Writing Exercise - The Giants Hobby


The Giants Hobby

"That one looks quite good, I love how you've taken such care with the bridge of the nose." piped up Spurt, adjusting her seat upon the giant's shoulder as she watched. The child was barely more than ten years old but she had been watching the giant ever since she was old enough to walk and talk. Heedless of the warnings her mother and their village had given her she had stricken up something of a friendship with him, amazed not only at his size but at the work he constantly produced.

"Thank you little one." Was the reply as he held up the giant slab of stone that was meticulously being carved into the semblance of a head, one that he had carved a thousand times before in various expressions and poses. Over the boulder he cast careful eyes, turning it this way and that in the light for them both to examine. "What should the expression be little one? I was thinking mild shock." The boulder was still for the most part featurless of expression, looking small in the Giants meaty hands.

"Oooh that would be interesting, I don't know you did mild shock a few weeks ago. You know what you haven't done in a long time? Disgust! Oooh, I love disgust!" She made a face and held her stomach like she would be ill, raising a booming laugh from the giant and jostling her around on his shoulder in a laughing mess.

The Giant nodded very slowly and stroked his chin while Spurt righted herself, considering as he set the massive rock down. "I have not done disgust in a while little one, I thank you. That will work just fine." He lifted the chisel with one hand and the massive hammer with the other and very deliberately began to chip away at the stone.

While the giant chipped away Spurt pulled out her own tiny rock from her pack, then her own tiny hammer and chisel which she used to mimic the giant. She had plenty of room on his shoulder and so spread out, putting the small stone in front of her as the giant did and carefully tapping away at it.

Every so often the giant would turn his head and regard her tapping, nodding slowly or offering some morsel of advice before turning to his own work again. And like that, they would sit until the sky was almost sinking below the horizon. Then the Giant would gently pick the yawning child up off his shoulder and place her on the ground so she could run off to her mother, the sound of boulders being chiseled following her and continuing long into the night only to greet her when she arrived again the next morning with a fresh pack of food and an eager smile.

Her mother had been against this at first, scared the giant would harm her beloved Spurt. However, this had proven the opposite case so far, as the giant seemed to empathize with the child and welcomed her to join in with his work. This inexplicably turned out to be a good thing, because the town was growing. Their wood huts and shelters proving to not be enough for the growing population, but in the giant they had found a solution.

In between his projects, he would often go to get more stone to work with, and so the town had beseeched him to lend them some of the stone as well. The first time had been disastrous as they had interrupted his work with a large group of the leaders and warriors to broach talks. This had driven him into a rage that took three weeks to quell. So now it was up to Spurt, her mother telling her "Just remember, you need to wait until he's finished working to ask him. He can get very angry if his work is interrupted. And we don't want him angry. We need his help."

A loud crack sounded breaking Spurt from her thoughts and causing her to look around in surprise. The boulder the giant had been working on laid cleft in twain on the ground, split neatly in half as the giant just sighed and shook his head.

"Ah I was afraid of that, this last batch of stone has been especially brittle. I need to dig a little deeper next time." He turned slowly as Spurt hung on, looking at where his normal pile sat and saw it empty, turning back and resting his hands on the ground. "It can't be helped, it seems it is time to restock. Would you like to come with me little one?"

"Oh yes, very much so! May I ride in your pocket?"

"Of course. Here." He lifted her gently and slid her into his front pocket so she could peek out at the world, pushing himself up off the ground to tower above the surroundings. He began to lumber off, wind whipping in Spurts face as she rode along.

"May we also bring some back for the village as well? My mums wanting to wall a garden!"

"I don't see why not, I think today we will bring back a lot of stone."

Several hours later the village was bustling as the evening drew near, packing up stalls and people making their way towards home when a low grinding noise could be heard in the distance. The alarm sounded for the town and all the people began to gather and look as over the horizon loomed a mountain, growing ever larger.

Needless to say, the people panicked, running about and gathering what they could, some fleeing away and some making their peace when a collective recognition spread among them. Behind the mountain was the giant, now almost small against the massive hunk of stone which he pushed slowly towards them. From this distance, you couldn't see her but Spurt was there, cheering and clapping between the giants strained grunts.

When they were close and the mountain loomed high above the giant climbed, reaching the top in moments and beginning to break off meaty hand sized chunks which he let roll down behind him and away from the town. then, when the mound of stone was more manageable he moved to the size of the village, squatting down and getting a good look at their buildings before turning and beginning to tear away chunks of the stone to match the rough sizes and gently placing them down.

When his work was through the mountain had been reduced considerably in size and the giant took a seat on top, taking one of the many chunks of boulder and sitting it in front of him. Then he produced his large hammer and his chisel, once more settling in to tap away and begin revealing the face inside the stone.

Spurt retook her place high up on his shoulder and called down to the shocked people "We've brought enough stone for quite a while. Now we're going to get back to work!" Which she did, getting her tiny chunk of stone from her pack and her own chisel and hammer, settling in to work.

The loud thump and small tap of stone being carved carried on long into the night.

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