This story is a part of RISHI TALES (Volume 1) by U. Mahesh Prabhu with Foreword by Dr David Frawley.
A long time ago, in the dense forest of Vindhyas, there lived a giant who was gifted with a special power to assume any form at his will. As fancy as it may sound, the giant was apparently disgusted with his life. He desired to put an end to it. However, there was a problem.
Whenever he tried to commit suicide, he had to assume his own original form. That was the law. In his own form, he was so tall and strong that a jump from a hilltop meant hopping down from a veranda. The water of the deepest river proved inadequate for him to take a dip.
As days passed, his disgust for life increased. He wept and howled. But that only scared away the beasts and birds.
One day he came across a rishi who happened to be meditating. Without caring for consequences, he awakens the rishi from his trance and narrates his sorrow.
On listening to the giant, the rishi retrospect for a while before saying, “I can understand your pain. The age of giants is over. I wonder if there would be even half a dozen giants left in all the forests and hills of the world. But, I can see from my intuition that you are blessed with a long life. All I can do is to let you take birth as some other creature. Until the end of that life – which will cover the remaining span of your life as a giant – this way you won’t feel so desolate and disgusted. Tell me whether you would like to be born as an elephant, or a lion, or a tiger, or a human being.”