The Stone Giant is a scary story for children. It is based on an old Native American legend. A version of this story appeared in the book Favorite Scary Stories of American Children as “Skunnee-Wundee and the Stone Giant”.
A long time ago, there was a young Native-American boy called Skunny Wundy. His name meant “Cross the Creek”. He wasn’t very big and he wasn’t very strong, but everybody in the village knew of him because he was always playing practical jokes on people.
Skunny Wundy also loved to boast about how brave he was. He would make up stories about all the brave things he claimed he had done and all the brave things he claimed he was going to do. The people in the village were tired of listening to his lies and whenever he told one of his stories, they would roll their eyes in disbelief.
Now, in those days, there were many fearsome and terrible monsters that roamed the earth. There were men who could turn themselves into monstrous bears, there were enormous Flying Heads that could destroy whole villages, there were monsters hiding in the springs who grabbed careless travellers and dragged them to their deaths, and there were huge horned serpents living in the lakes. But the most frightening monsters of all were the Stone Giants.
The people in the village always stayed South of the river. They never went North because that was where the Stone Giants were known to be. Stone Giants were enormous creatures, as big as a mountain, with pointy heads and skin as hard as granite. They had fierce tempers and, worst of all, they loved the taste of human flesh. Just the thought of a Stone Giant was enough to send a chill down the spine of even the bravest warrior.
One day, Skunny Wundy was walking along the river, skipping stones and paying no attention to where he was going. He walked and walked until he suddenly stopped, looked around and realized that he was very far from his village.
Just then, Skunny-Wundy heard a very loud, frightening noise that sounded like the beating of a gigantic drum and the roar of the wind in the midst of a hurricane. It came from across the river, just beyond the trees. Skunny Wundy crept closer, peered out from behind a tree and saw a sight that almost stopped his heart.
There, on the other side of the river, stood the biggest, ugliest, angriest stone giant anyone had ever seen. He had pulled a giant pine tree up by the roots and was beating it against the earth, making a noise like an enormous drum. As he pounded the ground, he roared out in a voice as loud as a hurricane.
Skunny Wundy was terrified and he was about to turn around and slink away, but then he thought about his village. If the Stone Giant discovered the village, it would go on the rampage devouring everything in sight. His parents would be eaten along with everyone he cared about. He knew he had to stay and face the monster. If he didn’t, everyone would die.
He needed time to think. How could he defeat such a monster? If he threw rocks at the Stone Giant, it would just catch them and chew them up like ripe berries. If he shot arrows at the Stone Giant, they would just bounce off his skin and snap like twigs.
Just then, the Stone Giant turned and stared directly at him. Skunny Wundy cowered behind the tree and waited.
“I see a people!” the stone Giant roared. “I likes peoples. I likes to eat peoples!”
Skunny Wundy took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the tree.
“You don’t want to eat me,” he shouted. “There’s not very much of me. I’d be gone in one bite and you’d still be hungry!”
“I am always hungry!” roared the Stone Giant.
“You don’t want to mess with me!” shouted Skunny Wundy. “I am the bravest warrior in these parts and I can destroy you. Perhaps you’ve heard of me? They call me Skunny Wundy!”
“Skinny Wendy?” the Stone Giant roared. “I never hear of you!”
“Nevermind!” Skunny Wundy shouted. “Just come over here and fight me!”
Holding the tree in one hand like a club, the Stone Giant waded into the river. The water was deep and when he was half-way across, he disappeared under the surface. As quick as a fox, Skunny Wundy ran upstream to where the river was shallow and quickly crossed over to the other side.
Before long, the Stone Giant’s head emerged from the water near the other side. He climbed up onto the bank where Skunny Wundy had been standing and looked around.
“Where you go?” the stone giant roared.
“Here I am!” shouted Skunny Wundy from the other side. “I’m still waiting here for you. You must have gotten lost under water. If you aren’t afraid of me, come over here and fight me!”
The Stone Giant roared with anger and jumped into the river with a mighty splash. When the Stone Giant’s head disappeared under the water, Skunny Wundy quickly ran upstream and crossed over to the other side of the river again.
When the Stone Giant reached the other side, he climbed out of the water again and looked around, there was no sign of Skunny Wundy.
“Where you go again?” he roared.
“I didn’t go anywhere!” shouted Skunny Wundy. “I’m right here where I’ve always been. You must not be too bright. This could go on all day. I tell you what, why don’t I challenge you to a contest instead?”
“What contest?” the Stone Giant asked.
“I challenge you to a stone skipping contest!” souted Skunny Wendy. We’ll both skip a stone across the river and whoever gets theirs to skip the most times is the winner. If you win, you can eat me, but if I win, you have to go North and never come back.”
The Stone Giant looked down at him and thought and thought and thought. Skunny Wundy began to worry that his plan might not work, but finally the Stone Giant agreed. He scooped up a huge boulder and hefted it in the palm of his hand. Then he hurled it out across the river.
The boulder skipped on the surface of the water once, twice, three times. It gained speed as it went. By the time it reached the other side, it had skipped in the water ten times. Skunny Wundy had to dodge out of the way as the boulder flew past, narrowly missing him.
“I win!” the Stone Giant roared.
“Not yet,” shouted Skunny Wundy. “Now, it’s my turn.”
He knew the Stone Giant’s throw would be hard to beat. He looked all around on the bank of the river, searching for a nice flat stone that would be good for skipping, but there were none. Just then, he spotted a turtle sitting on the ground. It had pulled its head and feet into its shell and looked just like a big rock.
Skunny Wundy picked up the turtle and threw it out across the water. It skipped just like a big flat rock, once, twice, three times. Then, the turtle put out its feet and began to kick its legs. It skipped seven, eight, nine times. Then the turtle put out its arms and began to swim. It skipped ten, eleven, twelves times. It swam all the way to the other side, then climed out of the water and sat on the bank, looking like a big rock.
“I win!” shouted Skunny Wundy.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” bellowed the Stone Giant.
He was furious that he had lost. He spun around and punched a large rock, shattering it like an egg. The Giant could not seem to contain his rage. Skunny Wundy wasn’t taking any chances. He quickly turned and ran as fast as he could until he reached his home.
For the rest of his life, Skunny Wundy told anybody who would listen the story of his encounter with the Stone Giant, but nobody ever believed him.