The Sleepy Giant (A Story in Gmail Chat)

Late last night I was tired and sad and a bit worn. Just as I was going to bed a friend came online, an old friend who I may once have been a little bit in love with. I asked her for a bedtime story. And without hesitating, in surreptitious bursts while at work in Sydney, she sent me this.

There was a sleepy giant in a land full of small awake people. He would lumber through the timber yard yawning and dropping large storage units. Dozens of men dead every time he lifted his giant hand to cover his mouth (mother said it was rude not to cover your mouth). The small awake people of the not-so-small-but-small-from-the-sleepy-giant’s-perspective town Guaranaville got together for a village meeting.

They said “He’s too sleepy! He fell asleep in my corn patch, and when he left, the fox network thought it was a crop circle. Now i got dem media types doing alien stories again – sheet.” The fox network was a wily group of foxes with those hats with feathers in them, and notepads.

Another lady said “I saw him peeking at my large daughter through the chimney hole – she was just rubbing ash in between her folds so that the sweat don’t make that bad rash what smells.”

And then the sleepy giant said (in a large loud boomy voice) “Ahh don meaaannn to be so biggg. Ahhh just izzzzzzzzz.” Then he lumbered off to sleep.

Now the mayor of Guaranaville, a hopped-up little gremlin by the name of Peepee, stepped up onto his phone book and said in a squeaky voice, “Now people, we can’t just run this sleepy giant out of town cos he’s big. Why, every step he’d take would destroy crops and barns. What we need to do is set him on fire.” Then all the town people sqeaked their approval of the idea. Peepee the mayor went on “We’ll need a smattering of our smallest jockeys to complete this Samoan task.”

“Pick me, pick me, pick me,” they all chorused in their helium voices.

Several weeks passed for the jockeys as they gathered together their ropes and pulleys. It was a mere five minutes for the sleepy giant as everyone knows that time moves slower at high altitudes. Then the big day came when they were to gently rouse the SG by exploding twenty gallons of fine-grade petroleum near his bottom. The giant blinked awake where he lay napping against his favourite giant mountain. The jockeys set about yoinking their buckets of fine-grade petroluem up all around his body like Christmas lights on a leaning tree found in the gutter. Then they sparked the flames, trying to burn his giant body to a crisp.

As the fire leapt and danced the sleepy giant started to take notice of this prickling sensation all around his body. He leapt to his feet with a giant yell, and he started to dance! Wildly and proudly spinning so that his flaming torso whirled prettily in the dusk light. The jockeys went flying off his body like fleas from a flea-ridden dog that has just been sprayed with anti-flea stuff. As he whirled and twirled he suddenly found an energy that had seemed to elude him all these past two years. (For he was only two years ol’.) He discovered the beauty and subtlety of dance! He was suddenly invigorated, suddenly free, suddenly alive and…AWAKE. The sleepy giant danced till he won all of the local dance shows, till the local network of foxes did a story on him and he ended up on Giant So You Think You Can Dance (only available on large screen TVs). And he went happily , awakeily to the ends of the earth, never to be sleepy again.

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3 Responses to The Sleepy Giant (A Story in Gmail Chat)

  1. Daniela Denise Lousie Spiteri says:


  2. Kelly says:

    that story’s quite good 🙂

    would it be ok if i had a go at illustrating it?
    or at least some bits out of it?

  3. Geoff Lemon says:

    Excellent! I imagine it would be fine, since it’s something the author made up at work rather than the fruit of many years of labour. And I think it would tremendously awesome to see some Sleepy Giant illustrations. She probably would like to see some too. So I say go for it. If you want to send me any PDFs or something at some point I can see about posting them up here.

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