There was once a brave warrior who would travel from town to town, rescuing the simple farming folk of the land from the great terror of the hideous monsters known as trolls.
The terrible creatures infected the woods with their flowery smells, they poisoned the rivers with their habit of bathing upstream in lavender and jasmine five times a day and scarring the earth with decorative arrangements of crafted oak, sculpted, much to the horror of the inhabitants, in the shape of local children.
Such were the horrible crimes of these evil beings.
Their dark powers of duplicity were indeed so great that the children of the towns could not see the great danger that they posed, and many would have to be scolded by their parents whenever they were foolish enough to approach one.
But the valiant troll slayer would not be fooled by the tricks they used to ensnare gullible children. His noble hatred ran deep, and he reminded himself each day that the mask these ugly monsters wore were as the web to the spider and the hapless fly.
One day, having slayed so many hundreds of the evil race of trolls, the warrior came across his greatest challenge yet.
At the bottom of a leafy valley lied a village of peaceful inhabitants. They had already tried burning down the troll’s home, which lay deep in the woods to the north, but the troll had only taken to sleeping in the trees, using their branches like a giant blanket.
Then they had tried building a great pit around his homestead. To this the mighty beast merely diverted a local stream, as if to mock and provoke the villagers by attracting swans, rabbits and other vile pests to their forest.
Now that the village had run out of ideas, they reached for their final hope of salvation and called for the troll slayer (though he cost a pretty penny).
Approaching the troll, the warrior unsheathed his sword and spoke to the giant with venom:
“Be gone foul troll! Cannot you see the terror that you strike into the hearts of these poor villagers? Thy ignorance knows no bounds!”
The evil troll smiled, for he pretended to enjoy company, and, by way of trickery, offered the brave warrior an apple (no doubt poisoned) from his tree.
The troll slayer sliced the troll’s giant hand clean off and it fell to earth with a mighty boom.
Feigning confusion the troll climbed down from his tree and reached for its missing limb with its remaining hand.
The brave troll slayer took his chance and lopped off the other hand with all his strength.
The awful creature then took the warrior by surprise, as it gripped him tightly between two of its awful toes. Such was its power that the warrior dropped its sword and feared for the worst.
Then, fashioning a rope with some shrubbery between its other toes and teeth, the cowardly monster bound the poor troll slayers hands and feet together so that he could not fight or run for his life.
Bold to the last, the warrior braced himself for certain doom or perhaps another of the gruesome giant’s tricks. Clearly the beast must have been enraged, for troll hands are known to take many days to grow back (and trolls are known to spend many evil hours in craftwork, needlepoint and occasional gardening).
But the dastardly villain simply perched him on a raft and floated him down to the village where the fearful local-folk could pluck their hero from the river.
Then it packed up its gardening gear, its whittling knife and crochet kit and wandered back into the forest, never to be seen again.
And thus in the splendor of his retirement, was this the tale the troll slayer told to his very dying day, of the only troll gutless enough to refuse to die at his blade.