The Tallest Man on Earth

The tallest man on earth could see everything. He sat on mountains to get his rest and watched the oceans for a good time. Sometimes when he was feeling down (which was hard for a man as tall as he) he would lay himself out in the desert and let the sand flow over his skin until he grew warm and soft, and then he’d drift off to sleep. When he woke up he brushed the sand from his lashes, picked the grains out of his ears, and stood to stretch. Every time the tallest man on earth stretched the sky grew higher to get out of his way and the world got just a little bit bigger.

Other times, when he was feeling well, the tallest man on earth would pick the smallest people around (who were usually children) and take them wherever they wanted to go. The children usually picked high places like mountains, the tops of trees, or the middle of a cloud. But some would pick far away places like the middle of the ocean, the deepest parts of the rainforest, or the silent white of the Arctic tundra. The tallest man on earth had legs so long they could take you wherever you wanted to go. He could walk around the world in 15 minutes. Sometimes, if he wanted the company, he would take you with him.

Once, I met a girl who went around the world with the tallest man on earth. She told me it was like flying only safe. And later, when it was over, and the tallest man on earth put her back down on the ground where he had found her, it was like falling only safe. The girl, who was a woman when I met her, couldn’t say which part she had loved best–the flying or the falling–but she did say that she loved being completely fearless for 15 minutes and that she would always love the tallest man on earth.

A few years after I talked to the woman who was once a girl, the tallest man on earth disappeared. People wondered where he could have gone. Afterall, where would a man of his height have to go? Most think he’s dead or in a really deep sleep. Others think he found a place to hide even though they’ve already checked the bottoms of all the oceans. Some even think he may have shrunk. But I know better. I’ve seen the world getting bigger so I know he’s still around.

Like most, I wish I could see him again. I’d like to ask him why he’s so sad and I’d like to introduce him to the woman who was once a girl. I think he’d like that. He wouldn’t love her or anything, and they wouldn’t go around the world again, but they could watch the oceans together and have a good time.


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