Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wanted: Troll (Must Have Own Bridge)

For three wonderful years, we lived in a perfect house.
Oh, don't get me wrong, all of our homes have been wonderful.
And very comfortable.
But this particular house was all of those things.
And a little bit more.
Because it had a stairway that was perfect for playing 'Troll Under the Bridge'.
It's a real game.
You can look it up.
It will be found somewhere under 'Tolley: Favourite Games'.
True story.
Okay, my Husby made it up.
But it was still fun.
The stairway in our house consisted of a short upper set of six thickly-carpeted steps.
Ending at a wide, also-carpeted landing.
Then a 180 degree turn before descending the last six steps to the basement.
A beautiful hunting/trapping/escaping set up.
Which was very well used.
My Husby would pretend he was a troll and lay on the stairs.
His head just poking above the top stair.
All of his little Billy Goats Gruff could try to run past him along the upper hallway.
Screaming and giggling wildly.
One by one, he would nab them and demand to know who they were.
One by one they would answer, “I'm a Billy Goat Gruff!”
Whereupon (good word) he would shout, “No Billy Goats on my bridge!” and set them behind him on the landing/prison.
Then, as he hunted for more victims, the entrapped would escape back up the stairs, still screaming and giggling.
And join once more with their fellow little goats in teasing and tantalizing the troll.
This went on for some time.
Usually until Dad got played out.
Then, one day, we moved from that house.
Subsequent (Ooo, another good word!) houses had similar, but not quite as perfect designs for playing Troll Under the Bridge.
The family made do.
Move forward 15 years . . .
Our present house is entirely unsuitable for the game.
It is a bungalow with one long, very dangerous, grandma-nightmare-inducing stairway.
We have put a gate at the top, which is rigidly patrolled whenever grandchildren come over to play.
A great disappointment to grandchildren who have been raised on stories of Troll Under the Bridge, as fondly told by their parents.
But in our front room, we have a large hassock.
(Ottoman, pouffe, footstool.)
Leather covered.
Padded top.
And it stands in front of our couch.
With a two-foot space between.
Hmmmm . . .
A few pool noodles strapped together with a bit of duct tape.
Voila!
A bridge.
Propped between the couch and the hassock, the scene for the new and improved Troll Under the Bridge.
Which the next generation of Tolleys has taken to with great enthusiasm.
With just as much noise and exuberance as their parents.
There are a couple of subtle differences, though.
  1. The grandkids are a bit craftier than their parents had been.
Our nearly-four-year-old grandson, when seized and questioned by the troll, answered readily, “I'm a troll.”
My Husby/troll blinked.
This was a first.
But, since trolls are allowed on the bridge, the boy was allowed a free pass.
Smarty pants.
  1. The troll gets played out rather quickly.
He is, after all, an older troll now, with lots of grey hair and a few creaking joints.
Usually, he is finished long before the shrieking hoards are even close to admitting defeat.
And after they leave, he collapses on the couch and takes a nap.
Ah, the price of joy.

15 comments:

  1. Good story. Of course when I first read the title it took me back to my high school days when we would be cruising for chicks. Guys always travelled in pairs while it seemed that the girls were always trios; one, drop dead gorgeous, one middle of the road and the third, poor girl, was someone that could make a freight train take a dirt road. The latter was referred to as the TROLL, and she was usually available. I know--bad. My wife keeps telling me...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your wife should tell you . . . with a rolling pin! Wait, your sister will do it when she sees you!

      Delete
  2. I remember one time Duff didn't want to sneak past Dad, so he went downstairs and crawled out thru - it was either Erik or Mark's - bedroom window. He then came in through the back door and proceeded to run back and forth with the rest of us. Man, Dad's face was a study in astonishment! The rest of us never had the gumption to do that, but from then on we knew it was a viable possibility!
    ...
    I miss that stairwell... *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust Duffy! Little monkey . . .

      Delete
  3. You all are priceless. Why aren't there more blogs. You have several hundred miles of material. It reminds me of another blogger's comment: "Come for the read, stay for the comments". Please don't quit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll never quit. There's still too many stories to be told! And you're right, I love the comments with the blogs! They're wonderful!

      Delete
  4. That was a cute story and indeed well told. If you ever buy another house, ask your realtor for a home replete with Troll Bridge. lol

    Speaking of trolls, don't you wish Internet trolls would play out and take an extended nap?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder how we would word that on a prospectus sheet?! I so agree with you about the internet trolls. A very extended nap!

      Delete
  5. Wonderful memories you are keeing here for your children and your grandchildren..I hope someone is printing them off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are definitely being preserved! I just hope someone in my family will read them!!!

      Delete
  6. Yup today kids are no pushovers lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too smart for their own good, little monkeys!

      Delete
  7. What a fun game to play and one of my most favorite tales of all tales! I might have to borrow your idea when my turn to be a grandma rolls around. That is right up my alley! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just remember to go easy on those aching joints!!!

      Delete
  8. I picture life very similar to this in just a few years-right down to the grey haired grandpa doing his best not to poop out. We play crazy games as well. We may have to add this game to our reperoire. We even have stairs that would work and all our teenagers would so not be above this. Justa couple weeks ago a couple of them dressed as super heroes and played on the roof. One of them is old enough to be sending in church missionary papers today. Pictures of their outfits are on my blog if you care to drop by.

    ReplyDelete

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