The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 3, Part 2

The old woman smiled wisely. "It was only the Troll's well-water,"
she said, and went home as fast as her feet would carry her.

As she neared her own door, she heard sounds of splashing and
screaming in a shrill piping voice; and on entering, saw Terli
struggling violently in the tub of Church water, the little bowl of
butter-milk lying spilt upon the floor.

"Take me out! Take me out! It gives me the toothache!" wailed the
Troll, but the Bride's mother was a wise woman, and determined that
now she had caught their tormentor she would keep him safely.


"I've got the toothache in every joint!" shouted Terli. "Let me out,
and I'll _never_ tease you any more."

"It serves you very well right," said the old woman, and she poured
the contents of the tub--including Terli--into a large bucket, and
carried it off in triumph to the Church Fountain.

Here she emptied the bucket into the carved stone basin, and left
Terli kicking and screaming, while she went home to the farmhouse to

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 3, Part 1

The next day at sunrise, the Bride's mother crept off secretly to the
Church Fountain and brought back a large pailful of the water. This
she emptied into a wash-tub and covered with some green pine branches,
and on the top of all she placed a wooden bowl half filled with

"Terli likes it so much--he will do anything for butter-milk," she
said to herself, as she propped open the kitchen door, and went off
with a light heart to see her daughter.

She carried with her a jug of the Church water, and when she arrived
at the farm house, she gave it to her daughter and son-in-law, and
begged them to bathe their eyes with it immediately.

With much grumbling they obeyed her; but what a change occurred
directly they had done so!

The day, which had seemed cloudy and threatening rain, now appeared
bright and hopeful. The Bride ran over her new house with exclamations
of delight at all the comfortable arrangements, and the Bridegroom
declared he was a lucky man to have married a good wife, and have a
farm that anyone might reasonably be proud of!

"How could we ever have troubled over anything?" said the young Bride,
"I can't understand it! We are young, and we are happy."

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 2, Part 4

The Bride's mother then repeated her question to the goat family, who
denied any knowledge of the Trolls with a series of terrified bleats.

"There is only _you_, then," said the Bride's mother to the old horse.
"You have served us faithfully, and we have been kind masters to you.
Tell me: do you know anything of Terli or the Wood-Trolls?"

"I do," said the old horse with dignity. "I can tell you more than
anyone else dreams of;" and he stepped from his stall with an air of
the greatest importance.

The old woman sat down upon an upturned stable-bucket, and prepared to

"Just before the wedding," commenced the horse, "I was passing through
the village with old master, when we stopped to drink. No sooner had I
got my nose into the Fountain than, _heuw!_ Terli had hold of me, and
not an inch would he loosen his grip till I promised to let him see
the wedding by getting the Wood-Trolls to stop up the Church Fountain.
What was I to do? I was forced to agree, and from that promise comes
all the misery of the Bride and Bridegroom."

The old horse then went on to explain what Terli had done on the
wedding day, while the Bride's mother jumped up from the water-bucket
with a cry of delight.

"All will be well now. You have done us the greatest possible service,
and shall live in leisure for the rest of your life," she said; and
ran out of the stables towards the house, before the astonished
animals could recover themselves.

"I've found it all out," she cried to her husband. "Now all we have to
do is to catch Terli."

"Not so easy, wife," said the Bride's father, but the old woman smiled
in a mysterious manner.

"Leave it to me, husband, _I_ shall manage it. Our children will be
happy again to-morrow, you will see."

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 2, Part 3

Days passed, and the sad temper of the newly-married couple did not

They scarcely attempted to speak to each other, and groaned so much
over the hardships of their life, that all their friends became tired
of trying to comfort them.

"They're bewitched," said the Bride's mother, "bewitched, and nothing
else. But wait till St. John's Eve, and you'll see I shall cure them."

She spoke mysteriously, but as she was a sensible woman everyone
believed her.

On St. John's Eve--as I daresay you know--all animals have the power
of talking together like human beings, and punctually as the clock
struck twelve the Bride's mother put on her thick shoes, and taking
the stable lantern from its nail, she went off to the stable, refusing
to allow either her husband or son to accompany her.

As she entered the door of the outhouse, she heard the oxen already
whispering to each other, and the old horse, with his head over the
division, addressing friendly remarks to a family of goats close by.

"Do you know anything of Terli or the Wood-Trolls?" enquired the old
woman, looking at the oxen severely.

"No, no, no!" and they shook their heads slowly.

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 2, Part 2

"The young people have had their heads turned," whispered the old
women, and the poor Bride looked pale and disconsolate.

"It is a wretched house to have married into," she said to her mother.
"Nothing but these poor boards for furniture, no good fields or
garden--all so dull and disagreeable; and then my husband--he seems
always discontented. I think I was happier at home;" and she tapped
her foot impatiently.

Her mother argued and remonstrated, and at last began to weep

"You must be bewitched, Elena, to complain like this! You have
everything a reasonable girl can wish for."

"Everything? Why I have _nothing_!" cried Elena angrily, and ran from
the room; leaving Terli, who was hiding in a water-bucket, to stamp
his feet with delight.

