The Giant of La Costa Village©

There is an old Spanish legend, handed down through the years, that tells how giants once roamed the land, destroying villages and making the people their slaves. It seems that these giants were always hungry, since they could never find enough food to fill their stomachs. To them, an orange looked like a grape. To some giants, a pumpkin looked like a grapefruit.

As the story goes, on the seashore was a tiny town called La Costa Village. The people who lived there were mostly farmers. A royal duke who lived in a castle on the top of the highest hill owned the land.

One day, one of the duke’s soldiers rode into the village, shouting, “A giant is coming! A giant is coming!”

The frightened villagers ran as fast as they could to get inside the walls of the duke’s castle. The duke quickly ordered the soldiers to defend the village. But, of course, it was hopeless. As the giant came nearer, the ground began to shake, and several of the small houses in the village fell apart. Even the castle began to shake.

When the giant spoke, the people had to hold their ears.

“Who runs this village?” the giant demanded.

The duke, a bit frightened, came out on his balcony and said, “I do, sir.”

“Well,” shouted the giant, “from now on, I do. If you and your people want to stay alive, you had better be sure I have enough food to eat.”

“Oh, yes, we will,” said the duke. “I’ll call a meeting of my wise men, and we’ll plan your meals.”

The duke hurried into his private chamber and told his wise men that they had to think of some way to get rid of the giant. They quickly thought of a plan that might work. While the farmers were gathering food to feed the giant, the wise men offered the giant a large wooden bed on which to sleep. The giant was very pleased with the idea. The soldiers cut down several tall trees in the forest, rolled them to the beach and tied them together into one long bed of logs, which they padded with hay.

Meanwhile, the farmers brought in so many wagons of good food that the giant couldn’t stop eating. He soon became sleepy. He stretched out on the bed of hay and logs and fell into a deep sleep.

“Now,” said the wise men, “let’s wait and watch.”

The entire village stood by waiting and watching the giant sleep through the night. His snoring shook the ground. Then, just as the sun was coming up, the tide from the ocean began to rise. The water moved slowly up and over the beach. It quietly and gently lifted the bed of logs and slowly carried the giant far out to sea.

In the distance, he looked like a mountain drifting over the horizon. The villagers began to cheer. The duke, with laughter in his voice, turned to the crowd and shouted, “This is a good lesson we can all remember. When people work together, they can overcome giant problems!”

Our community becomes a thing of beauty
When we join together in civic duty.