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The Selfish Giant
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The Selfish Giant

Cover art for The Selfish Giant

An Operetta for Young People
Music by Robin Donald Graham
Text by Paul David Graham
Adapted from a story by Oscar Wilde


 The Story

A giant comes home from a visit with a friend and finds his garden invaded by children. He immediately chases them away and builds a high wall to keep them out.

Because the giant is so selfish spring refuses to come to his garden. Frost, Hail, Snow, and the North Wind come and decide to stay in the garden forever. A few years pass. One day the giant hears music outside his window. He thinks it's the King's musicians. He looks out and finds that the children have returned to his garden through a hole in the wall. All the trees are in full bloom except one where a Boy in a white robe stands reaching up, trying to climb. The giant takes pity on the Boy and rushes out to help him into the tree. He decides to knock down the wall and allow the children to play in his garden.

The next day when the children return to play, the Boy in White is not with them. The giant asks the children about the Boy but they do not know anything about him.

Many years pass and the giant grows old. One winter day while looking out into his garden, the giant sees a golden tree with silver fruit. Standing under the tree is the Boy in White. The giant rushes out and is about to lift the Boy up in his arms when he notices wounds in the Boy's hands and feet. He asks who did this and angrily vows to kill whoever it was. The Boy in White tells the giant not to seek the one who did it because the wounds are wounds love. The giant asks who the Boy is. The Boy says that once the giant let him play in his garden and now it is the giant's turn to play in the Boy's garden, which is paradise.

The next morning the children come to the garden to play and find the giant covered with blossoms and lying under a tree. They are sad until a bird tells them that the giant is alive and happy in paradise.


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