04 November 2004

The beautiful ogre

The other day I pulled an ugly face. It seemed appropriate as I was teaching a little imp that humans could pull funny faces too. However, it backfired somewhat as the wind changed at that exact moment, and I’ll now look like this until the wind turns again.

Funnily enough, it reminded me of a story set on a little island inhabited by ogres.

When you’re an ogre, you’re big, ugly and mostly mean. The uglier and bigger and more monstrous you are, the better. So if you’re actually quite nice looking, with a pleasant outlook on life, then ogres won’t take too kindly to you. In fact they’ll hate you.

And if you’re an ogre who’s beautiful and quite friendly, then that’s the most horrific thing ever. Other ogres will absolutely despise you and the ground you walk on. You will be the most hated thing in the whole world.

Poor Huffwink was this ogre. And he really was the nicest ogre you could ever hope to meet, while being exceedingly handsome to boot. But all this was lost on other ogres. They kicked him, shoved him, scorned him, threw stinky muck at him. He had a terrible life.

And then he realised that if he pulled a nasty face and waited for the wind to change, then he could make himself more likeable. And, strangely enough, it worked. If Huffwink felt a change in the wind brewing, he’d go and stand on the tallest clifftop in full breeze, and let nature do its work.

Sometimes it could last for weeks. He could be ugly and fit in with others of his kind, and best of all he could be liked. But, as all things do, his plan took an unpleasant twist. He was out on the cliff one day, ready for the wind to change, when unexpectedly he made a pout with his lips right at the wrong moment. The wind took a quick right turn, and Huffwink was suddenly extraordinarily beautiful. The poor ogre was more beautiful than any other creature in existence, and all the other ogres made sure he knew about it.

Once again they beat him, but this time they bound his hands and cast him into the sea, never to return.

Huffwink floated badly, but was able to swim a little despite not using his arms. Eventually though his strength left him, he fell unconscious and started to sink. As the water washed over him, the fish rallied at his legs. They’d never seen anything like him, and with the help of mermaids and mermen, he was saved, and towed to a distant far off shore.

When Huffwink woke, he was lying on a white sandy beach. There were gnarled palm trees in the distance, which resembled flying dragons, and walking towards him was a group of giants. They were all wearing grass skirts, and among them were some of the most lovely girl giants he’d ever seen.

As you can guess, the giants thought he was one of them. They took him in and looked after him. He told them of his woe on the isle of ogres, but he never revealed his true identity. After all, no-one could tell anyway, even when his exceedingly beautiful face had worn off with the wind.

Finally, Huffwink was happy, and it felt wonderful to be accepted. And before long there was a whole tribe of beautiful ogres, although that’s a very big secret. If you ever see exceptionally beautiful giants, never ever let on that they might be ogres, for they might take offence. Remember, giants are generally a lot BIGGER than you.