Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Troll. And Kids

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 20 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.

18 comments:

  1. On the couch but still close to the bridge......best let sleeping trolls lie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww ... wonderful story!

    And that grandson was thinking outside the box, wasn't he? hee hee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's definitely going to give us a run for the money, that one!

      Delete
  3. Great game and fun story! How come the little ones are so much smarter now :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure, but they are already outsmarting us!

      Delete
  4. So much fun! I love your family stories--such a great crew you have there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Karen! I think we'll keep them!

      Delete
  5. Your endless treasure trove of tales (LOL) never fail to amuse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carol! We have a lot of fun! And sometimes accomplish things . . .

      Delete
  6. I want to live at your house, you always have so much fun. We used to play this as children and I had forgotten all about it! Maybe mom isn't the only one with Alzheimer's around here. You can add memory jogger to you very many talents!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've decided that, as we get older, our brains are just plain full. We have to eliminate long ago memories to fit in new ones. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it! Memory jogger. I like it!

      Delete
  7. Such a wonderful story! I love how your grandson was wise and played the trump card. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  8. I still remember the time Duff got captured and, instead of trying to sneak past the Troll, he went downstairs, out Erik's bedroom window, and came back into the house via the backyard entry. I thought Dad's eyes were going to fall out of his head when Duff started running back and forth in front of him again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait a second . . . Weren't you . . .? Never mind . . .

      Delete
  9. What a great game! Love the kid who was a troll.
    Pool noodles are so multi-purpose aren't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What on earth did we do before pool noodles?!

      Delete

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