A Giant Fairy Tale
The curtain rises. The year is 1025 B.C. The scene takes place mid-morning in a barren narrow valley. On your right, a dry riverbed runs off to the horizon.
Up on the bank to your left, stands a bearded burly giant. He is 40 years old and 9 feet tall. In his right hand, he holds a 7 ft. long spear upright. Hanging from his belt and in its sheath, is a sword, 5 ft. in length. His shield lies on the ground beside him. He wears no armor. Entering from the right, is a shepherd boy of 15 years. He has a fish net in his right hand, and a smallish knife hangs on his belt. He wears a loose-fitting tunic with a pocket on the side. Hanging out of this pocket, we see part of a leather strap. The boy, eying the giant all the way, walks across the riverbed to the edge of the bank, and there he stops.
Hold it right there, young man! Where on earth do you think you’re going?
I’m headed to the brook to catch some fish, good sir, just as I do every morning.
Well, not today, you’re not. I’ve been commanded by the King to stand guard here. I’m not to let anyone pass for any reason whatsoever. Although, I must admit, I hadn’t seen a soul all morning ’till you came along.
But, kind sir. You must let me pass! My mother depends on me to feed the family.
Didn’t you hear me, boy! I said, I have orders from the King himself, and it would cost me my life if I were not to follow my royal pledge.
But you’re a giant, big sir. I find it odd that you’re afraid of anyone, or anything.
I don’t consider death as a thing. I fear no thing, not even the King. Yes, I am big, but I cannot defeat a whole army, not anymore, anyway. As you can see, I’m a bit past my youth. Now, back in the old days…
Hold on a second! If you cannot defeat a whole army by yourself, then why did the King order you to stand guard alone?
I don’t rightly know. One doesn’t question the King. I am simply obeying orders.
It sounds to me as if the King is trying to get rid of you. Might that be true?
Oh, no! No, that’s not true. I believe the King still needs a giant like me.
Well then, how long will you be here? I need to know because I must go home with food of some sort.
I’ll be here until the King says otherwise. I’m guessing one or two days, depending on the circumstances.
But where are your provisions? Where is your food? A giant like yourself must have a whale of an appetite.
I’m expecting a page. He’ll be bringing me what I need. At least, they’d better be sending him along, and soon, too. I’m already hungry, now that you mentioned it.
A single page? Why, he’d have to pull a cartload full for your large sake, sir.
You got that right! Now, enough talk about food. You’re making matters worse.
But I’m starving, and so is my family! I can’t afford to forget all about it. No!
Then you best be running off to somewhere else to catch your fish. Like I said, you cannot pass this way.
Hmmm…okay. If I cannot pass, I’ll just sit here and wait. There is no other place to go fishing around these parts. You know that! I cannot go home empty-handed.
So be it. You can sit there all you want. There’s no law against that. Wait…ah-ha! I see what you’re up to, you little schemer. If you think I’m going to give you some of my food when it gets here…well, you’re wrong. I will not. I’ll need every bit of it to sustain me. Nice try, though.
No, kind sir. I wouldn’t even think of asking you for such a generous favor. No, I’ll just wait until your task is complete, and you go back to the Kingdom.
What? You would wait a day or two with no food? And no water? Boy, you’re more ignorant than you look. Your mother, she will worry about you if you’re not back home by days end. You may as well leave now. You’re wasting your time here. Go tell her the bad news, and maybe she can come up with another plan.
No, I won’t do that, sir. I know my mother all too well. She’d kick me right back out of the house. She would! You don’t seem to understand. Hmmm…speaking of mothers, what would your mother say if she knew you’d refused to help a poor boy and his family?
Whoa, little man! How dare you question me about my own dearly departed mother…God rest her soul in peace. Anyway, she’s no longer in a position to reprimand me.
Well, how about God then? You must believe in Him, since you mentioned it.
Now, now, boy! I don’t like the way this conversation is turning. What? So, you think you know something about God and His ways? No one knows that, son. His ways are mysterious to all. What makes you think you understand how He goes about His business?
I’ll tell you, big sir, but please don’t repeat what I have to say. Okay? I’ve kept it a secret up until now. Exactly one year ago today, an angel of the Lord appeared unto me. Yes, siree! It was a revelation.
Oh! Is that so? Whoa-ho-ho! Now, I’ve heard it all. An angel appeared unto you – a kid – a nobody – a poor boy. Ha! I find that very difficult to believe, young man. Did your glorious angel have something to say?
Yes, yes it did. The angel told me that I would go on to slay a giant one day. A giant such as yourself.
Whoa-ho-ho! That’s a mighty tall order for a boy as small as you. How on earth would you go about doing that? Did the angel clue you in? Ho-ho-ho!
No, sir giant, and I didn’t ask. One doesn’t need to question an angel of the Lord. They speak nothing but the Truth.