"Ha! ha! it is going on excellently," he shouted in his little cracked
voice. "Once let them have the water from the Trolls' well in their
eyes, they'll never be contented again!" and he upset the bucket in
which he was standing over the feet of the Bride's mother, who had to
run home hastily to change her wet shoes.

"This is the work of the River-Trolls, I believe," she said to
herself, as she held up her soaked skirts carefully. "I'll find out
all about it on St. John's Eve, if I can't do so before"--and she
nodded angrily towards the mountain torrent.

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 2, Part 1

Early on Friday morning the bridal procession started gaily, and all
the village folks were so occupied they never noticed that the Church
Fountain had ceased to bubble.

The bells rang out; while the Troll, hidden in the branches of a tree
close to the entrance door, glanced first at the procession and then
at a wedge of wood sticking out of the stone mouth of the Fountain,
and he laughed elfishly.

"Ha, ha! The old horse has kept his promise. This _is_ seeing the
world," he whispered triumphantly.

The marriage ceremony was soon over, and as the newly-wedded pair
stepped out upon the terrace again, Terli drew from his pocket a
little jar of water, and _splash!_ fell some drops from it right in
the eyes of the Bride and Bridegroom.

"It is beginning to rain! I saw the clouds gathering! Run, run, for
the nearest shelter!" cried everyone confusedly, and off dashed the
crowd, panting and breathless.

Now it was an unfortunate thing, that after the wedding everything in
the new household seemed to go wrong.

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 1, Part 3

An old horse came by, dragging a creaking waggon, and the driver
stopped to allow the animal to drink.

The Troll raised himself leisurely, and as the horse put in his head,
Terli seized it in both hands, and hung on so firmly that it was
impossible for the poor creature to get away.

"Let go!" said the horse, angrily--for he understood the Troll
language. "Let me go! What are you doing?"

"I shan't let you go till you make me a promise. You get the
Wood-Troll to cork up the Church Fountain at daybreak on Friday
morning, and I'll let you drink as much as you like now, and go
without hindrance afterwards."

"I shan't promise," said the horse, crossly. "I don't see why I

"Well, I shall hang on till you _do_," said the Troll with a
disagreeable laugh; and he gripped the old horse more tightly than

"Oh, leave off! I'm being suffocated. I'll promise anything," cried
the horse.


Terli withdrew his hands immediately, sinking down to the bottom of
the trough with a chuckle that made the water bubble furiously; and
the old horse, without waiting to drink, trotted off with an activity
that surprised his master.

"Remember your promise!" called the Troll, putting his head suddenly
over the edge of the trough, and pointing a thin finger. "On Friday at
daybreak the Church Fountain stopped, or you don't drink comfortably
for a twelve-month!"

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 1, Part 2

This was all very pleasant to Terli, and at night he would hurry back
to his relations in their cave under the stones of the torrent, and
enjoy a good laugh at the day's adventures.

There was only one thing that worried him. Several of the cleverest
old women of the village, who had on several occasions seen Terli
dancing about the country, agreed to hang a little pot of the Church
water in the doors of their houses; and once or twice the Troll, on
attempting to enter in order to teaze the inhabitants, had suddenly
caught sight of the water, and rushed away with a scream of rage and

"Never River-Troll can stand the sight of the Church Fountain!" said
the old women, and rubbed their hands gleefully.

In the early summer there was to be a great wedding at the old
Church, the Bridegroom the son of a rich farmer, the Bride one of the
young girls of the village; and Terli, who had known them both from
childhood, determined that for once in his life he would enter the
unknown region of the Church Terrace.

"Elena has often annoyed me in the past," laughed Terli, "so it is
only fair I should try and annoy her in the future"--and he sat down
cross-legged at the bottom of a water trough to arrange his plans
quietly in seclusion.

The Troll In The Church Fountain - Chapter 1, Part 1

It was a village of fountains. They poured from the sides of houses,
bubbled up at street corners, sprang from stone troughs by the
roadside, and one even gushed from the very walls of the old Church
itself, and fell with a monotonous tinkle into a carved stone basin

The old Church stood on a high plateau overlooking the lake. It jutted
out so far, on its great rock, that it seemed to overhang the
precipice; and as the neighbours walked upon the terrace on Sundays,
and enjoyed the shade of the row of plane trees, they could look down
over the low walls of the Churchyard almost into the chimneys of the
wooden houses clustering below.

There were wide stone seats on the terrace, grey and worn by the
weather, and by the generations of children who had played round them;
and here the mothers and grandmothers, with their distaffs in their
hands, loved to collect on summer evenings.

Often Terli had seen them from his home by the mountain torrent, for
he was so high up, he looked down upon the whole village; and he had
often longed to join them and hear what they were saying; but as he
was nothing but a River-Troll, he was not able to venture within sight
or sound of the water of the holy Church Fountain.

Anywhere else he was free to roam; teazing the children, worrying the
women as they washed their clothes at the open stone basins, even
putting his lean fingers into the fountain spout to stop the water,
while the people remained staring open-mouthed, or ran off to fetch a
neighbour to find out what was the matter.


I love children's stories. There are so many that were written many years ago that I think are fun for kids.

So in this blog, I will compile as many as I can. Some of these stories are very long, so I will post them in chunks.

Hope you enjoy this.