Chapter Three – Melo
“WHAT’S A GIANT?”
Fiach stared at him in disbelief. “Didn’t yer mother ever tell ye about Giants?”
Sean shook his head.
“Ye must have heard about Leprechauns!”
She grabbed him by the arm. “Come on, we must hurry, so we can get a good spot!”
Sean resisted her. “What for?”
“So we can see Melo when he comes, silly. Now, come on and I’ll tell ye all about him.”
He wanted to hear about Leprechauns and fairies but, most of all, he wanted to hear about Melo the Giant, whatever a giant was. He quickly fell in step beside her.
As they walked out of the village in the direction of the field where all the food lay, Fiach began her story.
“One day, a long, long time ago, when my mother was a little girl, as the sun shone high in the sky, the people of the village heard a loud rumbling. They became very frightened wondering what it could be. Then, they saw this huge man coming toward the village. They knew it had to be a Giant – well all Giants are huge, aren’t they?”
She continued her tale as they passed the loaded tables that stood in the field.
“All the village went and hid from Melo, but he was smart. He sang a song and went and sat over there.” Fiach pointed to a dent in the hillside that was shaped like the back of a big chair. “He waited, all the time singing his song. My father was only a boy, and he went right up to the Giant.
“Melo smiled at him and said, ‘Do not be afraid of me, for I wish you no harm,’ He talked funny, just like ye, ‘if you feed me and clothe me, I will protect your village.’ So, everybody agreed and we’ve had peace ever since!”
Fiach climbed up on a large rock that stood in the corner of the field. Sean ignored her offered hand and climbed up by himself.
“Nobody can eat all this food and I don’t believe your story!”
He felt the rock beneath him tremble.
“Don’t believe me, hah! Look, look over there, for here he comes – Melo!”
Sean looked to where she pointed. Twice as tall as the houses, came the biggest man Sean had ever seen. He trod carefully around the people, waving to them, greeting some by name.
Wild red hair hung down in two plaits, as thick as ropes, over his shoulder scraggily beard nearly covered his grinning mouth that had two teeth missing. Around his waist was a wide leather belt where a club the size of a tree hung.
The earth shook as he passed Sean and Fiach. With a loud sigh he sat down with his back to the hill. The people from the village quickly gathered around him.
His voice boomed, yet it was not loud. “My friends! Peace to you. What a spread you have laid out for me.” He picked up a roast sheep and started to eat. It was gone in two mouthfuls.
As he picked up another one, his eyes wandered over the crowd. They settled on Sean’s upturned face. His face crinkled into a smile.
“Ahh, A Cara, my friend, friend of the fairies, welcome to you!”
Slowly, he bent forward to where Sean and Fiach stood. “Come, let me have a look at you.”
“Sean my son, be careful!”
Sean looked around but could not see his father in the crowd. He felt no fear something inside him told him to trust the Giant.
“Ahh, Sean, friend of the fairies, hail to you.”
His face was so big that Sean could only look into one eye at a time.
Looking into the right eye, he bowed as his mother had taught him. “Sir, I have never met, seen or heard of fairies until today.”
The thunder of hooves filled the air. “Melo – Melo, a great disaster is about to befall us!”
The crowd parted as a young man astride a black horse thundered into the field. Melo lowered his hand and Sean leaped onto the rock beside Fiach. She clutched Sean’s arm. “It’s me brother Lansair!” She cried
© John W. Kelly