The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Retold by Gudrun Thorne-Thomsen

Once on a time there were three Billy Goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the family name of the goats was "Gruff."

On the way up was a bridge, over a river which 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.

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 do not 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 across the bridge.

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

"Who is 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. Nor had he such a small voice, either.

"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 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 on my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"It's I! the big Billy Goat Gruff," said the Billy Goat, and he had a big hoarse voice.

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

  "Well come! I have two spears so stout,
   With them I'll thrust your eyeballs out;
   I have besides two great big stones,
   With them I'll crush you body and bones!
"

That was what the big Billy Goat said; so he flew at the Troll, and thrust him with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the river, and after that he went up to the hillside.

There the Billy Goats got so fat that they were scarcely able to walk home again, and if they haven't grown thinner, why they're still fat; and so,—

  "Snip, snap, stout.
   This tale's told out."