The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant

Every afternoon as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play

in the Giants garden; it was a large lovely garden with soft green grass here and there;

over the grass, two beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach trees

that, in the springtime, broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl

and in the autumn, bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that

the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them, “how happy are we here.”

they cried to each other one day; the giant came back.

He had been to visit his friend, the Cornish ogre, and stayed with him for seven years

after the seven years were over, he had said all that he had to say or his conversation

was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle; when he arrived, he saw

the children playing in the garden;

“what are you doing here?” He cried in a very gruff voice,

and the children ran away.

“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant, and anyone can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself,”

so he bid to build a high wall all around it and put up a noticeboard

trespassers will be prosecuted ☠️.

He was a very selfish giant, the poor children had now nowhere to play; they tried

to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did

not like it; they used to wander around the high wall with their lessons were over

and talked about the beautiful garden inside “how happy we were there!” they said

to each other, then the spring came, and all over the country, there were little blossoms

and little birds all in the garden of The Selfish Giant. Was it still winter? the birds

did not care to sing in it as there were no children and the trees forgot to blossom

once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw

the noticeboard  that was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground

again and went off to sleep; the only people who were pleased were snow and thrust,

“Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all year round.”

the snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the frost painted all

the trees silver they invited to lead the north wind to stay with them, and he came

he was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden and blew the chimney

pots down “this is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask the Hail on a visit.”

so the hail came every day for three hours; he rattled on the roof of the castle till

he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as

he could go, he was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

“I cannot understand why the spring is so late in coming.” said The Selfish Giant as

he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden. “I hope there will be
a change in the weather”,

but the spring never came nor the summer; the autumn gave golden fruit to every

garden, but to the Giant’s garden, she gave none “he is too selfish,” she said.

So it was always winter there, and the north wind and the hail and the frost

and the snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music,

it sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the king’s musicians

passing by, it was really only a little Linette singing outside his window, but it was

so long since he had heard of birds sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be

the most beautiful music in the world, then the hail stopped dancing over his head

and the north wind ceased roaring, and a Delicious perfume who came to him through

the open casement.

“I believe the spring has come at last,” said the Giant, and he jumped out of bed

and looked out; what did he see? he saw a most wonderful sight through a little hole

in the wall, the children had crept in, and they were sitting on the branches of the trees

and every tree that he could see, there was a little child, and the trees were so glad

to have the children back again that they covered themselves with blossoms

and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads; the birds were flying

around and twittering with the light, and the flowers were looking up through

the green grass and laughing, it was a lovely scene only in one corner; it was still

winter it was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy

he was so small he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was

wandering all around it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost

and snow and the north wind were blowing and roaring above. It climbed up the little

voice of the tree, and it bent its Brend branches down as low as it could, but the boy

was too tiny, and the Giants heart melted as he looked out “how selfish I have been,” he said, “now I know that why the spring could not come here; I will put that poor little boy on the top of that tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground for ever and ever.”

it was really very sorry for what he had done, so he crept downstairs and opened

the front door quite softly and went out into the garden, but when the children saw

him they were so frightened that they all ran away and the garden became winter

again, only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see

the giant coming, and the giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand

and put him up into the tree, and the tree broke at once and to blossom, and the birds

came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out these two arms and flung them

around the Giants neck and kissed him and the other children when they saw that

the giant was not wicked any longer and came running back, and with them came

the spring.

“It is your garden now, little children” said the Giant, and he took a great axe

and knocked down the wall and when the people were going to market at twelve

o’clock, they found the Giant playing with the children and the most beautiful garden

they had ever seen, all day long, they played, and in the evening, they came to the Giant

to bid him goodbye, “but where is your little companion?” He said the boy had put into

the tree the giant loved him the best because he had kissed him. “We don’t know,” answered the children “he has gone away”

“you must tell him to be sure and come here tomorrow,” said the Giant,

but the children said that they did not know where he lived and had never seen him

before and the giant felt very sad every afternoon in school was over; the children

came and played with the Giant, but the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen

again, the giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend

and often spoke of him and how I would like to see him. He used to say years have

gone over, and the giant grew very old and feeble; he could not play about any more

So he sat in a huge armchair and walked and watched the children at their games

and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said, but the children

are the most beautiful flowers of all.

One winter morning, he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate

the winter now, for he knew that it was merely the spring asleep and the flowers were

resting suddenly, he rubbed his eyes and wondered and looked and looked; it certainly

was a marvelous sight, in the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered

with lovely white blossoms, its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down

from them, and underneath it stood the boy he had loved; downstairs ran the Giants

and great joy, and out into the garden, he hastened across the grass and came near

to the child, and when he came quite close, his face grew red with anger, and he said

“Who hath dared to wound thee” for on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails and the prints of two nails were on the little feet “who hath dared to wound thee” cried the Giant “tell me that I may take my big sword and slay him.”

then answered the child, “but these are the wounds of love.”

“Who art thou?” said the Giant, and the strange all fell on him, and he knelt before

the child and the child smiled at the Giant and said to him

“you let me play once in your garden; today you shall come with me to my garden, which is paradise.”

and when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the giant lying dead under the tree all covered with white blossoms.

The End