The Giant’s Heart

Told by Cathy Jo Smith

Hear the story

A few years ago at a fall festival, I came across a booth selling carved stones. I picked up a lovely jade-green heart and showed it to my husband. “I bet you can come up with a few stories from that” he challenged me. “If I can’t,” I replied “I’d better quit calling myself a storyteller!” And so it began.  I remembered tales of a monster who kept his heart outside his body for safekeeping but I had never liked the endings I found. I wanted it to follow a fairytale format with a heroine. I also wanted her to use her wits and her own heart to win the day, instead of using a sword or other implements of destruction.  It’s now one of my husband’s favorite stories. I hope you enjoy it as well. Oh, and yes, I do have other stories involving that stone heart; but those are tales for another day.

About Cathy Jo

Cathy Jo Smith began telling professionally at the Dublin (Ohio) Irish Festival in 2000. She specializes in Irish and Irish-American history, stories and songs. Cathy also has a particular (peculiar?) expertise on Irish wakes and has traveled to festivals across the Midwest with her wake display. Her booklet is entitled “Wake Me When It’s Over “. She also has a book of tales of the Irish FairFolk entitled “Adventures of Seamus McSeamus; an Irish Rover”. When asked if she’s from Ireland, Cathy tends to respond “Not yet.”

Contact Cathy Jo

Email: or

1 thought on “The Giant’s Heart”

  1. Thank you Cathy Jo. I will definitely share this re-telling with my students. They already know the more traditional version which I have been telling for years. This will add an important understanding of how to adapt a story and be faithful to its essence. The second graders all write folk tale adaptations in the Spring, this will be a great resource to expand their learning.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top