Sunday, March 16, 2014

Others had trees and moss-like growth all over their heads and noses.

Living in the land of the troll and next to the library that house the Scandinavian collection of children and youth literature . .

I was due to meet some of the shy folks

Far to the North where the winter storms whip the weather-beaten coasts,

you will find a long and narrow country.

Here you see dark forests with moonlitlakes,

deep fjords surrounded by mighty snowcapped mountains,

and long rivers and cold streams cascading down the mountain sides.

Nowadays this country is covered by snow and ice only six months a year.

A long, long time ago, however, there existed a massive glacier

that brooded over the entire country for thousands of years.

Trolls by Brian & Wendy Froud

The trolls had very distinct features. 

They had long crooked noses,

Only four fingers and toes on each limb, 

and most of them had long bushy tails.

Some trolls were giants, and others were small.

There were stories of two-headed as well as three-headed trolls,

and even a few had only one eye in the middle of their wrinkled foreheads.

Father Troll has had enough,
he wraps himself up in a blanket,
goes to sleep and waits for spring to arrive.
Illustrated by Rolf Lidberg.

In this sixteenth century drawing,
trolls are aligned with supernatural power over the environment.
By Olaus Magnus.
Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples)
Printed in Rome 1555.

Others had trees and rough moss-like growth all over their heads and noses.

"Nej,sicken liten puttefnasker!"
Illustrated by John Bauer

And then I also met the one troll that is all too familiar,

the internet troll who sows discord on the net 

by starting arguments or upsetting people, 

posting irritating or harassing messages.