The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Norwegian version)

The northern European tale of The Three Billy Goats Gruff * by the Brothers Grimm is a story that my paternal grandmother enjoyed reading aloud to me when I was a toddler.  She would not hold me, saying “You are always so dirty.”  She literally pushed me away until I gave up trying to be held.  Her repulsion was probably because my parents could not be bothered to bathe me and she hesitated to intervene, but be that as it was, I would sit quietly nearby while she read.  I wanted very much to be held because this story was very scary to me.  I tried not to hear the gruesome details, my life was scary enough as it was, and I did not enjoy being further frightened.  Even then I knew that there were other gentler, kinder stories and I wished that she would not read this one.  But this is the only story I can recall that she read to me.

 

Note:  this was in the days before television and people amused themselves as they saw fit.

 

Whenever my paternal grandmother spoke, I attentively listened to her.  She took such care to speak in well-modulated tones, to use correct grammar, to utilize her good vocabulary.  I noticed that she only yelled when necessary to communicate across distances, and she very rarely cursed.  She read The Three Billy Goats Gruff  with marvelous voices for each character which showed me how to be expressive, emotional, and theatrical.  I was very impressed with her ability to speak so well.  I have emulated her to good advantage in my life.  But the story still scares me.

 

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

 

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."

 

On the way up was a bridge over a cascading stream they had to cross; and under the bridge lived a great ugly troll , with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.

 

So first of all came the youngest Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

 

"Trip, trap, trip, trap! " went the bridge.

 

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

 

"Oh, it is only I, the tiniest Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, with such a small voice.

 

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.

 

"Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am," said the billy goat. "Wait a bit till the second Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."

 

"Well, be off with you," said the troll.

 

A little while after came the second Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

 

Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap, went the bridge.

 

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

 

"Oh, it's the second Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, who hadn't such a small voice.

 

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.

 

"Oh, no! Don't take me. Wait a little till the big Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."

 

"Very well! Be off with you," said the troll.

 

But just then up came the big Billy Goat Gruff.

 

Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap! went the bridge, for the billy goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.

 

"Who's that tramping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

 

"It's I! The big Billy Goat Gruff ," said the billy goat, who had an ugly hoarse voice of his own.

 

"Now I 'm coming to gobble you up," roared the troll.

 

Well, come along! I've got two spears,
And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I've got besides two curling-stones,
And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones

 

That was what the big billy goat said. And then he flew at the troll, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the cascade, and after that he went up to the hillside. There the billy goats got so fat they were scarcely able to walk home again. And if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why, they're still fat; and so,

 

Snip, snap, snout.
This tale's told out.

 

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

 

Source:  Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0122e.html#gruff

Caption:  Scapegoat Slipped Out Of The Ribbon But Kept The Bell Because It Was Useful.

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2009

 

 

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