In light–or in blatant celebration–of another short story getting published by Eggplant Literary Productions (which I expect is going to decrease by next year, unless I come up with more things or send old, edited stuff out), I thought it was appropriate to ramble about the theme at hand: giants.
My image of giants has expanded to include many more mythical, fictional, and non-fictional creatures. But I think my first exposure to them would definitely be the fee-fi-fo-fums of the giant of the Jack and the Beanstalk stories. That said, I’m pretty sure I imagined the giant to be more of a Greek Cyclops, with one eye in the middle of its face and a heightened sense of smell (funnily enough, my second exposure to giant mythology happens to be The Odyssey). Then there are the colorfully-tinged giants, dark green like ogres, or a reddish, whitish, greyish stone like trolls, menacing, heavily deadly, and can practically crush you with a single swipe of their truck-sized fingers.
I’ve seen inclusions of giants as both good and bad guys, often a majority of them are portrayed as the “villains” of the story, owing to the fact that they are massive, powerful, and a threat to many of our teeny livelihoods, to be honest. I know the Hollywood-ed Jack the Giant Killer portrays every single giant as evil (though, unlike older counterparts, clever as well). Some, like the giants in Ella Enchanted, are not all that bad (but my memory fails me at this point). Then there’s also half-giants like Rubeus Hagrid and Madame Maxime versus the Voldemort-working giants in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series–clearly both factions have decided on a side.
Fairy tales tend to color giants as dangerous, but as far as fairy classification, they’re neither Seelie nor Unseelie. Some are indeed mischievous, and others are, well, more menacing about things than most. They live in castles or caves atop mountains that pierce the sky, or upon cloud kingdoms reachable only by beanstalk (or flight). What if all they really want is to be left alone? And what about giant children? Surely they aren’t born inherently “evil” or “good,” right?
So with all of that in the back of my head, it was not so difficult to come up with a giant story that dealt with a giant who still had a ways to go before it knew what it was in relation to humankind. In my short story “Caring for Kapre,” the girl meets a giant–a dark-skinned kapre who usually sits atop or under fruit trees–who is perhaps no older than her, grasping for fruits like a child would, and there’s really no other choice but to help him. In return, the kapre does a good turn for the girl who aids him.
Not that that’s what kapres are all about, mind you…but there it is.