Once there was a horrible old Giant. He lived in a big castle on top of a mountain and he was very lazy. The Giant was so lazy, he needed servants to look after him. But nobody wanted to work for him at all.
One day, the Giant went down the mountain. At the bottom, was a little cottage. Twelve children lived there, all on their own. The girls were called – Lotty, Dotty, and Totty and Bessie, Jessie and Nessy. And the boys were called – Cliff, Riff, and Sniff and Ken, Ben and Den.
“Now they would make good servants,” thought the Giant. So he carried them off, back to his castle.
Every morning, the children had to get up very early, light the big stove and fetch lots of water. Then they had to make a huge pot of porridge for the Giant. At six o’clock the Giant would yell. “IS MY BREAKFAST READY?” But one morning, the children woke up a bit late. The stove wouldn’t light and the water wouldn’t flow. So the Giant’s porridge was lumpy.
“YOU LAZY LOT!” roared the Giant. All the children started to shake, the castle itself began to quake! The Giant was so angry, he picked up Totty and dropped her into his bowl of porridge.
Now Totty was the smallest child of all. She was only as tall as the Giant’s boot. Her little yellow hat fell off and bobbed on top of the porridge. “Yuk! Yuk! Yuk! cried Totty. “I may be teeny, but I do not scream, not even for a giant so mean!” As soon as the Giant’s back was turned, Lotty and Dotty pulled Totty out. Without her hat, she looked smaller than ever.
Every afternoon the children had to polish and rub, sweep and scrub. And everything had to shine like a new pin. At two o’clock, the Giant would yell. “IS MY CASTLE CLEAN?” But one afternoon, the polish ran out. The head fell off the broom and the bristles fell out of the great scrubbing brush and the Giant found some cobwebs in a corner.
“YOU DIRTY DOPES!” boomed the Giant. All the children started to shake, the castle itself began to quake! The Giant was so angry that he picked up Nessid and dropped her into the water paper basket. Now Nessie was the untidiest of all the children. She always left things on the floor and forgot to comb her hair. “Ugh!” she cried. “I’m in a stew! There’s garbage all over me, what can I do?” Just as soon as the Giant’s back was turned, Bessie and Jessie pulled Nessie out. Poor Nessie! She looked untidier than ever!
Every night, the children had to warm the Giant’s bed with a big hot water bottle. And the sheets had to be clean and smooth. At ten o’clock, the Giant would growl, “IS MY BED READY?” But one night, the hot water bottle had a hole in it. Water ran onto the bed and the Giant found the sheets were cold and damp.
“YOU DOZY DRIPS!” roared the Giant. All the children started to shake. The castle itself began to quake! The Giant was so angry that he picked up Sniff and dropped him in the washbasin. It was huge!
Now Sniff always had a cold but he never moaned. He was always cheerful. “Help!” he cried. “This basin’s like an ocean! It has a very choppy motion. The water’s rough and dirty brown. Get me out, before I drown!” As soon as the Giant’s back was turned, Riff and Cliff fished out Sniff. After his swim in the Giant’s basin, Sniff sniffed worse than ever.
Every Sunday, the children had to get the Giant’s carriage ready. They had to pull it up and down the mountain. He would lie on soft cushions inside it. At eleven o’clock the Giant would roar, “WHERE IS MY CARRIAGE?” But one Sunday, it rained and rained. The lane was muddy and the wheels were wobbly and so the Giant wasn’t going as fast as he liked.
He roared. “HURRY UP YOU LITTLE RATS!” All the children started to shake, the carriage itself began to quake!
The Giant was so angry that he reached out of the window and gave Den a push. Now Den was the strongest of all the children. He rolled and rolled until he was out of sight. When the other children saw what the Giant had done, they were very upset but they pulled the carriage to the top of the mountain.
Then, Lotty whispered to Dotty and Totty, Totty whispered to Bessie, Bessie whispered to Jessie and Nessie, Nessie whispered to Cliff, Cliff whispered to Riff and Sniff and Sniff whispered to Ken and Ben.
They all nodded. The children gave the carriage a huge PUSH!! The carriage raced down the hill. It creaked and rattled. It banged and clattered. The Giant bounced out of the carriage! He rolled down the mountain until ….SPLOSH! He fell into a muddy hole.
The Giant was very angry. “YOU NINCOMPOOPS!” he roared. “GET ME OUT!” But the children were safely out of the Giant’s reach.
And then Ken and Ben heard a voice. “Help!” it said. “Den I was and Den I am. I thought I’d never see you again, but thanks to the tree on the side of the hill, your strongest friend is with you still!” Den was hanging on a tree branch.
As quickly as they could, the children rescued him. They were only just in time!
“GET ME OUT OF HERE!” The Giant was bellowing and banging, yelling and thumping. He made so much noise, the rocks on the mountain began to tumble.
Before the Giant could say “YOU BLOCKHEADS!” a big rock rolled down the mountain and clonked him on the head. He was knocked out cold!
Quick as a wink, the children ran down the mountainside, laughing and shouting. They were so happy to go back home again.
As for the Giant, he got himself out of the hole and crawled back to his castle. He never tried to catch the children again. And so, if ever he wanted anything done, he had to do it – himself!