Spindle excerpt, 4

Every day, the boy would find himself alone in his house, and every day he would walk into the Forest of Anything and along the wide, straight road to Mudferthing’s huge house, climb the trellis to the closet window, and search for something that would show him how the heroes of the Forest could beat the unbeatable giant.
It took a very long time. In the Slowing World, the door of summer closed and the gate of winter opened, and in the end the boy still found nothing.
Until one day, Mudferthing caught a cold.
Now, some of you are being very pert and thinking to yourselves ‘A ha! The giant got a cold! That must be how he can be beat!’ Well, let me tell you that there is nothing in any story ever about a hero who saved the day by making sure that the monster went out-of-doors without his stocking cap and mittens, and there never will be.
You should just sit and listen a bit longer and try to learn something.
Of course, the boy didn’t know that Mudferthing had a cold when he came to the giant’s house that day, and he didn’t know that Mudferthing had decided to stay home instead of wandering the forest in search of more princesses to eat and more children to boil. He didn’t realize it when he climbed into the closet on the third floor, and it wasn’t until he’d gotten down to the first floor (where he’d decided he would have another look at the giant’s trophy room) that he found out he wasn’t alone in the house.
He could hear Mudferthing sniffling.