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The Great Pianist (standard:fairy tales, 3137 words)
Author: Rattan MannAdded: Oct 19 2004Views/Reads: 2541/1464Story 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 

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 

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