Big Skate in the ice

17th, 18th and 19th of August 2018

Millions of years ago there was the great battle between the water and the land. Nowadays we can locate this as having taken place in the province of Friesland.

The surges of the sea sped like herds of buffaloes, crashing against an army of men with shovels and pickaxes.

The dams they erected split open many times, and were immediately fortified with beams patched with tallow and rags, they shattered, were rebuilt, they were torn down, rebuilt, they were repeatedly destroyed and were repeatedly refortified.

Nobody will ever know for how long this legendary battle raged.

A governor responsible for the maintenance of the dykes was quickly appointed.

To monitor the high tides’ attempts at invasion, watchmen were positioned on the manmade hill, like sailors on the masts of ships.


And this is when the great idea of a Trojan horse was born - a horse buried below sea level.

Thanks to the gods of the time, they found a giant diver capable of spending eternity buried underground, ready to leap up, lifting mountains and throwing mud stacks to protect the dikes.


Back in the time of the watchmen, we could not hide the appearance, during a snowstorm, of the leaning tower, floating like a cork on the raging sea. Where did this craft, without bow or sail, which came to Leeuwarden, come from?

Anyway, the inhabitants placed it on the central hill.

And so it became a historical lighthouse, linked to the city.


By a combination of the most unexpected circumstances, while the city was organising the festivities for its nomination as European Capital of Culture, we learnt about the exceptional discovery of the oldest ice skates in the history of mankind, estimated to be more than 20,000 years old, found, by chance, during work on an oil platform in the North Pole.

A six-by-three-meter cube of ice was cut out, keeping the skates perfectly intact, skates consisting of the femur of a mammoth as a blade, with the rest of the shoe made from animal hide.

And yet the most disconcerting phenomenon, which has astonished the whole scientific community, lies in the monumental size of the shoes.

A foot capable of fitting this shoe implies the existence of giants more than twelve meters tall...


Of course, everything would have simply remained a myth if this giant diver had not, many centuries ago, had a little giant daughter.

One night, in August 2018, she stepped out of Leeuwarden Central Station, having decided, quite simply, to come and find him.

What happens next is not yet written down on the parchments….


© Jean-Luc COURCOULT, author and artistic director, founder of the company Royal de Luxe