Image: The Princess picking lice from the Troll: Theodor Kittelsen
It’s not easy being a troll. We get a bad wrap most of the time, well all of the time if truth be told.
If you take away the ugly factor what is left?
We are despised, shunned, cast out and feared in every place we live.
It’s true you know no one loves a troll.
I am grateful to Princess Marm for giving me sanctuary here in the dungeons.
Yes its dirty, damp and lice ridden but it’s a safe place out of the rain and gaze of those who would only do me harm.
I’m not like other trolls you may have met. I’m a vegetarian. Never liked the taste of meat and I know we are feared because we have a bad habit of eating humans but not me. My mother was beside herself as I was growing as I was more than content to munch on a carrot rather than a human leg.
“You’ll never amount to anything,” she would say as I pulled another carrot. “Think of what the neighbours will be saying.”
So from when I could I was cast out and sent a wandering the hills and dales, chased from one place to the next.
Then I met Princess Marm. She was initially frightened of me, I am a sight you have to admit. But when she saw I meant her no harm she started to communicate.
We were hesitant at first, as I had had nothing but bad experiences with the humans.
As it turned out Princess Marm was a lonely girl, shut away in the castle by her overbearing father and forever in need of contact of some sort.
I found I could pour out my heart to her and to my surprise found she also liked reading. I should point out that reading was the straw that broke the camels back as far as my mother was concerned. “Trolls don’t read,” she would exclaim and take from me whatever it was I was reading at the time and cast it into the stream that ran past the rocks we lived under.
One day while we were conversing about the literary merits of the novelist Charles Dickens, she stopped in the midst of our literary conversation to say she was sure she had just seen moving in my fur.
It was then that I had to admit there were many things moving in my fur and that it was a curse of me being a troll that ‘things’ thrived in my fur.
“We can’t have any of that,” she cried and urged me to sit in front of her while she began to preen me.
I have to admit it was and is a most satisfying feeling her fingers working their way through my fur and her gasps of delight as she extracted something from me. We both agreed Dickens’ work took on a whole new meaning and dimension as she worked her way around me.
So as time has passed we meet each Sunday and I sit patiently, enjoying the attention I have to say while Princess Marm picks and prods at my good self. It usually means a sleep uninterrupted by having to scratch oneself in the middle of most luxurious dream.