Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Thunder Giant

A frightening hailstorm pummeled Savannah, GA a couple of Sundays ago, beating off azalea flowers and shredding tender foliage. A few friends and I were discussing it later in an undercroft. One wondered at the power of nature as she recited the meteorological explanation of hail accretion, how ever-larger stones can be lifted skyward over and over.

"That seems plausible enough," I said. "But it makes as much sense as the Thunder Giant, and is not so interesting."

They stared at me as though both my eyes had blurred into one in the middle of my forehead. I had to explain.

When I was very young, my Aunt Ann, not 10 years older, used to create masks for me of brown paper bags while she played 78 RPM recordings, fat and scratchy, of fairy tales. Black and multi-colored crayons defined my eyebrows and nose, shaded my cheeks and ears. I was a fearsome sight.

Sometimes, when we were at Grandmother's house, she would take my brother and me for walks, showing us holes in tree trunks where fairies lived, pockets of water between roots where they stopped to bathe and drink, fairy rings in the yard where they counseled, and secret glades where they danced.

She told us about the Thunder Giant when we were huddled together on a bed during a magnificent storm. He stomped, shouted, rolled huge bowling balls down his alley, threw white-hot spears and stones.

Though we were terrified, we always asked for more.

When I asked my friends, none had ever seen the Thunder Giant rage or hailstones accrete. My explanation was as good as theirs, and I think I understand the Thunder Giant better.

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2 comments:

JWithnell said...

And hereI thought thunder was angels bowling!

John Marshall said...

Nope, JW. Angels pour out their bowls. They don't bowl. Unless you're referring to Fallen Angels. Your comment demonstrates difficulties with the subtleties of the English language. Lest you think I'm being harsh and judgmental, know that I have bowled, but not recently.