There Once Was a Giant...

Every summer proveditor Barbabianca, signor Zvane and the captain of the Motovun Forest marked Turkish oaks for the needs of the Venetian Republic. Riding a donkey, the Proveditor saw a nice Turkish oak which will heat him in Koper during the cold winter nights. While he was marking the chosen tree, somebody's strong hands threw the donkey into the oak's crown. Giant-serf Jože stood beside the dead donkey angrily looking at the Proveditor. Signor Zvane managed to calm the giant who then picked up the scared Proveditor and took him to town the streets of which were crowded with armed people who didn't want to feed Jože anymore. After deliberating for some time, it was decided that Jože has to go to Koper at Easter and that until then the town's people have to feed him. Easter was here. Since Jože was satisfied with his life, the people of Motovun had to decide yet again what to do with him.

Proto and several other townsmen wanted the hard-working Jože to stay, while the others thought he should leave Motovun-Montona. First, Jože went to Koper from where he sailed with the Proveditor toward the Venetian Republic. Since they were sailing with sails and at one moment the wind calmed, the oarsmen took out the oars. Jože, not knowing what oars were, wondered who was waving with bats. From the interior of the ship the sounds of whips could be heard and swearing and the rattle of fetters, and after that the song of the galley-slaves.

The wondering giant lifted up the deck lid. A big head of galley-slave Ilija came out of the opening. He told Jože everything about his life on the galley, telling him that he, Jože, could expect the same fate. Amidst the storm carried by waves the galley was coming closer to the coast. When they came near the coast Jože jumped into the sea. That morning he again stood on the Istrian mainland where he called other serfs to join him. Shortly the giants inhabited the hill between Pazin-Pisino and Motovun-Montona where dog-heads used to live. And while the citizens thought the giants should again be forced to farm the land, noblemen and town chiefs decided they should be killed.

The townsmen and the soldiers headed by two knights headed toward the Dog-head Hill. The knights and soldiers attacked the giants who defended with oaks. After an unsuccessful attack they decided to talk with the giants who didn’t accept the set conditions and they wanted to be free.

The giants, awarded by gold coins, rings and chains, returned to the towns. The greedy townsmen and noblemen requested their part of the gold claiming that it used to belong to their great-grandfathers, this was again a reason to fight with the giants. Since they couldn't conquer it, the townsmen at night unsuccessfully dug around the Dog-head Hill in search of the gold. One night after he caught several townsmen at the Dog-head Hill, Jože told them he will give back the gold, but they head to earn it. The townsmen agreed to help Jože in order to get the gold. The harvest was rich, and they had to give the whole yield to the giants. After their work was done, the townsmen returned to their towns and on the Štrigina glava only Kamerlengo Ciretta was left and he soon became friends with the giants.

Once during a fight the giants wanted to kill Jože. After that he put the town on fire and ran to Ciretta who hid him and protected him. After the conversation, the giants chose Kamerlengo Ciretta for their chief. The new chief fairly divided the land among the giants who swore on the Book of Contracts that they will respect other's property. Everybody was satisfied owning their piece of land. But when they started to cultivate it and notice the difference in size, the fight broke out again. Since he was no longer their chief, Ciretta didn't want to help them.

The fights between giants continued. On one occasion the giants-serfs Marko and Liberat wanted to farm their land, but Jože didn't let them. He beat up Marko and killed Liberat with a pick. The giants called Ciretta to advise them on what to do. The wise townsman decided to scare the giants telling them they had to bury Liberat and move, because if not they would be punished. The giants decided to return to their masters and Ciretta took Jože to Motovun-Montona who escaped on the way.