19th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Tochts fae Tushie Truncherfaece

A troll for wir brig

A peerie trow an a muckle troll; naebody lippened wis tae be freends.
Can you mind when I met him twa year ago? We wir on holiday joost ootside o Bergen in Norway. Hit is da fine he has come tae Shetland for a veesit at lang last.

A troll an a trow can git on surprisingly weel. Wir mair alaek dan fokk tink. Neider o wis can geng oot in strong sunlight or wir turned tae ston. Wir baith kent for bein braaly ill trickit an ir ower blyde tae tak hom onything boannie an sheeny.

Da main difference is wir size. A’m braaly peerie when he’s a muckle ogre. Standin afore him I see naethin but his coorse hairy shins. Da bairns git nae farder den his pickit tae claas!

Anidder difference is he bides on his ain. Trolls ir solitary sowels. He tells me dat wis trows ir braaly laek da “huldrefolk” o Norway. No ony do dey bide wi dir faimilies, but dey ir peerie an look kinda laek wis an aa.

You’ll be noticed A’m niver mentioned his name. I hae guid reason. Nae troll maks his name eart kent. If a human shouts on him bi name dat’s da end o him; oot laek a licht an dead. I ken his name but A’m sworn tae secrecy.

I axed him hoo he got here. We gied tae Norway on da Norröna. She wis perfect for trows wi her midnicht sailins, but sadly she doesna sail her ony mare. He telt me he’d “traivelled on da wind.” I wish I hed da vynd for dat!

Whit a struggle wir hed gettin wir troll freend intae wir howe, even wi a grain o trowie maagic. He oags in on his hookers den birses himself intae ee coarner dat we moved da furniture awa fae. His head rubs alang da röf fillin his tick hair wi paet moold.

We hed an afo fine nicht dastreen. Far too much daylicht for wis tae risk gaein oot, so we sat cruggit bi da fire haein a guid yarn wi wir troll freend.

“Wid dere be ony fine brigs in Shetland we could veesit?” axed da troll.

“Dere twartree,” I replied. “Whit gies a notion in brigs?”

“A’m a descendent o da troll med famous in da Norwegian folk tale aboot da tree Billy Goats Gruff. Laek my great-great-great-great grandfaider I laek tae lie under a brig.”

“I canna believe we hae a troll wha’s related tae da maist famous troll in da wirld aside wir fire,” gasped Uggledlugs.

Da troll gaffed. “I doot a lok o Norwegian trolls can claim tae be related tae him in some wye. Hit’s joost some o wis wha inherited dis notion in brigs.”

“Does du bide under een in Norway?” axed Uggledlugs wi wide een.

“Dat wid be da fine, but a brig athoot a troll is herd tae come bi nooadays. Hit’s tunnels aawye,” he said shaakin his head. “You most hae plenty o brigs here in Shetland tae git humans atween da isles?” he added.

“Dere’s plenty o peerie eens ower burns an da mooths o voes, but no mony big brigs atween isles,” I telt him.

I quizzed da bairns on whit isles hae brigs. Uggledlugs wis da first tae come up wi Burra an Trondra. Den Gutteryaggle mentioned Muckle Roe. Eftir a bit o a tocht Muttontief did weel tae mind Skerries is twa isles joint bi a brig.

“Is dat aa?” axed da troll. “Weel hoo do fokk git tae aa da idder isles?”
“Inter island ferries,” I telt him an his faece fell.

Dey ir hopless for trolls,” he said shaakin his head agaen.

Den a splendid tocht struck me. I sat up straight in my restin shair tae tell him aboot da maist famous brig story in Shetland.

“We hae wir ain folk tale aboot a brig. Weel, I tink hit’s a folk tale as humans hiv been spaekin aboot hit on an aff for years. An as far as I ken da brig doesna exist even though humans hae picters o hit. Hit’s da Bressa brig. Supposed tae be 800 metres lang. Whit tinks du o dat my freend? Wid du laek tae be da troll o da Bressa brig?”

“Dat soonds splendid,” said da troll wi a smeeg. “A’ll mebbe hae tae flit here!”

Mak da best your lang holidays!

Tushie Truncherfaece