Giant Steps by Margaret Perkin

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived an enormous giant. He was at least ten feet tall, with a mop of red hair and a beard, and in his hand he carried a mighty axe.

Every year, on the same day, at the same time, the giant would walk down from the mountains which were his home, to stand outside the castle walls, terrorizing the inhabitants.

‘Come, send me your bravest man, I will fight him,’ the giant would shout, towering over the wall and waving his axe menacingly. ‘Send me someone to fight, or I will knock down your castle walls and kill everyone with my axe.

And every year, the gate in the castle wall would open slowly and fearfully, and one poor, valiant soul would walk out to face the foe and certain death.

‘Is this the best you can do?’ the giant would laugh mockingly. The poor wretch would stand, mesmerized by the enormity of the giant and the task in hand. Not one person had even managed to draw his sword, before the giant would crush them with his mighty fist, and chop them into tiny pieces with his axe.

But then one day, a young prince arrived in the town. ‘Why does everyone here look so frightened and sad?’ he asked a fellow traveler.

‘You haven’t seen the giant yet,’ replied the traveler.

‘What giant?’ asked the young prince, intrigued.

The traveler told the tale.

“Every year, on this very day, the giant arrives and challenges our bravest to a duel. And every year, he slays them exactly where they stand. They don’t even move or draw their swords. It’s as though the giant hypnotizes them.’

‘We’ll see about that,’ said the young prince.

When the giant arrived late that day, the prince was waiting for him.

‘Come, send me your bravest man, and I will fight him,’ the giant shouted.

‘I am here,’ said the young prince, throwing open the gate, and striding out towards him.

For a moment, they stood and faced each other. Although the giant was still a long way away from him, the prince was instantly stuck by the sheer size and shocking appearance of his opponent.

But, summoning up all his courage, he started to walk towards the giant, brandishing his sword, and never taking eyes off that dreadful face with the red hair and red beard.

Suddenly, he realized that as he was walking, the giant – rather than appearing larger – actually began to shrink before his very eyes. He stopped and stared. The giant was only five feet tall.

He walked much closed to the giant, then stopped and stared. Now the giant was only two feet tall. He continued walking until he was face to face with the giant, and each step the prince took, he saw the giant shrink. By now the giant was so small, that he looked up at the young prince. He was only 12 inches tall.

The young prince took his sword, and plunged it into the giant’s heart.

As the giant lay dying on the ground, the young prince bent down and whispered to him, “Who are you?”

With his dying breath, the giant replied, ‘My name is Fear.’


When you take action – the fear disappears!

From Pg 120-121, Tales for Trainers, Margaret Parkin, Kogan Page, 2000.