Grenlon the Troll


Grenlon was considered unintelligent, even for a troll. He couldn’t count. He couldn’t identify left from right. He couldn’t look at his reflection (it got him very, very confused).

But still Grenlon, as unbrained as he was, had a job. An important job. What Grenlon had to do was to make sure no-one stole from The Rubble.

The Rubble, you see, is a pile of rocks stacked in a heap about yay-high, and it is very important to trolls. It is hard to explain quickly, but basically stealing from the rubble would cause “all hell” to “break loose”, and this is best avoided.

So, when the Drolls came along intending to steal from The Rubble, Grenlon became the most important of trolls. The thing was he did not know it.

The day the Drolls came to steal from The Rubble, Grenlon began his morning as normal: he woke up, scratched away filth, batted clean a garment, clothed, ingested dietary requirements (as he could not identify hunger), and, with his picture list ticked, he strolled to work.

Once Grenlon was at his post before The Rubble the Drolls began their plan. (Honour restricts Drolls from stealing when anything is unguarded. Otherwise it’s unfair.)

The plan of the Drolls unfurled: with many slights of hand, misdirection, and some fake identification, they garnered passage to The Rubble. Here, they believed matters would be simple.


At first it took no more than a tap on Grenlon’s shoulder, and a point at some obscure illuminated object, to divert the attention of this most unintelligent troll. To be safe, a droll stood at Grenlon’s side and asked questions about the appearance of the pre-arranged, randomly positioned flicker of light. Meanwhile other drolls stole stones from The Rubble.

Grenlon and The Rubble
Grenlon and The Rubble

Yet, as perfect as this seems, the Drolls did not get far.

Sure they had been devious in getting to The Rubble, and the elaborate light system seemed to distract Grenlon, but there was one thing they did not count on.

As the Drolls secreted rubble-filled-bags past Grenlon, Grenlon did not look at the bags, or the Drolls, or the dusty trail, or the rubble.  He looked at the sun, and the sun was way too high.

‘That light is too high,’ said Grenlon.

‘It is late in the day,’ said an alert droll.

‘No,’ said Grenlon, ‘It is still now.’

As careful as the Drolls were, the silently disappearing peak of The Rubble altered Grenlon’s horizon. Grenlon liked his horizon. He liked the horizon and knew roughly how much time elapsed since he last looked at it.

‘Still now,’ said Grenlon factually. ‘You not troll,’ added Grenlon factually.

The droll waved authentic looking papers at Grenlon, but Grenlon did not pretend to read them.

‘You stealing Rubble?’ Grenlon asked the droll.

‘Yes,’ said the droll honestly. (It’s unfair otherwise.)

Grenlon was not smart, but being a troll he was a lot stronger than a droll. He was a lot stronger than eight Drolls. The Drolls did not escape.

The End.


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