Many times the young goats made rafts out of fallen trees tied with dried grasses to paddle across the river but again taken far down the valley. Again they traveled through the cliffs of the Trolls, who demanded gifts. They arrived home hungry.

For now, they only looked across the river. Smaller nanny longed. "For only a taste of sweet flowers." Middle brother billy wished, "For only a taste of the herbs. Big sister nanny sighed, "For the sweet crunch of the oat, rye, barley, and wheat berries."

In the steep cliffs in a cave lived the Troll family. His wife and fourteen children were hungry. The father Troll was an angler and woodcutter. He would have a goat for his wife pot.

Troll knew times were lean. He listened to all of their longings. He had jumped into the river and floated downstream on the raft. In one of his long trips down the gorge, he saw a bridge. He walked across the bridge and climbed up the mountain into the meadow across from his cave.

He would build a bridge and eat the goats that came across.

The Gruff family watched the Trolls make the grass ropes, swing the ropes into the trees across the river, pull the ropes across the river and tie them to large trees. Two large trees dropped. The Trolls sawed short logs then tied the logs onto the ropes and lined with more trees to make a path across the raging river. Finally a bridge ready, spanning from the steep cliffs to the lush, green grasses in the meadows.

The devious Troll waited.

Pushed by hunger the goats decided, "Small nanny Gruff would walk across first."

Small nanny Gruff cried, "I am afraid. I will fall into the rushing water. The mean Troll sits under the bridge. What will he do?"

Big sister Gruff said, "Tell him that your brother comes across and is big and tasty. "I will protect you from the Troll if he grabs you."

Middle billy Gruff added, "If you fall into the river I will jump in and come for you.

The smallest Gruff crossed, "TRIP, TRAP, TRIP, TRAP over the bridge.

"WHO TRAMPS OVER MY BRIDGE?" roared devious Troll.

"Only the small sister nanny Gruff. I go to the meadow to make myself fat."

"No you're not, I am going to gobble you up."

"Please don't eat me. I'm too little. Wait until my brother billy Gruff comes. He is bigger."

"Well then, be off with you." To himself Troll thought, I will wait until this goat gets fatter.

Minutes later middle brother bill Gruff crossed the bridge.


"WHO TRAMPS OVER MY BRIDGE?" roared devious Troll.

"Only middle brother billy Gruff. I go to the meadow to make myself fat."

"No you're not, I am going to gobble you up."

"Please don't eat me. I'm too little. Wait until big sister nanny Gruff comes. She is large."

"Well then, be off with you." To himself Troll thought, I will wait until this goat gets fatter.

Minutes later the big sister nanny Gruff crossed the bridge.


Big sister nanny Gruff was heavy and the bridge creaked and groaned under her.

"WHO TRAMPS OVER MY BRIDGE?" growled devious Troll.

"It is I, BIG SISTER NANNY GRUFF. Her voice was as loud as the Troll's growl.



Up climbed the mean, devious Troll. Big sister nanny Gruff butted him with her horns. The Troll grabbed her horns and screamed. Big sister nanny Gruff dangled him into the rushing river. This is not what the mean devious Troll had planned.

His children and wife heard his screams; they ran to the bridge. "Husband, what are you doing?"

Middle billy Gruff said, "Your husband said he was to eat my big sister."

"I won't boil a tough goat. I want the herbs and grains, berries from the meadow. I thought you built the bridge for us to cross, dear husband."

"The bridge is not safe," moaned the Troll.

"Well, make the bridge safe and let the goats pay for their crossings. They go home every night."

Ram goat and Ewe goat liked this.

Big sister nanny Gruff pulled the Troll from the water and threw him to the cliff.

Every night the young Gruffs brought the Mother Troll herbs, flowers, seeds, grains, and berries. The Trolls ate well. Mother Troll planted seeds along the cliffs. Father Troll tended the bridge and with his children's help invented a watering system for his wife's garden. The cliffs became beautiful with the herbs and flowers; the hillside recovered with plenty of grasses. Many goats came. Many families moved into the meadow.

The Gruff family prospered and the Trolls became rich.


May you have the best 😊 with your storytelling!


Sources: many, many these are my favorite:

The best websites to research and story wanting to tell or write:

Or Jackie Balwin's website: and you can email her for information:

Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales, 2004,, "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" found by Peter Christian Asbjorsen and Moe Jorgen, Popular Tales from the Norse, George Webbe Pasent, translator, Edinburgh: David Dougless, 1888. Lovely antidotes.

Mostly tale is a picture book because the words have rhythm and action, with cultural differents still teaching the old Nordic myths:

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Public Domain, Theo Kliros, illustrator, Harper Festival, 2003.

Mary Finch, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Roberta Arenson, illustrator, Barefoot Books, 2001.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff, A Norwegian Folktale, Susan Blair, Pictures Ellen Appleby, (Easy-to-Read) Scholastic, 1987.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Paul Galdone, Seabury Press, 1973.

Here is a gentle ending by Paul Galdone. 1973, with simple writing and lovely illustrations:

Up climbed that mean, ugly Troll, the big Billy Goat Gruff butted him with his horns, and he trampled him with his hard hooves, he tossed him over the bridge into the rushing river.

Paul Galdone earlier version taken from 1880 from the Norwegian Folktale of Asbjorsen and Jorgen's telling.

"Well, come along! I've got two spears, and I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears. I've got beside two great, flat stones, and I'll crush you to bits, body and bones."

************** I like both versions gives the folktale a taste of time and favor.

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