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Main > Brazilian folktales > Fairy tale "How the Giantess Guimara Became Small"

How the Giantess Guimara Became Small

Once upon a time a prince called D. Joaõ went hunting with a number of companions. In the deep forest he became separated from his comrades and soon found out that he was lost. He wandered about for a long time, and at last he spied what looked like a mountain range in the distance. He journeyed toward it as fast as he could travel, and when he got near to it he was surprised to find out that it was really a high wall. It was the great wall which bounds the land of the giants. The ruler of the country was an enormous giant whose head reached almost to the clouds. The giant’s wife was nearly as enormous as he was, and their only child was as tall as her mother. Her name was Guimara.

When the giant saw D. Joaõ he called out, “O, little man, what are you doing down there?” D. Joaõ narrated his adventures to the giant, and the giant said, “Your story of your wanderings interests me. It is not often that little men like you pass this way. If you like you may live in my palace and be my servant.” D. Joaõ accepted the giant’s offer and stayed at the palace.

The giant’s daughter Guimara was very much pleased with D. Joaõ. He was the first little man she had ever seen. She fell deeply in love with him. Her father, however, was very much disgusted at her lack of good taste. He preferred to have a giant for a son-in-law. Accordingly he thought of a plot to get D. Joaõ into trouble.

The next day he sent for D. Joaõ to appear before him. “O little man,” he said to him, “they tell me that you are very proud of yourself and that you are boasting among my servants that you are able to tear down my palace in a single night and set it up again as quickly as you tore it down.”

“I never have made any such boast, your majesty,” replied D. Joaõ.

He went to Guimara and told her about it. “I am an enchantress,” said Guimara. “Leave it to me and we will surprise my father.”

The very next night Guimara and D. Joaõ tore down the giant’s palace and set it up again exactly as it was before.

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