Dr Abe V Rotor
Giants fascinate children most, and mothers do not run out of stories about the kapre or Jack and the Beanstalk or the giant squid that attacked Captain Nemo’s submarine in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to keep them at home or eat their vegetables.
Giants to the young mind are living creatures bigger than life, and they possess supernatural powers that they unleash either for good or evil.
There are friendly giants, ugly giants, sleeping giants, giants of the deep, and so on.
They are either aggressive or passive, visible or hidden, loved and hated. It is the enigma about them that heightens their stories, and in fact the stories themselves make them real giants.
Here are popular giants from books and stories, which are often featured in comics and cartoons:
• Nessie in Loch Ness (Scotland) is believed to be a prehistoric reptile. It continues to attract tourists, even after a century after someone took a photo of the monsters on the murky water.
• Bigfoot is believed to be a huge hairy creature roaming the forests of North America. It is projected as a prehistoric man with beast like characteristics.
• Abominable Snowman or Yeti has been sighted on a number of occasions by residents on the snowy slopes of the Himalayas.
• Kapre is the Filipino version of a supernatural being, more of a beast than human, that lives in trees and abandoned places.
Giants in fiction stories and novels are virtually endless.
- Take the case of Gulliver of Lilliput by Jonathan Swift. King Kong the ape monster that crushed cares and leveled buildings.
- Greek mythology would not be as exciting if there were no giants. Giants made Hercules a legendary hero. Imagine the giants he fought - the cyclop, the hydra, among others, during his ten years of wandering. Remember the Minotaur - half man, half bull - whom Theseus killed in order to liberate the monster's hostages?
- How big was Goliath in the bible whom the boy hero, David slew?
- Then we have our own Bernardo Carpio, and Angalo, most popular Philippine epics.
- A favorite bedtime story is Jake and Beanstalk. I wonder how the story can lull children to sleep - specially when the giant comes crushing down to earth!
- Recently Honey I Shrunk the Kidsand its opposite - Honey I Blew Up the Baby became cinema's box office attractions.
TRIVIA: What is the biggest living creature that ever lived on earth? It this creature still alive? Send your answer. Welcome to the club!
Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR; acknowledgment, Wikipedia for illustration.