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Small George



(the prompt was a picture of a dwarf trudging down a country road.)

George has been walking all day. His feet are sore and he is hungry. He is on his own, like a rolling stone. He reminds himself, “Who’s going to stop and give a dwarf a ride? Nobody, that’s who.”

His rucksack is heavy on his shoulder so he switches it to the other one. It doesn’t do any good, one shoulder is as sore as the other. Still he trudges on. He sits under an old chestnut tree for a while but a crow shits on him. “The ultimate indignity,” he says to himself - “It ain’t easy being a dwarf in Giantland.”

A hundred feet ahead of him is a fence. On the other side of that fence he knows he will be a dwarf no longer. There, he will be just like you and me. He will be able to climb up on a bar stool, use a urinal, or even ride a bicycle. Everything on that side of the fence is built for small people. The town is called“ Lowland.” That’s where George was born.

His family were very poor, and although no one in Lowland was wealthy by Giantland standards, George’s parents grew radishes and they were the poorest family in Lowland. No one can make a living growing radishes in the first place, not even dwarfs. When George came of age he told his mother and father he was climbing the fence and going off to make his fortune with the giants. That’s what they called us in Lowland - giants.

“I’m gonna strike it rich in Giantland,” he boasted.

He did, for a while. The Giants thought he was cute. Wealthy women hired him as a pet and would even take him to bed with them as you would take a cat or a dog. Others thought he was gifted with supernatural powers. Gamblers would rub the top of his head for luck and heads of state would let him pick folded up declarations of war and peace out of a hat. But he was no better at it than they were, and rubbing him for luck often brought financial disaster to gamblers.

In time the Giants lost interest in George and instead of finding himself sleeping between satin sheets with titled ladies, he was moved downstairs to the sofa, then to a box filled with rags behind the kitchen stove and finally out in the street without any place to sleep at all.

It seemed to him that he had come full circle. He was just as poor and ragged in Giantland as he was with his mother and father back in Lowland and as he sat on the curbstone in the rain with giants tripping over him, he wished he was home again. “Giantland was not made for me,” he grumbled to himself - and that was the truth. Picture yourself riding in a crowded elevator with your nose at the level of the seat of everyone’s pants. Imagine mongrel dogs lifting their legs on you. Imagine being mistaken for a mushroom when you’re carrying an umbrella in the rain. How much more can a lowly dwarf take?

Not a bit more, George has had his fill of it. He is on his way home, sadder, wiser, and not a nickel richer.

The End

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