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The Selfish Giant
Adapted by Marek Vít, retold by Laurie Bram
Once, there was a giant. The giant had a garden, and the garden was full of beautiful flowers, green grass and peach trees. Every summer, the trees had sweet fruit. One day, the giant decided to visit his friend far away in the mountains. He left his castle and nobody saw him for seven years!
When the giant was gone, little children found his garden and went there every day after school. They played in the grass, climbed the trees and sang in the branches. Every summer they ate the sweet peaches from the trees. They were very happy.
Seven years passed and the giant came back. When he saw the children in his garden, he was very angry. “Go away and never come back!” he shouted. “This is my garden and nobody can play here!” He built a high wall all around the garden and wrote a sign in big letters: “DO NOT ENTER!” He was a very selfish giant, he only liked himself.
The children were very sad. Every day they walked past the wall and remembered the beautiful garden.
Then winter came and after winter it was spring again. The grass was green and there were beautiful flowers everywhere. But the giant's garden was still covered with snow and ice. Spring did not enter the garden, because it saw the big sign. And flowers did not grow there, because there were no children.
The giant was very unhappy. He looked out of the window of his castle. “Where is the spring? I hope the weather will change soon.” But the weather did not change. There was always snow, and cold wind was running around the garden.
One morning the giant was lying in his bed. Suddenly he heard some beautiful music. “What is it?” he thought.
He looked out of the window of his room and saw the children. They were sitting in the trees and they were singing. The trees were green and there were white flowers in the grass below. Only in one corner of the garden it was still winter. A small boy was standing there and he was so small that he couldn't climb the tree. He was crying.
The giant said to himself: “I was very selfish!” and he went out of his castle. When the children saw him, they ran away and winter returned. Only the little boy did not run, because his eyes were full of tears. The giant took him in his hand and put him in the tree. The boy was very happy and he loved the giant. When the other children saw that the giant is not angry, they came back. They climbed up the trees and started singing. Now it was spring everywhere in the garden. There were beautiful pink flowers in the trees.
The giant played with the children all day. When they went home, he destroyed the wall and the sign. He was not selfish any more.
The next day the children came back and they played in the garden again. But the small boy did not come. The giant was very sad and asked the children: “Where is the small boy?” The children answered: “We don't know, we don't know him, he doesn't live here.” And the giant was very unhappy because he loved the boy. He waited for him every day, but the boy did not come again. The giant became very ill.
One day, he saw the small boy in the garden. The giant was very happy and ran to him. But the boy was hurt, there were bloody marks on his hands and feet. “Who did this to you?” asked the giant angrily. “These are marks of love,” the boy said sweetly.
“Who are you?” the giant asked in wonder.
“You let me play in your garden,” the boy said. “Today, you will come with me to my garden, to Paradise.”
When the children came to play in the garden later that day, they found the giant dead. He was covered with beautiful white flowers.
Original written by Oscar Wilde (public domain)
Adapted by Marek Vít, © 2006
Recorded by Laurie Bram © 2006
Illustrated by Markéta Vydrová © 2006
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