Perhaps, that’s true, young man, but I find it extremely difficult to believe. Ho-ho-ho! In fact, I can’t imagine any possible way that you might kill a giant such as myself. Surely, it wouldn’t be in a sword fight. You’re not a skilled warrior. That much is obvious! Why, it would take a miracle. Whoa-ho…ho. Uhm…uh…say, how will you know which giant? I mean, there are still a few of us around. Did the angel tell you more?
Yes! Yes, it did. The angel said, “His name will be Goliath.” That’s not your name…is it, big sir?
Oh, no! Ho-ho-ho! No, no, no. My name is…Henry. Yes, that’s it. Henry! Ho-ho-ho!
Ah, good! I’m glad to hear that, Henry. I’d hate to have to kill you.
Ha! Kill me? Whoa-ho-ho! You don’t even have a weapon. Don’t be silly, boy. You couldn’t hurt a flea.
Don’t be so sure of yourself, Sir Henry. I do have this slingshot. See? I use it to kill fish. And, I must say, I think I’m pretty good with it. I get a lot of practice, using it as I do most everyday.
That might be true, little man, but a giant is bigger than a fish. Whoa-ha-ha! Your rock is no more than a mere pebble to a man of my size. I can’t see it happening. It would take a miracle! Perhaps, you were only dreaming when the angel appeared unto you. That would make more sense. All kinds of funny things happen in dreams, you know.
Whether it was a dream or not — either way, it doesn’t matter. I saw it. I heard it. I experienced it, and I remember it as clearly as I remember the sun at nighttime. For me to kill a giant is a tall order, I agree. But I have giant-sized confidence in the Lord, and that’s enough for me!
I’ve killed a whole slew of grown men who felt confident enough in their faith to take me on. I’d say, they took their miracles for granted. I’ve also had a mess of rocks slung at me from a slingshot just like yours. As you can see, I came out ahead. If you plan on killing me…er, uh, Goliath, that is, I think you ought to wait until you’ve grown a bit larger.
I think that’s what the angel meant. A specific date wasn’t given. All I know is — I will slay a giant before I become the King of Israel.
The King? The angel said you would be King? Whoa-ho-ho! Now, that beats all I’ve ever heard! Ho-ho-ho!
I don’t think it’s funny at all. Don’t you believe in prophecy?
Of course I do, lad, but it’s always after the fact. I’m never for certain beforehand. There are a multitude of prophets, and they all have different ideas about what the future holds. Not a one of them has gone on to become a King of anything, according to my recollection.
I understand what you’re saying, Sir Henry. Your doubts are justifiable, as are mine. But I can’t change the past, either. The angel appeared to me, personally. Therefore I will give the Lord’s messenger the benefit of the doubt. In the meantime, I must catch some fish to take home.
Boy, you’re more harmless than a sheep, but you seem plenty honest, and trustworthy, too. Tell you what I’ll do. I’m very hungry myself, and I need to be fed. Promise to give me half of your catch when you come back by here, I’ll let you pass. But, you’ll have to be sneaky about it, and not let anyone see you. Understand? I like my head where it is, and I’d like to keep it here on my shoulders for a long time to come.
Oh, yes, Henry! Yes, sir! Yes, yes, I promise! Half of my fish will be yours. Thank you! Oh, thank you, kind sir!
Don’t count your blessings too soon, young man. You never know, there could be trouble lying in your path today, and there could be a ruckus going on right here by the time you get back. I doubt it, but it is a distinct possibility.
I’ll be careful, sir. I promise! No need to worry. I’ve already prayed to the Lord to keep me safe today, so I’ll be alright.
For your sake and mine, I hope so. Now go on and catch us some fish, as many as you can carry. I have a big belly, you know. Do keep that in mind.
I will, sir. As many as I can carry, and half of them will be yours. Uh…just a second. Can you promise me that you won’t demand more than half when I get back?
Sorry, boy. I don’t make promises to anyone. However, I will be fair. Whoa-ho-ho! Trust me. Now, listen up. I won’t wait here forever for you, or for that page who should have been here already. Damn him! So, if you’re not back by sundown, I’ll have to figure you found that trouble I was talking about.
Yes, sir! I understand, sir. Before the sun goes down, I will be back. No doubt about it! God bless you, Henry! You’re a very kind giant. Perhaps, you’ll work for me someday, eh? Ha-ha! I’ll be off then, sir, and I’ll hurry. Promise!
Good for you, boy. I reckon you will.
See you later, sir! Before sundown, for sure.
Hey, wait! In case I’m not here when you come back through, and if in fact you do become King someday, he-he-he! What is your name, boy?
The name’s David, sir. David, son of Jesse, from Bethlehem.
Okay, David. See you later! Hurry back! Whoa-ho-ho!
So, I’ve met my match, eh? The boy who would be King. Hmm…work for him, eh? Lord, have mercy on me! He-he! Henceforth, my name shall be Henry. Whoa-ho-ho! I kind of like that.
Michelangelo’s David (original statue)