Span #writephoto

Sue’s #WritePhoto Prompt this week:

What Happened To The Troll?
“Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge?” Troll thought.
He was way beyond the whole growling at the trespasser stage now.
It had been quite fun to start with.
His dad had reminisced about this bridge all the time, though he was loathe to go into much detail about why he left.
“Dastardly goats!” was all he would mutter if they ever talked about his past home.
Still, before he passed on, his wish was to see his old home once more so the family took him.
Troll was entranced by the beauty of the bridge. It was a beautiful stone arch, spanning over a babbling brook, and the grass appeared to have taken over a bit.
“Well, that’s not gonna help a troll know when a meal is passing, is it?” Dad muttered. “The grass is going to muffle all the hoofsteps!”
TrollI decided then and there, that this would be his new home, when it was time to venture out alone.
It was a great place to live. No one really disturbed him much, and the fish was fresh and plentiful.
All great, except for the goats.
There was a particular set, who took great joy in making a right racket when crossing from one side to another. It was like they were trying to goad him.
Multiple times a day, they would trip-trap over the bridge, and Troll started out by calling, “Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge?”
The only answer he got was a bleaty giggle, then the sound of hooves scurrying away.
Troll gave up answering after a while.
Then, one day, he had a visitor.
Instead of crossing the bridge, a small goat kid had slowly stepped his way down the bank and stood, staring at Troll in fascination.
“Who are you? Go away!” Troll wasn’t used to company.
“I’m Billy,” the goat bleated, “Billy the Kid. Are you the Big Bad Troll?”
“I might be,” Troll answered, “Why?”
“My grandpa Big Billy Gruff talks about you all the time.”
“Me? But I don’t know your grandpa.”
“Oh. But he said you were long gone, and that after he’d sorted you out, there was no way you would have ever come back. I just wanted to see for myself.”
“Hang on – could it be my dad he’s talking about? My dad used to live here a long time ago, but he would never talk about why he left.”
Billy giggled, in his bleaty way. “That’s cos he was butted out!”
“What? Butted out? But he was the greatest Troll ever. No. You must be mistaken. My dad didn’t like goats, I know that much, but there’s no way a goat defeated him!”
“I think you need to meet my grandpa.”
A few days later, Billy called down to Troll, “Oh Mr Troll, my grandpa Billy wants to see you!”
Troll had been snoozing, so he rubbed the sleep away from his eyes and traipsed up the bank, to be confronted by the largest goat he had ever seen.
“Hmmm,” the large animal slowly trip-trapped around him. “You’re quite like him, but he was definitely uglier.”
“I beg your pardon! I’m the ugliest Troll out there, I’ll have you know!”
“Ugly, yes, but not the ugliest. That was definitely your father. Rude chap he was.” Grandpa Billy gave a loud bleat, “Little Billy! Middle Billy! Trip-trap over here, quickly! You need to see this!”
Troll looked over to see two other large goats approaching them.
“Him!” the smaller one bleated. “Big! I thought you said he wouldn’t be back!”
“That’s not him, Little,” the middle sized one bleated. ”I’d know him anywhere. This one looks, well, cleaner.”
Troll had always prided himself on his Troll-like appearance. He may have been ugly, but no one could ever say he was untidy, or dirty. He pulled himself up straighter, chest out.
“Right,” Grandpa Billy looked at him. “So, what are you doing here? I thought I made it clear to your father that there was to be no trolling to be happening here on our bridge? We don’t appreciate threats to eat us up. And if you have any ideas, you should see my son, Kid’s father. He’s bigger than me. The horns on that boy! Makes me proud. I only sent your father flying down the river. A butt from my son would send you into space!”
“Er, look, Mr Grandpa Billy sir, I don’t want to cause any distress. I don’t know what happened with my dad and you, but I assure you, I just want to enjoy the bridge and the scenery. I won’t bother you.”
“But you’re a Troll! You want to eat us!”
Billy the Kid shuffled closer to his grandpa, not having realised the danger he’d put himself in, approaching this dangerous creature.
“Eat you? Oh, my goodness, no! I don’t eat goats! I decided, quite early on, that it would be a pescatarian life for me. A bit of a disappointment to my dad, I was, but no. I never liked the taste. You’re perfectly safe with me.”
Big Billy guffawed in his bleaty way, “A pescatarian Troll. Whatever next?”
And that’s how it came to be that the Troll and the Billy Goats Gruff ended up living in peace. If you go there at certain times of the day, you’ll see Troll, calmly fishing for his supper, with Grandpa Billy grazing at the grass along the bank, and Billy the Kid prancing around, trip-trapping over the bridge.
It’s really quite a serene sight.


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