From: The Last of the Huggermuggers: a Giant Story (1856)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: 1856 Boston
WHILE Little Jacket sat pondering over his situation, he heard voices not far off, as of two persons talking. But they were great voices, as of trumpets and drums. He looked over the top of the rock against which he was seated, and saw for the first time the entire forms of Huggermugger and his wife, looming up like two great light-houses. He knew it must be they, for he recognized their voices. They were standing on the other side of a huge stone wall. It was the giant’s garden.
“Wife,” said Huggermugger, “I think now I’ve got my long boots on again, and my toe feels so much better, I shall go through the marsh yonder and kill a few frogs for your dinner; after that, perhaps I may go down again to the seashore, and get some more of those delicious clams I found last night.”
“Well, husband,” says the wife, “you may go if you choose for your clams, but be sure you get me some frogs, for you know how fond I am of them.”
So Huggermugger took his basket and his big stick, and strode off to the marsh. “Now,” thought the little sailor, “is my time. I must watch which way he goes, and if I can manage not to be seen, and can only keep up with him—for he goes at a tremendous pace—we shall see!”
So the giant went to the marsh, in the middle of which was a pond, while Little Jacket followed him as near as he dared to go. Pretty soon, he saw the huge fellow laying about him with his big stick, and making a great splashing in the water. It was evident he was killing Mrs. Huggermugger’s frogs, a few of which he put in his basket, and then strode away in another direction. Little Jacket now made the best use of his little legs that ever he made in his life. If he could only keep the giant in sight! He was much encouraged by perceiving that Huggermugger, who, as I said before, was a lazy giant, walked at a leisurely pace, and occasionally stopped to pick the berries that grew everywhere in the fields. Little Jacket could see his large figure towering up some miles ahead. Another fortunate circumstance, too, was, that the giant was smoking his pipe as he went, and even when Little Jacket almost lost sight of him, he could guess where he was from the clouds of smoke floating in the air, like the vapor from a high-pressure Mississippi steamboat. So the little sailor toiled along, scrambling over rocks, and through high weeds and grass and bushes, till they came to a road. Then Jacky’s spirits began to rise, and he kept along as cautiously, yet as fast as he could, stopping only when the giant stopped. At last, after miles and miles of walking, he caught a glimpse of the sea through the huge trees that skirted the road. How his heart bounded! “I shall at least see my messmates again,” he said, “and if we are destined to remain long in this island, we will at least help each other, and bear our hard lot together.”
It was not long before he saw the beach, and the huge Huggermugger groping in the wet sand for his shellfish. “If I can but reach my companions without being seen, tell them my strange adventures, and all hide ourselves till the giant is out of reach, I shall be only too happy.” Very soon he saw the group of beautiful great shells, just as they were when he left them, except that his shell, of course, was not there, as it graced Mrs. Huggermugger’s domestic fireside. When he came near enough, he called some of his comrades by name, not too loud, for fear of being heard by the shellfish-loving giant. They knew his voice, and one after another looked out of his shell. They had already seen the giant, as they were out looking for their lost companion, and had fled to hide themselves in their shells.
“For heaven’s sake,” cried the little sailor, “Tom, Charley, all of you I don’t stay here; the giant will come and carry you all off to his house under the cliffs; his wife has a particular liking for those beautiful houses of yours. I have just escaped, almost by miracle. Come, come with me—here—under the rocks—in this cave—quick, before he sees us!”
So Little Jacket hurried his friends into a hole in the rocks, where the giant would never think of prying. Huggermugger did not see them. They were safe. As soon as he had filled his basket, he went off, and left nothing but his footprints and the smoke of his pipe behind him.
After all, I don’t think the giant would have hurt them, had he seen them. For he would have known the difference between a sailor and a shell-fish at once, and was no doubt too good-natured to injure them, if they made it clear to his mind that they were not by any means fish; but, on the contrary, might disagree dreadfully with his digestion, should he attempt to swallow them.
All Sub-Works of The Last of the Huggermuggers: a Giant Story (1856):
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- How Little Jacket would go to Sea
- His Good and his Bad Luck at Sea
- How he fared on Shore
- How Huggermugger came along
- What happened to Little Jacket in the Giant’s Boot
- How Little Jacket escaped from Kobboltozo’s Shop
- How he made use of Huggermugger in Travelling
- How Little Jacket and his Friends left the Giant’s Island
- Mr. Nabbum
- Zebedee and Jacky put their heads together