“I'm a Troll fol-de-rol, I'm a Troll fol-de-rol, I'm a Troll fol-de-rol, and I'll eat you for supper.Trip-trap, trip-trap; Hop and skip, hop and skip; Hippety-hop, hippety-hop;
Over the rickety bridge!”
The Troll's rich voice sang out as three Billy Goats nimbly followed him. They couldn't understand his language and of what he was singing, so they playfully skipped with the 'Trip-trap' bit as he led them in a procession down narrow, overgrown alleyways. In Goat earlier, the Troll had conveyed he would help them find their way; said he knew a lush green meadow where they could graze. Fooled by his benevolence, the trio chose to go with him.
As the Billy Goats hopped and skipped, the Troll thought of supper. It had been a long time since he had lured three goats across, and what fine, healthy specimens they were! They weren't like the Billy Goats Gruff he had tried to trick all those years ago; each was medium-sized with a white fur coat and two tiny pointed horns. 'Innocent triplet kids', the Troll thought smacking his lips, 'I won't end up in the deep, fast flowing river.'
“Three mouthfuls for supper!” He boomed as his protruding belly let out a stream of loud gurgles, “Not long now my friend.” He whispered to it, patting it through his thin cotton shirt.
Meanwhile, the three Billy Goats chased butterflies or munched on the leaves of alleyway plants, which they chewed with squinted eyes and distasteful expressions, and then spat out. They play-fought one another, cursed in Goat and begged for water, but the Troll paid no heed and continued to lead them on. They exited one alleyway and entered another; they followed the Troll's steady plod, until all three skidded into him, one after the other.
“Why have we stopped?” The middle triplet kid said to his brothers.
The Troll overheard, directed his gaze straight ahead and said, “That there is the rickety bridge, over which lies lush green grass and clover.”
Two feet away, a ancient wooden bridge swung over a fast flowing river, which the Billy Goats noticed as they approached was rotten in places; some planks were missing, some were eaten away. The youngest triplet kid shivered all over, while the eldest only yelled “Water!”, and hippety-hopped to the river's edge to quench his thirst.
“Pah! Pah! Tastes like scum! Dirty pond water!” He rasped, clearing his throat repeatedly.
The Troll seemed unimpressed with his behaviour. He clenched his fists, “You want over, I'm the toll-keeper.” He said as he stepped onto the bridge. It creaked and swung under his weight and only steadied itself when he planted his feet in its centre.
“Pooh! Pooh! We're not scared of an ugly, fat Troll!” The eldest kid taunted, pushing his younger brother forward.
The youngest triplet kid shakily trip-trapped across the first half of the bridge. He met the Troll with his head down and quietly said into his chest, “You're not a very nice Troll.”
The Troll laughed, clutching his belly, which allowed the youngest kid to skitter passed him.
“Who's next?” He rumbled.
The middle kid with a more certain trip-trap approached him, gently head-butted his stomach and addressed it with a string of unflattering words: “Fat, pudgy, pot-bellied, roly-poly, tubby...” The Troll was surprised so the middle kid managed to easily slip past him.
Now the eldest triplet kid trip-trapped firmly towards him,“You're pathetic!” He sneered. “You live alone. You have no friends. Nobody cares about you.”
The Troll burst into a flood of tears, and as he cried the eldest kid roughly shoved passed his legs and crossed the rest of the bridge. Reunited with his brothers, he shouted, “No supper for you! We're Billy Goats Grunt and the Gruffs taught us Trolling!” And with a united bleat, they skipped into the lush green meadow.
The Troll was so upset by this verbal attack that he never tricked another billy goat again.