Leonora Carrington’s The Giantess (The Guardian of the Egg)
She's as long-bodied as a sequoia tree but her hands and feet are delicate and pretty. She bows down to tap at the windows of countryfolk to ask what they think of her elegant digits. They eulogise so effusively that the giantess blushes and begs them to stop. When they stop, she begs them to say it again. But she's gentle and gives many great gifts, so people forgive her for interrupting their dinners with her compulsive fishing for compliments.
The giantess goes barefoot to show off her comely toes. These get tickled by bushes and hedgerows so she can often be heard tittering as she strolls the hills.
When it's cloudy, her head becomes moist. This makes her hair frizzy – and her unhappy. At such moments she reaches into her pocket and fondles her most beloved possession: a black porcelain egg – as big as a bale of hay.
The giantess stole the egg from a bad-tempered deity at the beginning of time. He's forever trying to take it back, but she's too clever for him. She keeps it safe. One day it will hatch and the bright, feathered creature that emerges will fly over the earth, gobbling up sorrows until there are none left.
Art by Leonora Carrington
Poem by Benjamin Palmer