Fabian walked in the woods every morning, just before sunrise.
His grandmother’s little house was just at the foot of the mountain and miles of woods lay between them and their closest neighbours.
He followed the rim of the mountain. The birds sang as if they knew that the first sunrays need to be sung into this realm, otherwise it will remain dark.
This morning another sound broke through the melodies and the chirps. Someone was crying loudly and hopelessly. Fabian looked around and saw the shadow of something huge leaned against the mountain wall.
Fabian could not believe what he saw. Round-eyed. Curly-haired. Big-boned.
– Can I help you?
Fabian’s light voice cut right through the convulsions and the troll looked up, startled, his eyes now even bigger and rounder.
– Who…who are you?
– I am Fabian. I live in the white house down there. Who are you?
– I am Glimgluff. I am the youngest in the troll family living in this mountain.
Fabian tried to conceive of this idea. It seemed to make sense. If someone should live in a mountain, it should be a troll.
– Why are you crying?
– Nobody likes us. Nobody likes ME. I am too big, too ugly, too scary. People think that we are all bad. That we keep children captured in the mountain.
– I have heard those stories. Are they not true?
– Well…there have been a few bad trolls in the family, who did bad things. But that was then. I am not them. I love children. I just want to play. But I am so big and heavy, I can’t fit into any building. And it is making me feel really lonely.
Fabian felt really sorry for Glimgluff. He seemed to be a boy just like him but caught in the body of a giant.
– What should I do?
Glimgluff looked at Fabian with round button eyes that never seemed to blink.
– I don’t know.
Fabian sat down next to him.
– Do you want to come fishing with me?
Glimgluff looked like he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He nodded so intensely that his moss covered curls flung back and forth.
All morning they were down at the river, fishing with Fabian’s rod. It looked like a toothpick in Glimgluff’s hands. He was much too strong indeed and pulled the fish so hard out of the water that the line snapped every time. Or he accidentally squeezed the fish when he wanted to remove the hook, leaving only a wet stain between his thumb and his index finger. They were laughing until they couldn’t stand up anymore and the mountain trembled just a little every time.
They hurried back before the sun was too high in the sky, trolls were not supposed to be out in broad daylight.
Just before saying goodbye, Fabian looked at Glimgluff and said:
– Ask me again.
– What do you mean?
– The question you asked me this morning. Ask me again.
Glimgluff had to think really long and hard.
– What should I do?
– You are trying to fit into a tiny, human world. Why don’t you pull other people into your world instead? There is so much space and fun in your world. I could play with you forever.
Glimgluff was thinking is his slow troll fashion and suddenly his brown, apple-cheeked face shone like the sun.
Since then, Gliffgluff has invited loads of children into his magic world. He has many friends and even though he still cries sometimes, he never has to cry alone anymore.