The Selfish Giant

Everyafternoon,astheywerecomingfromschool,thechildrenusedtogoandplayintheGiant’sgarden.

Itwasalargelovelygarden,withsoftgreengrass.Hereandthereoverthegrassstoodbeautifulflowerslikestars,andthereweretwelvepeach-treesthatinthespring-timebrokeoutintodelicateblossomsofpinkandpearl,andintheautumnborerichfruit.Thebirdssatonthetreesandsangsosweetlythatthechildrenusedtostoptheirgamesinordertolistentothem."Howhappywearehere!"theycriedtoeachother.

OnedaytheGiantcameback.HehadbeentovisithisfriendtheCornishogre,andhadstayedwithhimforsevenyears.Afterthesevenyearswereoverhehadsaidallthathehadtosay,forhisconversationwaslimited,andhedeterminedtoreturntohisowncastle.Whenhearrivedhesawthechildrenplayinginthegarden.

"Whatareyoudoinghere?"hecriedinaverygruffvoice,andthechildrenranaway.

"Myowngardenismyowngarden,"saidtheGiant;"anyonecanunderstandthat,andIwillallownobodytoplayinitbutmyself."Sohebuiltahighwallallroundit,andputupanotice-board.

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PROSECUTED

HewasaveryselfishGiant.

Thepoorchildrenhadnownowheretoplay.Theytriedtoplayontheroad,buttheroadwasverydustyandfullofhardstones,andtheydidnotlikeit.Theyusedtowanderroundthehighwallwhentheirlessonswereover,andtalkaboutthebeautifulgardeninside."Howhappywewerethere!"theysaidtoeachother.

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