The Cobbler and the Giant

or how the Wrekin was made

Cobbler and the Giant In Wales there lived a giant who had a grudge against the people of Shrewsbury. One day he decided he would be rid of them all. He dug a spadeful of earth and set off across the mountains.

"If I dump this load of earth into the Severn," he thought, "It will dam the river and the town will be flooded and its people drowned!"

    He walked for some time with his heavy load but he was not sure of the way. On and on he walked, getting tired and hot, until he reached Wellington and there he rested.
    Along the road from Shrewsbury came a cobbler. He was carrying a sack full of boots and shoes he was taking home to mend for his customers in Shrewsbury. When the giant saw him, he called out to him, "Can you tell me the way to Shrewsbury?"

    The cobbler looked up at the giant and trembled.

    "Why do you want to know?" he asked.

    "Because I'm going to dam the river with this spadeful of earth and drown the whole town!" bellowed the giant. " Is it much further?"

   The cobbler was horrified. Drown all the people of Shrewsbury? He'd lose all his customers! Then the cobbler gave a sly smile. He shook his head and looked up at the giant again.

    "Shrewsbury, you say? Well, you'll not get there today, nor tomorrow either. Look," and he swung the sack from his shoulder and showed it to the giant. "I've come from Shrewsbury myself and I've worn out all these boots and shoes on the way."

    The giant groaned. He was very tired.
    "In that case, I'll go back home," he said, and he dumped the load of earth by the road and scraped his boots clean on the spade, and set off back to Wales.

    And that is how the Wrekin came to be made out of a giant spadeful of earth, and the smaller hill beside it, the Ercall, is where the giant cleaned off his boots.

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