The Horse Troll
Once upon a time there lived a sullen and vengeful troll. He was not a bridge troll, as most trolls are. He was a horse troll. He lived under a white horse and anyone who wished to ride the horse was required to answer his three questions correctly or drink his deadly poison.
In a house on the edge of the forest there lived a beautiful maiden. She had often seen the white horse roaming the forest, and she wanted more than anything to ride it. One day she decided to take her dog Decius and go try to befriend the horse.
She came upon the horse in a forest glen, and quickly befriended it. Then one day she had tamed it enough that she got on its back.
"Arrrr!" Out came the troll. "He who would ride this horse so free must answer me these questions three, or drink my deadly poison."
"Woof grrrr bark!" said Decius fiercely.
"You again?!" said the troll in consternation.
"What?" said the girl.
"Your stupid dog rides my horse all the time," said the troll bitterly.
"I don't understand," said the girl.
"Never mind; here is the first question: What is over your head, yet you understand it?" He eyed her sternly.
"Um..." The girl's brow creased in thought.
"WOOF!" said Decius bravely.
"Shut up you stupid mutt!" The troll swung savagely at the dog.
"Why, that's right!" said the girl. "A roof!"
The troll smacked his forehead. "Yes, that is correct," he said. "But now for the second, harder than the first: What noise does an angry dog make?" His eyes shifted nervously.
The girl once more sat down to think.
"Grrrr!" said Decius angrily.
"Why yes, that's it!" said the girl excitedly. "Grrr!"
The troll said "Grrr" himself. "YES," he said darkly.
The girl clapped her hands with delight. The troll glared at Decius. "Now," he said, "answer me this third question, harder than both its predecessors: What is another name for phloem?" He glared warningly at Decius.
"Oh, that's easy," said the girl. "It's bark."
"I've been tricked!" said the troll.
"Woof grrrr bark!" said Decius loyally.
So the troll gave the girl a magic mushroom and sent her on her way, and she rode the white horse and sang and played golf and lived happily ever after.
© 1998-2021 Zach Bardon
Last modified 7.19.2019