It was always said that there might be giants in the mountains, the way it was always said that there were gods on Mount Olympus, Yeti in the Himalayas, fairies in the hills of Britain. It had been a long time since anyone actually believed that there were giants in the mountains but in fact there were, and the less people believed in the giants the less the stories about them had anything to do with the reality of them.

the more moon the more shadows

The giants did not carry clubs or eat people. They did not spend all their time beating each other up and they weren’t stupid brutes. They had no magical powers; they didn’t, needless to say, live in the clouds; they didn’t have any gold or other treasures. Who makes these things up, anyway?

sorry for everything I cross the river

The giants, as any sensible person might deduce, lived the hard lives of people trying to support themselves off the land in a hostile wilderness. They spent most of their time hunting and foraging. They lived in caves. They wore wool and leather. They were cold. They were hungry. There’s not enough food to feed many giants at the top of a mountain. Their numbers diminished rapidly. They could see well enough that the living would be easier in the valleys. But they had stories about us, too.

spring showers
the unidentified caller
finally speaks

They didn’t tell the stories to the youngest giant, the only child growing up among them in the days of their decline. They saw no sense in frightening her and they were in any case preoccupied with practicalities. You might think that without myths and fairy tales she saw the world more clearly and truly but in fact the opposite was the case. Without the stories she had no choice but to take everything at face value, and the face of things is often deceptive.

in the rebuilt wasps’ nest the same buzzing