Do you remember the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff? I didn’t remember all the details, but the character of the troll really stuck with me. Throughout the years, I’ve occasionally encountered people that I’ve thought of as “bridge trolls.” I know that isn’t very nice, but then, sometimes we meet people who aren’t very nice, too!
Over the weekend, I visited with a friend who lives in a small town nearby. We spent a day visiting small local shops and antique stores. And when I came upon this illustration of the Big Billy Goat and the Troll from a 1938 version of the story, I simply had to buy it. I mean, seriously, who else feels such a strong connection with the bridge troll? It was meant to be.
Of course, then I had to look up the story to remember how it went, and I was sad to learn that the billy goats triumphed by apparently killing the mean old bridge troll. Sure, he threatened to eat them, but he also never actually did. Poor guy. Also, it strikes me that a lot of children’s stories and songs are seriously morbid. I mean, the big billy goat actually says to the troll:
Well, come along! I’ve got two spears,
And I’ll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I’ve got besides two curling-stones,
And I’ll crush you to bits, body and bones.
Sheesh! I’m feeling more and more sympathetic for this poor little troll. And maybe I will start being a little warmer towards the “bridge trolls” in my own life, too. Maybe. Either way, I’ve now got this fabulous bit of bridge troll art for my wall, and I love it.
Are there any bridge trolls in your life? Or any other creatures from weird children’s stories that you’ve held on to the way I have the bridge troll?