The Pygmies were constantly at war with the Cranes!

Illustration from Tanglewood Tales in THE PYGMIES.  "They were constantly at war with the cranes."

The Pygmies had but one thing to trouble them in the world. They were constantly at war with the cranes, and had always been so, ever since the long-lived Giant could remember. From time to time, very terrible battles had been fought in which sometimes the little men won the victory, and sometimes the cranes. According to some historians, the Pygmies used to go to the battle, mounted on the backs of goats and rams; but such animals as these must have been far too big for Pygmies to ride upon; so that, I rather suppose, they rode on squirrelback, or rabbitback, or ratback, or perhaps got upon hedgehogs, whose prickly quills would be very terrible to the enemy. However this might be, and whatever creatures the Pygmies rode upon, I do not doubt that they made a formidable appearance, armed with sword and spear, and bow and arrow, blowing their tiny trumpet, and shouting their little war cry. They never failed to exhort one another to fight bravely, and recollect that the world had its eyes upon them; although, in simple truth, the only spectator was the Giant Antaeus, with his one, great, stupid eye in the middle of his forehead.


Tanglewood Tales

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Illustrations By:  Milo Winter

Rand McNally & Company:  Chicago & New York.  1913.

2 thoughts on “The Pygmies were constantly at war with the Cranes!

    1. I agree about Hawthorne – I will admit he was on my dusty and I’m not interest bookshelf – but he added life to these old tales – time to reconsider him! Milo Winter is a GIANT not just the drawer of giants.
      Thanks for your thoughts,

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