Forest Troll - Skogtrold by Theodor Severin Kittelsen
Forest Troll – Skogtrold by Theodor Severin Kittelsen

I tend to enjoy troll stories, probably because of a couple of wonderful books we had when I was a kid. “The Troll Outwitted” is just a short tidbit from Denmark, but once again intelligence beats out brute strength. The tale comes from Northern Mythology: Comprising the Principal Popular Traditions and Superstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands, by Benjamin Thorpe, 1851.

A farmer, who had a small hill on his field, resolved not to let it lie waste, and began to plow it up. At this a troll who lived in the hill, came out and demanded who it was that dared to plow on his roof. The farmer said that he did not know it was his roof, and suggested that it was disadvantageous for both to let such a piece of land lie uncultivated. The farmer said he was willing to plow, sow and reap every year, and that the troll should alternately have that which in one year grew on the earth and the man that which grew beneath, and the next year the reverse. The troll agreed, and the man in the first year sowed carrots, and in the year following corn, and gave the troll the tops of the carrots and the roots of the corn. From that time there was a good understanding between them.

I bet the troll was none too happy, but he made the agreement. This one’s similar to the Grimms’ “The Peasant and the Devil” that I featured a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

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