|The fairy made Trollerella|
promise to avoid
cavity causing sweets.
Once upon a time "under a castle bridge, lived a troll named Trollerella. Every night she dreamed of being beautiful, but every day she woke up to the same gruesome reflection." She had a big brother named Victroll, and, as big brothers often do, enjoyed grossing Trollerella out. He thought the uglier he looked, the better! He even went up on top of the bridge and freaked out the drivers until they tossed him some gold. "Victroll's fee was called the troll toll." It happened one day that Trollerella thought she heard the pounding of an especially large team of horse on the bridge, and stopped her crying long enough to go up and see. She found an elegant envelope which had just slipped off the Royal Coach. When she opened it, she read," You are cordially invited to the ball for the King's only son,Charlemagne, Prince Charming." How she wished she were beautiful enough to go! Just then, Victroll thumped up behind her. "What'cha go there?" he demanded. Trollerella tried to hide the letter behind her but "Victroll grabbed her arm and made her drop it." He snatched it up, read it, and laughed meanly. Then he threw it into the well. When he was gone, she "pulled Victroll's bag of gold from its hiding place" and threw it into the well. That's when she heard a voice. "Hi diddly! Hey doodly!" said a tiny pink lady in a conical hat. She was wearing a purple sweater and tights, with a pink skirt. She also had wings. "Um. Hi. Who are you?" asked the young troll. Came the answer, "I'm the tooth fairy." Peering more closely at the troll girl, the little fairy said, "Oh, I see you don't brush!" And Trollerella "smiled shyly". That's when the Tooth Fairy pulled out the invitation and said, "Well, well, well. I seem to have been invited to the ball." When Trollerella protested that the invitation was hers, and that anyway, she'd just tossed a bag of gold down the well too, the fairy got her point. She said, "Tell you what; to thank you for the gold, I'll give you anything you want." So Trollerella, of course, asked to be made beautiful, "just for one night". The fairy pondered the request, then explained that that wasn't quite what she'd meant. You see, she said, "I'm a registered dentist and I tinker with orthodontia. Perhaps you'd like a porcelain filling, braces, maybe a crown? A root canal? Bridge work?" After some awkward negotiations, the fairy declared that she had an idea. She said she was pretty sure that she had enough magic to make everyone at the ball think that Trollie was beautiful. It would have to do. As a bonus, she "tapped Trollerella's huge, slimy feet. Out of nowhere came two enormous, yet very fine, glass slippers." With a final warning to "avoid cavity-causing sweets" at the party, the Tooth Fairy waved Trollerella off to the ball. At the ball, "a handsome man" offered to get the troll maiden a drink. She said, "Do you have any minnow water?" and he laughed out loud. After they had danced he told her, "You dance divinely. Can I get you something to drink now?" And she asked for a glass of "slug broth". He chuckled fondly. This girl was funny AND pretty! Just then, Trollerella noticed something going on outside. "A lovely woman was being escorted from a pumpkin carriage." When she entered the ballroom, everyone watched her. And Trollerella ran. "She looked back only once to see the Prince dancing with the new girl." She ran all the way back under the bridge. Then she noticed that she had lost of one her big glass shoes. When she went back up to the bridge, she heard the palace clock strike midnight. Then she saw "the young woman from the pumpkin carriage", running along the road, dressed in rags. "She too seemed to be having trouble keeping her glass slippers on." In the morning, Trollerella heard the Royal Trumpeter sound his horn, and read proclamation. Then she saw the King's men pass by carrying her gigantic glass shoe on a pillow that was even bigger, and heard them call out that all the girls in the kingdom must try it on. The one it fit would marry the Prince. It was exciting news, but it caused Trollerella to worry. Without the Tooth Fairy's magic, how could she marry the Prince? So she called down the well, "Hi diddly. Hey doodly!" and with a "POOF! the Tooth Fairy emerged." Trollerella told her that she had gotten "nervous and dropped a shoe and the prince found it and now he wants to marry me." The fairy frowned and said, "This wand doesn't have enough power to make you seem beautiful forever." But when she saw the "tears pooling in Trollerella's eyes", she reconsidered. "Let Toothy think." she admonished the troll girl. Some time later she had it: she would make the prince fall in love with Trollerella through better dental hygiene. After making Trollerella promise "to brush and floss regularly" she chanted a spell. "Feather of ostrich, tail of a dove, Trollie gets Prince Charming's love." All that day, the King's men carried the big glass shoe around town, but it was way too big for everyone. They were tired, because that thing was pretty heavy to carry, and so they weren't paying much attention as the crossed the troll bridge. That's when Trollerella jumped out. They were sure she wanted a gold coin to let them pass, and were quite surprised when they heard her request to try the shoe on. When she did, it fitted as though it had been made especially for her large, green, hairy foot. So they brought her back to the palace, but they were sure the Prince would change his mind. Surely he couldn't plan to marry an ugly troll girl? But his majesty said, "You blundering idiots." He gazed fondly at Trollerella. "My bride has not been given the engagement ring." And the prince ordered them to fetch the tiny golden ring he had put aside. He tried for some time to get it onto her finger, but it looked like this was not to be. At last, the prince changed strategy, and "gracefully set the ring" on the biggest wart on Trollerella's nose. She beamed, and everyone clapped for the new princess. The Prince and Trollereall lived happily ever after. "And in a small house across town, Cinderella was packing her bags. She'd had enough abuse from her stepmother and stepsisters. She was going to move to the big city and start her own cleaning business." The morals of this story are 1: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 2. Elbow grease is a valuable commodity.
From: Trollerella by Stegman-Bourgeois, K.M., illustrated by Long, E. New York: Holiday House Trollerella
Notes: This story has trolls (see Cinderella stories from Finland and Denmark for more trollls), a ring, and gold, classic Cinderella elements. I love the focus on the extended Cinderella family, via the the fairy godmother's "cousin", the tooth fairy, and the crossed paths by Trollerella and the better known C-girl.
Montessori Connection: Opposites OR Mythical Creatures: Trolls
1. Read this story, and notice how it is the same, and different, from other Cinderella stories.
2. Notice that the beginning shows us some clear opposites: beautiful/gruesome, and night/day.
3. Find at least three more, taking one thing from the story and thinking of its opposite. Example: under the bridge/over the bridge.
1. Read the story and see if you can guess where it might be set.
2. Learn more about trolls: D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls (New York Review Children's Collection) or The Terrible Troll-Bird or D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths or 22 Goblins [Illustrated].