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|The Great Pianist (standard:fairy tales, 3137 words)|
|Author: Rattan Mann||Added: Oct 19 2004||Views/Reads: 2541/1464||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The story of a "great man".|
The Great Pianist A short story Rattan Mann Once upon a time there lived a very big man with an open heart and a sublime mind. But the village he lived in was very small and closed. Nobody ever looked at his open heart or sublime mind. He was a butcher. So people peeked into his shop, saw him cutting the throats of screaming animals, and ran away screaming themselves. They called him the most cruel man in the village. They were the same people who did not mind sending their maid-servants in the evening to buy his meat and then spend hours cooking it into a delicacy. Nobody knew his name, though he knew the name of every villager by heart. They called him the Hangman. It is true he had executed a man once. The village council had ordered the execution of an innocent man. The real hangman suddenly fell very ill that day. So the village council ordered the big man to carry out the execution because he was a butcher. Nobody said a word when the village council found an innocent man guilty. Everybody turned out to watch the execution and cheer as the head of the innocent man flew away from his body. But from that day everybody hated the big man for he had executed an innocent man. Later it was proved that the man who had been executed was indeed innocent. The village council which had ordered the execution washed its hands clean off the matter. They put all the blame on the big man. They excommunicated him. Again nobody spoke against the village council. Everybody remained as silent as a dead mouse, that is, except to scream their hatred of the big man. So they began to call him the Hangman, and "Hangman" became the most hated word in the village. The nearest some kind souls came to giving the big man a decent name was when they called him the Camel because he was as tall as a Camel, or an Elephant because he was as huge as an elephant. This too they did only when nobody was around to hear them and report to the village council. But nobody ever called him a Gentle Giant with an Open Heart and a Sublime Mind because that is what he truely was. And the villagers hated nothing more than truth. The Gentle Giant hated his profession because that had made him so hated. But that was all he had learned from his ancestors. He tried to begin afresh and go to school with children. But the village headmaster won't let him. The headmaster was convinced that the Hangman had come to kill innocent children. He tried to go to the church and find peace there. But everything about the village was small - even the church. The door was so small that he always hit his head against it. And the people who sat inside were even smaller. Some had come not to pray but just to watch him hit his head against the ceiling. Others moved away from the bench on which he sat. They forbade their children to talk to him. After he was excommunicated, the question of going to the church, or talking to children, did not arise. So the Gentle Giant stopped going to the church. He gave up all hope of ever changing his profession or talking to children. But his heart and mind remained as big as before. Even if he wanted he couldn't become as small as the villagers. So one sunday, as everybody was going to the church to pray, he went to the forest for a walk. Deep in the woods he heard someone crying. As he rushed towards the voice, a little girl rushed towards him. She caught him by the waist, and said as she sobbed, " Gentle Giant, Gentle Giant, I have lost my way. I will give you everything I have got. And my mom would give you more - whatever you want. But please take me home. I will die here." The Gentle Giant took her gently by the shoulder and lifted her into the air till she touched the tree-tops and started rubbing shoulders with the birds. She stopped crying at once. She started notching the Click here to read the rest of this story (274 more lines)
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