This is a story is based on Norwegian folklore tale traditions. It might be a bit darker, though.
There was, once, a long long time ago, three brothers called Per, Paal and Espen. One day they were out in the forest looking for mushrooms. Their father had told them to go. After quite a long time looking, they hadn’t found anything. It was getting dark, but they didn’t want to go home empty handed.
The sun went down.
We’re going to have to head home, said Paal. We won’t find anything in the darkness.
They started walking.
Haven’t we been here before? Per was looking at some tall trees.
We have, said Paal. Espen said nothing. His brothers was always making fun of him, so he usually was quite quiet.
Paul sat down on a rock. Espen looked at the sky.
I think it’s that way, he said.
Shut up, said Paal. What do you know?
Yeah, what do you know, repeated Per. You never do anything but sit at the fireplace playing with the ashes.
But the sky is brighter down there. That means it has to be where the sun went d…
Shut up! Said Paul. I need to think.
The two older brothers was talking between them. Espen went a bit away. They were always making fun of him and made him feel bad.
He heard a noise. Trees breaking. Rocks falling. Per and Paul jumped up on their feet. What was that?
Something big could be seen between the trees. It looked like a mountain, with trees on the top.
But it moved.
I smell Christian man’s blood!!! Said the mountain. It was a troll, and he sounded angry. Paal screamed. A scream of a high tone, like the scream of a little girl.
The troll heard him. In two steps it was upon them. Now Per screamed as well. The troll stepped on them both with one huge foot.
Espen was looking at the horrible scene of the troll picking up his crushed brothers and devoured them.
Mmm… Christian man’s blood. Smells bad, but sure tastes good… Said the troll. He spoke slowly, his voice was deep and dark.
He sniffed in the air. Looked around. Sniffed his fingers. Sniffed the air again. I smell more Christain blood!!! He screamed. Younger Christain man’s blood!
Espen was hiding under a root. He closed his eyes shut, his hands was shaking.
Where are you, you little creep? Come out, so I can eat you!
He started ripping up the trees. Espen knew he would find him sooner or later. He had to do something.
I’ll come out! Just one condition! Said Espen.
Condition? The troll was confused. He wasn’t used to negotiations. What condition?
I don’t like to be eaten raw. I’m a rather exquisite dish. You probably never had anything like me. I’m delicious!
You do smell interesting, said the troll thoughtful.
I’m really best served grilled on vivid fire, said Espen.
On fire… said the troll. Sounds good. I like grilled stuff…
Get some firewood and so we can get started, said Espen. This is going to be delicious!
The troll was exited. A long time had gone by without a meal like this one. He started getting a lot of wood, putting it in a pile. I’ll help you, said Espen and came out of his hiding place. He got some smaller wood and dry plants to get the fire started, but at one part he put some wet grass he found by a small pool of water.
Thank you, Cristian man. You’re quite nice little, man, aren’t you. I’m looking forward to eating you.
Me too, said Espen. The troll looked at him, puzzled. A big, friendly smile spread over his face. He wasn’t used to food helping out like this. They usually tried to get away, tried to fight him and stuff. He liked this.
But how will we get the fire started, said the troll in his slow way.
Don’t worry! Said Espen. I have matches! Look! The troll was astonished. He hadn’t seen matches before. He was looking eagerly. He was almost a bit sad he was going to eat this nice little guy, but he wasn’t the one to miss a good meal.
Espen lit a match, throwing it into the wet part of the grass. It was put out. He lit another one, and the same thing happened.
Why doesn’t it work? Said the troll. He was getting a bit sceptical. This seemed a bit too good to be true. What if the little man was trying to fool him in some way?
The grass is a bit wet, said Espen. We need something dryer. The troll looked around, scratching his head. Dryer than the grass around here? What could be…
Hey! Said Espen. Your tail seems quite dry! Wy don’t we light your tail on fire , and then we can light the rest of the fire with your tail?
The troll looked at him. But… Isn’t that dangerous?
Noooo! Said Espen. I light my tail on fire all the time, but you see, my tail is wet too! Espen was dangling his belt, showing it to the troll.
The troll thought for a while. OK, he said. Let’s give it try.
Espen caught the troll’s tail with his hands, an lit a match. The dry grass and bushes on the trolls tail lit on fire immediately. The fire spread up, lighting the plants and trees on his back on fire.
Aaaaahhh! Screamed the troll. It burns! It burns! He ran off into the forest. The fire spread to the trees, putting the whole forest on fire. Espen was never heard from again.
And snip, snap, snout, then the tale was out.