told the boy to go take a bath then fight the giant.”
“When the fateful day arrived, the boy walked alone into the battlefield. The giant saw him and started laughing. He kept looking at the little boy and was laughing louder and louder. He laughed so loud that the sides of the mountain started tumbling down. A great big boulder landed on his head and killed him dead.”
“And that is why we take a bath every Saturday night.”
There was a lesson hidden deep inside my mother’s story. I am not sure what the lesson was because I never saw any giants here in California.