Bigme was the butt of all giant jokes because he could not run or play and had to be careful all the time. His problem? His feet!
There was once a giant named Bigme who had very small feet. His body was big and broad and strong, but his feet — oh dear, when he looked down he could barely see them. He had to be careful when he walked. (Giant's shoes were too big and people's shoes were too small, so he always went barefoot.) He held on to the trees because if he didn't, he'd fall on his face or on his bottom.
Ouch! It hurt! But what hurt more were the loud laughs of the other giants. They pointed their fingers at him and shouted “Ho-ho-ho!” each time he fell.
So while the giants thumped here and there on their huge feet, Bigme went slowly, like a baby learning to walk. He couldn't play with the giants. He couldn't chase the little boys and girls who came out to play when their parents were not looking.
(You see, giants could crush little children under their feet so all the parents said, “Stay away” to their children when the giants were out. And everyone could tell when the giants were out because the ground shook, stones tumbled down the hills, and sometimes the roofs of houses blew off with the giants' huffing and puffing.)
Nothing like that happened when Bigme was out. He walked slowly. He didn't huff and puff. The ground didn't shake. The stones didn't tumble. In fact, no one knew that he was around.
That's how, one day, Bigme came upon four children playing in a field, laughing and singing and chasing each other. They looked so happy that Bigme wanted to join them. “Yoo-hoo!” he called out to them, “Can I play with you?”
The children stopped singing and turned around and stared at him. No giant had ever greeted them before and no giant had ever asked if he could play with them! The children didn't know what to say!
Bigme took that as a good sign. They hadn't shouted, “Go away!” They hadn't run away. They hadn't laughed at him.
He took one careful step towards them, then another and another. The children were nervous. He was getting close. And Bigme was getting excited. He took one more step — this time a hurried one.
Down he went! Crash! Boom! Luckily he didn't fall on his face and smash the children under him. Instead he found himself on his back with his legs stretched out in front of him. The children peered at him from around his bare feet. His tiny-for-his-size feet.
One little girl walked all the way up to his ears and asked, “Are you okay?”
Bigme had had worse falls in the past and no one had ever asked if he was okay. He smiled at her and wobbled up, hoping that the children wouldn't notice his feet. But they did. They stared at his bare feet. He closed his eyes. Then he felt something tickling the soles of his feet. The children were measuring his feet with their arms.
“We have something for you,” they said, and they took him to a hill with a pair of stone shoes standing on it.
“What's that?” he asked.
“Shoe slides,” the children chorused. “We climb up the front on those rungs that look like shoelaces and we slide down the back. Sometimes we jump in and out and pretend we live there. But you can have them. We'll find something else to play with.”
Bigme picked up the shoes and put them on. They were loose — in fact, two children could stand in each shoe even when his feet were inside. But the shoes were firm. They didn't fold up and make him lose his balance and the slides at the back of the shoes supported him well.
He took one step, then two and three. He jumped. He ran. And all along, the children were inside his shoes, hanging onto the sides, looking out and shouting, “Whee!” as they went over hills and trees and rivers.
They had found something else and someone else to play with — and so had Bigme!