I’ll not be juggled with.

The giant was a little bit of sadist, truth be told.
He liked to pick up villagers, three at a time and toss them around. He had a buddy who also enjoyed this and the two of them did complex routines – tossing people from hand to hand and occasionally dropping them. Mostly the villagers screamed in a way the giant found exciting. As soon as he scooped one up, it started yelling. His ears were pitched differently than theirs and they sounded pleasantly squeaky to him. They kept a tonal rhythm of screams as he tossed them to his buddy and caught them as they arched through the air.

Then one day, he picked up a villager who neither kicked nor screamed. Instead he climbed his way into the palm of the giant’s hand where he stood as tall as a tiny villager could stand on the uneven ground of the giant’s hand. The giant examined him up close. He didn’t appear much different than any of the others but he stood there, calmly, his arms folded across his chest.

“Why aren’t you screaming?” asked the giant. “They all scream.”
“I’ll not be juggled with,” said the tiny villager.
“What?” asked the giant.
“I will not be juggled. You must not juggle me. You must not toss me in the air and catch me again or worse let me drop to my death into the hayfield. I won’t have it.”
“No?” asked the giant.
“No,” said the villager. “I will not. You have ruined the lives of too many of my neighbors and I must firmly request that you cease immediately.“
“You want me to put you back down,” said the giant.
“Yes,” said the villager. “Never to be picked up again. And none of my neighbors, neither – if you like to juggle, you are welcome to use our hay bales. Just, if you would, put them back when you’ve finished.”
“Hay bales?” asked the giant.

“Those round things there,” said the villager.
“Will they make noise?” asked the giant.
“We’ll put bells in, if it will keep you from juggling us,” said the villager.
“Bells?” asked the giant.
“Yes, like this, ring-a-ling-ling,” demonstrated the villager.

The giant began to laugh. “Excellent,” he said.
“Excellent,” said the villager. “Set me down by my barn and I’ll organize the hay bales for you and your friend.”
“Where?” asked the giant.
“There,” said the villager, pointing to a red barn. “Bend down and set me down gently please. No dropsies.”
“Okay,” said the giant and he set the villager down by his barn.
The villager went into his barn, fetched all the bells and then went to the hay bales in the field where he pushed the bells deep into the hay. Then he gestured for the giant to pick them up.
The giant obliged and began to juggle – and juggle – and he laughed louder than he’d ever laughed before each time the bells rang. The villagers all came out of their houses and watched the spectacle – then they began to applaud – at first out of relief that there were no villagers in peril – but then at the show the giant began to put on for them. Once he found them watching, he fell into performing and before too long he had the whole village clapping along with his bells. Then he dropped a hay bale and the village scattered once again into their houses.

“Sorry,” said the giant, and gently set down the hay bales. He started to walk away when he heard the villager calling him.
“Come back tomorrow at four and we will watch you juggle again.”
The giant smiled happily and walked away. The villager walked home, went into his bedroom, shut the door and breathed out a tremendous sigh of relief.

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