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The Giant and the Dancer

July 7, 2014


Igor Lotrinski was cursed with gigantism.

Everywhere he went, people pointed and whispered in fear and astonishment.

The giant was a gentle and sweet soul, and his greatest wish was to be a dancer in the ballet.

Igor saw the ballet as a magical stage filled with graceful, lithe bodies that moved to symphonic strains of pure beauty.

He knew nothing about the painted pictures that hung in silent stillness in museums and galleries.

What he did know, in his enlarged heart, was that in the perfect sinewy lines of movement existed true art.

The giant tried many times to mimic the dancers, but his lumbering physique would have none of it.

Passersby found his lurching gyrations to be grotesque, and said as much.

Igor the giant wept from the anguish of broken hopes and eviscerated dreams.

One day, while walking through the woods, he heard a scream.

As quickly as he could, he made his way to the source of the trouble.

A young woman with long, ebony hair was cornered by two snarling and slavering wolves.

Without hesitating, Igor grabbed each of the wolves by the tail, and spun them over his head as if they were children’s toys.

He flung them far away, and the wolves disappeared into the underbrush.

The young woman thanked the giant and hugged him.

She told him that she came to the clearing to dance in secret, for her father did not care for such frivolity.

But now she could never return, for the wolves would surely kill her.

Igor drew himself up to his full height and told her that she could dance all she wanted, for he would always be there to protect her.

She professed her profound gratitude to him—that he would offer to do that for her.

And so they met in that clearing many times.

The woman danced with skill and abandon, while the sun shimmered along her flowing, liquid-obsidian hair.

Igor watched with utter joy, often with emotion so grand and exquisite that the sight of her blurred, brimmed over his eyes, and spilled down his cheeks.

The two of them seemed to be quintessentially symbiotic, as she was unquestionably the artist and he fulfilled the roll of both patron and audience.

The woman always lavished Igor with praise and affection, telling him how much she loved him for his kindness and willingness to be her protector.

Igor was happy.

One day, a famous dancer came to the clearing, for he’d heard tales of a raven-haired beauty who danced in the heart of a dark, wolf-infested wood.

He drew a long, sharp dagger from his cloak, for he’d also heard that she was protected by a fierce and terrible giant.

The young woman sent Igor to a nearby grove of wild flowers for a bouquet that she could take home with her.

At first, she was startled when the sleek and handsome man found her.

Then they began to dance together.

Igor returned, but stayed hidden, and watched the young couple prance and spin and double the beauty and grace that he was used to seeing.

The handsome man told the woman that she should come away with him, and together they would dance for audiences around the world, and perform before kings, queens and heads of state.

The young woman was delighted and readily accepted the proposal.

When asked about the giant, the woman tossed her head back, laughed, and made a dismissive wave with her hand.

Igor had served his purpose and now she had no more need for him.

She would be glad never to have to look upon his disgusting form ever again.

The giant emerged from the brush, and crushed flowers dropped from his massive hands.

His confused and tortured face asked the question.

Her turning her back on him was the answer.

The handsome man took her hand to lead her to the path, when suddenly a wolf appeared and blocked their way.

They tried another direction, but a wolf materialized there as well.

The clearing became surrounded by growling predators with glowing eyes.

The wolves had slowly been amassing an army to take on the giant, and now they were ready.

The young woman clung to her dancing man, terrified of the advancing animals.

The man’s drawn dagger now seemed laughable in his trembling hand.

The wolf nearest the couple leaped at them, it’s fangs dripping with primal avarice.

But then Igor was there, and he caught the animal in midair and slammed it to the ground with devastating force.

All at once, a dozen wolves attacked the giant.

Igor’s strength was vast, and his powerful hands grasped, pulled, crushed, pounded and thundered.

The wolves’ sharp, flashing fangs sliced, tore and mercilessly rended flesh.

The mighty giant and the ravenous wolves became locked in a desperate and violent dance of their own that possessed its own terrifying beauty.

When the fight was over, the tableau in the clearing revealed a great mound of unmoving fur and an immense prostrate form.

Igor’s body was most assuredly formidable, and his muscles unmatched for sheer power, but his flesh was too mortal and his heart too fragile to withstand the trauma of all he had just endured.

He saw, from his crumpled position on the ground, the young and beautiful couple running far down the trail and disappear around a bend.

They were safe.

The dance would continue.

Igor closed his eyes, and a smile curved his bloodied lips.

The dance was all that mattered.

  1. A sad story. But wonderful never the less.

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