Monday, August 5, 2013

Zak, the Giant Slayer

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far, far away, as many stories start out, there lived a young boy named Zak, who was known far and wide as the giant slayer. People often told the tales of his heroics by the campfire after supper and the children would listen quietly so as not to miss a single detail.

Zak was a young shepherd boy who often sang songs while watching his flock, and occasionally he would have to run off a wolf or two, he often watched the flock until supper time and made up fantastic stories about people and things he imagined seeing in the stars, and many was the night that the other children in the village would gather around to listen to his tall tales.  

The children would ask him to tell them a story and he would scratch his head and think about it for a spell, and then something would come to him and off they all went to imaginary lands in his mind. 

One night, the children gathered around and begged him for a story and although he did not feel well that night, their pleads inspired him to tell them the story of another shepherd boy who cried wolf just for fun, and when the people came to his rescue as they often did, he would laugh and laugh at them. After several pranks from the boy, the villagers vowed they would not be tricked by him again, and so the next time, when he cried out wolf, they ignored him and went on about their business.

"Oh my, what happened?" asked Hera, a bright eyed little girl in the group with long silky hair and big brown eyes.

"Wolf ate him up," Zak said proudly. "And that is why you should never tell a lie." he pointed at the children to emphasize his point, and they all shook their heads terrified.

Suddenly the dinner bell rang and all the little children jumped up to run to dinner, but they could not get down the trail to the village because a big mean looking Cyclops was in the way and he looked hungry. The children had always heard that Cyclopes ate children and so they screamed and ran behind Zak.

"It's okay," he told them, "I will distract him and then you all run home." 

Zak walked up to the Cyclops who looked at him and the children hungrily and raised his club, which was as big as a tree in the forest almost, and swung it at him with a mighty swing. Zak took a dagger from his belt holster and stabbed the giant in the foot. The giant Cyclops roared and tried to smash Zak with his club but he missed, then Zak ran out into the meadow with the Cyclops close behind. The giant had much longer legs than Zak so he had no trouble catching up with him quickly, but that was what Zak wanted because as soon as the giant chased him into the meadow, the children ran home to safety and now that they were safe and he and the giant were alone, Zak was going to teach that no good monster a lesson and how.

Zak grabbed his sling shot and a nearby pebble and he wound up a shot and hit the Cyclops right square between the eyes as fast as he could. Now the giant had been in the process of raising his heavy club to smash Zak  at the time and had both his hands high above his head and so he was totally defenseless against his assault.  The small pebble hit the giant like a bullet and knocked him flat on his back. As he fell, his head hit a rock behind him and killed him.

About this time the villagers came running with pitchforks and clubs and saw the giant Cyclops fall to his death and they cheered and ran to Zak and carried him victoriously home chanting "Long live the giant slayer" all the way.  

That night the village listened to the tale of Zak the giant slayer for the first of many nights to come, and soon his legend spread all across the land, to the farthest reaches of the kingdom and beyond.