juli 28, 2003

Days of grief and misery

But her husband had scarcely given the troll child a single blow when she rushed forward and clutched his arm. "No, don't hit him, don't hit him!" she cried. "You don't want your child back, do you?" he said, pulling his arm free.
"Oh God yes, I want our son back" sobbed his wife, "But not like this."
The peasant raised his arm for a fresh blow, but before he could deliver it, his wife had thrown herself across the child so that the blow, when it fell, struck her instead.
"God in Heaven!" cried the husband. "I can see now that you're going to make sure that our child must live with the trolls for the rest of his life."
He stood and waited, but she still lay there at his feet, protecting the child. At last her husband threw down his cudgel and stalked, sullen and disappointed, out of the farmhouse. He wondered afterwards why he had not simply forced his way through her resistance, but there was something about her that compelled him. He could not resist her will.

More days passed, in grief and disappointment. It is hard enough for a mother to lose her child, but it is worse than anything to have it replaced by a changeling. That keeps her longing constantly alive, and never lets it rest.

"I don't know what I can give the changeling to eat" said the wife one morning to her husband. "He won't eat what I offer him"
"That's not surprising", said her husband. "Haven't you heard that trolls only want to eat frogs and mice?"
"But you can't ask me to go out to the pond and get food for him there" said the wife.
"No, certainly not." said her husband. "I think the best thing would be to let it starve to death."
Posted by andrewb at juli 28, 2003 02:31 EM | TrackBack