Every afternoon, after school, the children went to play in the giant’s garden. This was a lovely large garden, covered with soft, green grass. Here and there, there were beautiful flowers like stars, and peach trees that burst into delicate pink blossoms in the spring and bore rich fruit in the fall. The birds perched on the trees and sang sweetly.

One day, after seven years of absence, the giant returned to find the children playing in his garden.

-What are you doing here? he yelled harshly. And the children ran away.

“My garden is my garden,” said the giant. I’m not going to let anyone but me play on it.

So he built a high wall around the garden and put up a huge sign that read:

“Entrance is prohibited. Whoever does not comply will be punished.”

He was a very selfish giant.

The poor children now had nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of stones and they did not like it. They often gathered in front of the wall to remember the beautiful hidden garden.

Then spring came, and all over the country there were colorful flowers and little birds. However, in the garden of the selfish giant it was still winter. Since there were no children, the birds did not sing and the trees forgot to bloom. Only once did a flower peek out from the lawn, but as soon as she saw the sign, she felt so sad for the children that she went back underground to fall asleep.

The only ones who felt comfortable in the garden were snow and frost:

“Spring forgot about this garden,” they said, “so we will stay here for the rest of the year.”

The snow covered the lawn with its blanket of white, and the frost painted the trees silver. They soon invited their sad friend, the north wind, to spend the rest of the season with them.

With the north wind came the hail and the winter in the garden became even whiter and colder.

“I can’t understand how spring takes so long to come,” said the selfish giant, leaning out the window. I hope the weather will change soon.

But spring didn’t come, and neither did summer. Autumn gave golden fruit to all the gardens, but to the giant’s garden it gave none.

It was always winter in the giant’s house.

One morning the giant was still in bed when he heard some very beautiful music. It was a little goldfinch singing outside her window.

“I think spring has come at last,” said the giant, and he jumped out of bed to run to the window. And what do you think he saw?

He saw something wonderful. The children had entered the garden through a small hole in the wall. The trees were so happy to have the children again that they had covered themselves with flowers. The birds flew and sang with delight, and the flowers peeked out of the green grass and laughed. It was a lovely scene.

“How selfish I have been!” said the giant. “Now I know why spring never came here.” I will tear down the wall, and my garden will belong to the children forever and ever. The giant was really ashamed of his selfishness, so he took his ax and tore down the wall.

If one day you were to pass through the beautiful garden, you would read a huge sign that says:

Keep love in your heart, a life without it is like a garden without sun…

And you would also find a giant playing with children in the most beautiful place you have ever seen.