George the Giant – Elementary English Version
George the Giant lived in a cave far away from the nearest town. He and the other giants were quiet beings. They liked to live alone, and had lived happily that way for hundreds of years.
That is, up until a time when the rains did not come on time. There was not enough water for farmers to grow food. Many people were hungry. There was a new king at the time. His name was King Terry, and he was not a good man. People started to say that it was because of him that the rains did not come. Hearing of this, King Terry wrongly told the people that the giants had stopped the rains. “The rains won’t come again,” he said “until you hunt down and kill all of the giants”.
The people believed this, and many men set out to hunt the giants. Soon, George was the only one left. All the others were killed. Men came to try to kill George, too. But no one was strong enough. He killed them all. George no longer lived quietly and happily. He had to fight for his life almost every day. This made him angry at the people of the world.
After a while, the rains came. The people then saw that what King Terry had said was wrong. One giant was still living. So it could not have been the giants that made the rains come late. They stopped trying to kill George. But other men still came. There was a story that there was a big treasure inside George’s cave. Strong fighters came from all over the world to try to kill George and take it. But George killed all of them easily.
Many later kings were sad because of what King Terry had done to the giants. They sent men to tell George that they wanted to be friends with him. But George did not want to be friends with anyone. He did not wait for the king’s men to say why they had come. He killed anyone who came near his cave as soon as he saw them. After many years, the kings stopped trying to make friends with George.
One day a young Princess became very sick. The best doctors in the kingdom tried to help her. But she did not get better. Soon it looked as if she might die. The doctors were scared that the King would be angry at them for not saving the Princess. Then one of them had an idea and went to see the King. “The old books say there is only one thing that will surely save the Princess,” he said. “That is to give her some soup made from the leaves of a magic plant. But there is a problem. Giants grow these plants as food. The only place they can be found is in a giant’s cave.”
The King decided that he must ask for George’s help. He sent his best men, but not one of them came back. George killed them all before they could say a word about what they wanted.
The King then sent out a call for help throughout the kingdom. He said that any man who brought back some leaves of the magic plant could marry the Princess.
Many men tried, in many different ways. Some took weapons and tried to fight George. Others tried magic. One man even had a magic spell made where no one could see him. But George could smell him. He killed this man and every other one that came.
One day a young musician came to see the King. He said, “I want your magicians to change me and my harp into a flower. Make it so that I will turn back into a man again at mid-day tomorrow. Then have someone leave me outside George’s cave tonight. I’ll try to use my music to get him to help us.”
The next morning, George heard an unusual sound. He looked outside and saw a beautiful flower which was singing a sad song to the sound of a harp. George had never heard music before. He was used to hearing only the sound of men with weapons coming to fight with him. As George listened to the music, he started to feel less angry. The flower kept singing, and George moved nearer. He took the flower in his hand so that he could hear it better.
The song was the story of a young Princess who would soon die unless saved by a kind giant. George listened with great feeling. He felt the sadness of the song and began to cry quietly. The musician thought that it was safe enough to stop singing. Then he spoke normally, and told George all about the Princess and how she needed his help.
“I am really a man,” he said to George. “I had myself turned into a flower so that I could get close enough to ask you for help. Please don’t think that all people are bad. The other giants were hunted and killed because a bad king told a story about the giants stopping the rains. The hunting stopped as soon as the people saw that the story was wrong. Many later kings have sent men to say how they wanted to be friends with you. But these men have never come back.”
“This king,” he said “also wants to be friends. If you help the Princess, he will help you by stopping men coming after your treasure. He will tell all of his people that they must stay away from your cave. Also, he will stop men from other countries from coming to try to take it.”
George saw that what the flower was saying was the best thing to do. He did not want to fight and kill any more. So he gave the young musician some leaves from the magic plant to take back for the Princess. When George did this, he felt better and happier than he had in all the years of fighting.
In the years to come, the young musician won more than the Princess’s love. He was much loved by all the people in the kingdom. And as he grew older, he became the best king that the land had ever had.
As for George, he still lives alone in his cave. He has only ever had one visitor. The young musician came to thank him after the Princess got better. He gave George his harp, and taught him to sing and play music. George is no longer angry at the people of the world. He lives more happily than ever. For how can you not be happy when you can sing and make music?