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Petula the Giant
Having a direction in life is very important. Knowing what you want to be can give you a good head start in life. But sometimes, people have goals and dreams that are simply too unrealistic. Giants also seem to have this same problem.
Petula the giant was Oscar’s younger sister. The daughter of Sarge and Bidzini. She however, was nothing like her older brother. For Petula was interested in one thing and one thing only. She wanted to become a ballerina. How can a giant become a graceful dancer? Well that is precisely the problem.
While Petula did not act at all like Oscar, she did resemble him in many ways. She was ugly, but not as ugly as her cousin Helga. She also had big bones even for a giant. And unfortunately, like her mother and brother she had very large legs and oversized feet. You can see right away why her hopes of being a ballerina were going to bring her much distress.
She would spend countless hours practicing all the great ballet moves. Her ballerina slippers were made of sheep’s skins. Thirty eight sheep skins per pair to be exact. And her “dance studio” consisted of a 10 acre play field on the south side of Bellingham.
Of course, this constant practicing of ballet moves was a very large irritation to all of the residents on the south side of the city. She spent hours each day practicing her positions and jumps. She would practice the glis-sade over and over, but when she began practicing the jete the whole south end of Bellingham would begin to shake. Petula loved to practice the jete which is a high leap in which one leg is extended forward and the other backward. But each time she landed, it felt like a major earthquake.
The chimneys of all the houses within miles of the city playground had fallen to the ground. And of course none of the little kids were able to play at the playground because they were bounced all over the place when Petula practiced, which was all the time!
The people of Bellingham became very upset and asked the city fathers to help them. So the city fathers talked to Petula and convinced her that she would have a better chance of becoming a ballerina if she moved to a bigger more cultured city like Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Paris or to try Moscow Russia. But even in Moscow, where the dancer looked a lot more like her only smaller, she was told she had no chance in becoming a ballerina.
Finally, exhausted from her travels, heartbroken and humiliated, she began her journey back to Bellingham. She returned to her home a few blocks south of Lake Way Drive… she burned all of her tu tu’s. She gave her ballet slippers to the Goodwill, where volunteers used them to make 1,217 purses. And she put all of her ballerina magazines in the recycle bin. Then she sat down in her front yard and began to cry.
She cried for three weeks, day and night, losing weight by the hundreds. All of south side Bellingham felt bad for Petula. At the end of the three weeks, Petula received a surprise visitor. It was Helga from Everson! Her cousin that she had not seen in many years. In fact, Petula had been so focused on her ballet all her life, that she hardly even recognized Helga.
Helga and Petula talked for hours. Helga told Petula how she had spent much of her long life being mean and thinking only of herself. But it wasn’t until she began to spend her life helping others that she really began to enjoy living. She said that helping and caring for the people of Everson has made her the happiest giant in the whole world.
They continued to talk into the night and Helga mentioned that some were trying to rebuild the little town of Sumas that had been destroyed by her brother, Boris Jr. she told Petula that she should go to Sumas and give her life to helping out the people of that town. That she would soon find happiness and fulfillment in helping and caring for others and not being so concerned about herself. Helga also mentioned that they would be neighbors and could spend time together working out ways to help their towns.
Petula was not sure about something as radical as that, but then again how radical could that be compared to a big legged giant with huge feet wanting to become a ballerina. They decided to give it some time and Petula promised to come to Everson the following week and let Helga know her decision.
That was many years ago when those two woman giants sat up half the night talking to each other about this idea of Petula and Sumas. Petula decided to take the challenge. Petula and Helga have spent many wonderful years together out in the eastern part of the county. Sumas built itself back up to be a respectful little town. Petula watched over it and cared for it the rest of her life. The towns’ people loved Petula and they cared for her too in return.
Petula took care of that town twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. But every once in a while she would go to visit her cousin Helga. And then about every three months or so, she would take a couple of days off and go up in the foothills near Silver Lake. It was a strange thing that every time she would return back to the town; the people would tell her of twirling winds that came out of the foothills and of the thunderous noise and the shaking of the ground that took place every time she was gone. Petula would just smile and say that she was sure it would come to nothing.
And that is the story of Petula, the sworn protector of a little town called Sumas…