Once upon a time, there lived a troll named Eigor, whose purpose was to protect the waterfall where he had lived his whole life. In fact, all manner of creatures had met their match when they dared to try and disrupt the good order of the waterfall and Eigor was proud to call this waterfall his own. The water must flow, his father had taught him. Eigor was born in the cave behind the waterfall and so were his parents before him. There were several types of trolls in the world including Bridge Trolls, Cave Trolls, Mountain Trolls and Forest Trolls, but Eigor and his family were proud Waterfall Trolls. However, once his parents had moved on, Eigor was left to protect the waterfall on his own. He had been trained to use his magic to only ever defend the waterfall and had never failed in his attempts to use his spells for good, until now.
Although Eigor was happy most of the time, there were two problems with being a Waterfall Troll. The first was food. As Eigor was not permitted to leave the cave for any reason, finding food was always a problem, especially when you had to get all of your energy from eating a large number of vegetables. This problem was solved in the form of a stork, who was the only creature to have helped Eigor in many years. Stork flew through a gap in between the rocks and the water to bring Eigor a delivery of food twice a day, once at dawn and once at dusk, and, in return, Eigor would allow Stork to bathe in the crystal-clear water at the base of the waterfall.
The second problem, was that Eigor had a strong desire to see the waterfall with his own eyes but was never able to. Since Eigor was the protector of the waterfall, if he was not there, the waterfall would cease to exist. When the urge to see his own waterfall became too strong, Eigor had tried to leave the cave by climbing the rocks outside his home. He had climbed his way on to the rocky face to the entrance of his cave but, as he moved his foot to bring it closer to his body and his little toe became the last of his body parts to touch the water, the water stopped flowing. Eigor realised that the waterfall could not exist with him and, with a sigh of acceptance, he returned to his cave.
Over the seasons, creatures would come, wanting to drink all of the water from the waterfall until it was dry or trying to catch the beautiful fish that swam in the water below for their dinner and Eigor would scare them off by using his magic to lift boulders to throw at them or by growling so loud and so deep that the creatures would immediately flee in the hope of finding a waterfall with a far less capable troll guarding it. Of all the creatures Eigor had to defend his waterfall from, the biggest threat were the ones known as humans. Eigor knew that most humans posed no threat to his waterfall but that, sometimes, they could be cunning in the ways they tried to steal water or food. The reason he feared humans most of all, was that if a human were to see a troll with their own eyes, then that troll will cease to exist and be banished to a world where no one wanted to be.
One morning, Eigor awoke to the sound of Stork rushing to enter his cave with a knapsack filled with vegetables clasped in his beak. She dropped the knapsack and began squawking quietly. Eigor could see Stork was panicking and he looked outside through the gap between the rocks and the water. He could see a human. He took a step back into his waterfall and, breathing deeply through his nose, watched the human closely. The human had several tools with him, which Eigor had not seen before since they did not look like hunting tools. One of the tools was a large white rectangle, which sat upright on a wooden frame. The human took some small sticks with brushes on the end of them and dipped them in some colourful liquid. For some time, the human followed the pattern of dipping the brushes in the colours and moving them over to the white rectangle. Stork had carefully made her way down to the base of the waterfall for a bath by now and Eigor was pleased that the human had made no effort to catch or harm her. Stork finished her bath, and left to be with her family for the day but, when she returned in the evening, she was surprised to find that the human was still there, dipping his brush in the colours and mixing them in wonderful ways. Eigor watched as stork moved behind the human, her eyes growing wider as she saw what the human was doing. She rushed behind the waterfall and began tugging at Eigor’s arm, attempting to pull him out of the cave. Eigor knew he could easily have broken free from Stork’s tight grip but he was curious to know what Stork had seen. Eigor’s deep voice boomed inside the cave, “I cannot go out there. I cannot leave this waterfall and I cannot be seen by that human. The water must flow!” Stork did not waver and began squawking louder and louder.
Breaking several rules he had sworn to live by, Eigor raised his arm, pointed his palm towards the human and shot out a spell in his direction. The human was still standing upright but was now frozen. Stork went silent. Eigor took a deep breath and said, “Show me what you need to show me so that my cave can be peaceful once again.” Eigor climbed out of his cave and on to the rocks and, once his body was no longer touching the water, the waterfall stopped flowing. Eigor climbed down from the rocks and touched the ground for the first time. With stork guiding him, he walked slowly around the edge of the water towards the human and his tools. Stork beckoned him to move in front of the human’s work which now filled with many wonderful colours.
Eigor stared at what the human had created, tears welling up in his eyes. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen and, at once, he was eternally grateful for having lived the life of a Watrerfall Troll, just like his parents, and their parents before him.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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