: The Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children

Do you believe in giants? No, do you say? Well, listen to my story,

which is a really true one, and then answer my question.

Many hundreds of years ago, certain people who lived in the North, and

were therefore called Northmen, had a strange idea of the form and

situation of the earth: they thought it was a flat, circular piece of

land, surrounded by a great ocean; and that this ocean was again

by a wall of snow-covered mountains, where lived the race of

Frost Giants.

I have seen a pretty picture of this world of theirs, with a lovely

rainbow bridge arching up over the sea to the earth, and a great coiled

serpent, holding his tail in his mouth, lying in mid-ocean like a ring

around the land. Perhaps you will some day read about it all, but at

present we have only to do with the Frost Giants; for I want to tell

you, that, although no one now thinks of believing about the serpent or

the flat earth or the rainbow bridge, yet the Frost Giants still live,

and their home is really among the mountains.

You may call them by what name you like, and we may all know certainly

that they are not what the old Northmen believed them to be, but are

God's workmen, a part of Nature's family, employed to work in the great

garden of the world; but, whenever we look at their work, we cannot fail

to admit that to do it needed a giant's strength, and so they deserve

their title.

Have you sometimes seen great boulder stones, as big as a small house,

that stand alone by themselves in some field, or on some seashore, where

no other rocks are near? Well, the Frost Giants carried these boulders

about, and dropped them down miles away from their homes, as you might

take a pocketful of pebbles, and drop them along the road as you walk.

Sometimes they roll great rocks down the mountain-sides, playing a

desperate game of ball with each other. Sometimes they are sent to make

a bridge over Niagara Falls, or to build a dam across a mountain torrent

in an hour's time. Now and then they have to rake off a steep mountain-

side as you might a garden-bed; and sometimes to bury a whole village so

quickly that the poor inhabitants do not know what strange hand brought

such sudden destruction upon them. Their deeds often seem to be cruel,

and we cannot understand their meaning; but we shall some time know that

the loving Father who sent them orders nothing for our hurt, but has

always a loving purpose, though it may be hidden.

While I thus introduce to you the Frost Giants, let me also present

their tiny brethren and sisters, the Frost Fairies, who always accompany

them on their expeditions; and, however terrible is the deed that has to

be done, these little people adorn it with the most lovely handiwork,--

tiny flowers and crystals and veils of delicate lace-work, fringes and

spangles and star-work and carving; so that nothing is so hard and ugly

and bare that they cannot beautify it.

Now that you are introduced, you will perhaps like to join a Frost party

that started out to work, one day in the early spring of 1861, from

their homes among the Olympic Mountains.