Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Billy Goat Gruff

Once upon a time, there were three billy goats who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat. The name of all three was "Gruff." On the way up was a bridge over a cascading stream 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. The youngest Billy Goat Gruff came to cross the bridge first. "Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap!" said 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 a very small voice. "No, you're not!" cried the troll, "for I'm coming to gobble you up!" "Oh, no! Pray don't take me; I'm too little!" said the smallest Billy Goat Gruff. "Wait a bit until my brother, the second Billy Goat Gruff, comes. He's much bigger and will make a much better meal." "Very well," said the troll. "Be off with you!" A little while later, the second Billy Goat Gruff came to cross the bridge. "Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap," said the bridge. "Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll. "Oh, it is I, the second Billy Goat Gruff. I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the middle brother, whose voice wasn't nearly as small as his younger brother's.
"Oh, no, you're not! For here I come to gobble you up!" cried the troll.
"No, no, don't take me! Wait a little long till my brother, the big Billy Goat Gruff, comes along. He's much bigger and will make a much better meal."
"Very well, then. Be off with you!" Said the troll.

Just then, the big Billy Goat Gruff came along.

"Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap!" said the bridge. This Billy Goat Gruff was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned beneath him.

"Who's that tramping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

"It is I! The big Billy Goat Gruff!" said the billy goat, who had a voice as ugly and hoarse as the troll itself.

"I am coming to gobble you up!" the troll cried.

"Well then, come along! I've got two spears, and I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears; I've got besides two curling-stones, and I'll crush you to bits, body and bones!"

That was what the big billy goat said. And then he flew at the troll and poked his eyes out with his horns,and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the cascade, and after that he went up to the hillside. There the billly goats got so fat they were scarcely able to walk home again. And if the fat hasn't fallen off of them, why, they're still fat!

* * *

Whew! Many thanks to this site for the Norwegian version of this tale, which I copied nearly verbatim. I must say, I don't remember this story being quite as macabre in my childhood, having only a picture-book image in my mind of three little goats tramping over a bridge with a little troll cowering behind.

As perhaps you'd divined from the photos, this was intended to be a post about our own little Billy Goat Gruff, who is putting everything in her mouth you could dream of. Really. In these photos: chrysanthemum, toilet paper, anything in the recycling bin. Today: the little plastic "t" that comes off when you clip a tag off new clothes, some leaves, old Cheerios hidden in various cracks and crevices, Daddy's drawings for work, and miscellaneous mystery items which will become clear as we monitor her, ah, elimination in the days to come.

She's always been one to put things in her mouth. From birth, it was clear that she wanted to have something in there, and I don't think that my resolution to avoid pacifiers lasted longer than two hours after we were alone with her (and probably much less). But lately, things have gotten out of control. I know she's teething. She's been teething incessently since our return to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. This just seems a bit excessive. She grabbed my *razor* the other day and had it in her mouth - it must have been the grace of God alone that allowed us to escape that unscathed, though I do think that I may now be qualified for the Bad Mother of the Year award. She's vomited three times this week alone clearing out dried-up leaves that I've failed to clear out with my finger (and now she's learning that if she pulls my hand away from her mouth and sticks out her tongue at the same time, Mommy can't get to her little mouth-toys!). She's not going outside again until we have six inches of snow. Do you remember such stages??? Is there an end in sight???



Blogger Ben Wildeboer said...

Nope. No end in sight. I threw up four times yesterday after ingesting several pieces of junk I had put in my mouth because they were so intriguing.

I'm hoping by the time I'm 30 I'll have the habit whipped. :-)

10/29/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since no one has given you any serious guidance on this subject, I have no choice but to proceed. It starts innocently with Cheerios, then Honey Nut Cheerios, then Cap'n Crunch and before you know it, the girl will develop a craving for potato chips. Yes, that's right, your daughter has a JUNK food addiction. You might as well start gving her cheese curls and Fritos, she will at least get some carbohydrates along with all the fiber.

10/30/2007 08:33:00 AM  
Anonymous gramma f said...

You are a great mother. It all sounds so normal to me. I was reading and it sounds like you are not alone on this. All babies do this. They just keep you on your toes.
love gramma f

10/30/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous gramma f said...

oh by the way, great looking pumpkin..!! looks great in flower garden, thanks for a great week end.. love gramma f

10/30/2007 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Heidi Sue said...


So I should have blogged about this, and maybe I will yet, but last week Monday, Tim took S to the hospital to have an X-ray, because we weren't sure but we *thought* she may have swallowed a little clippie-barrette thing. She went down for her nap with it in her hair and got up from her nap without it in her hair... We tore apart her room - no clippie... the x-ray didn't reveal anything metal in her esophagus or her stomach, and so we checked her poops for the next five days - still no clippie. We've stopped worrying about it. Did we over-react? :)

10/30/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Karla W. said...

I guess having a child with oral aversion has it's perks. :) Of course I believe the oral aversion (which is starting to resolve) was related to food only as I frequently caught Sammie with rocks and beauty bark in her mouth at the park

10/31/2007 03:17:00 AM  

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