Once upon a time (actually, it was just yesterday), there was a troll who lived under a bridge. He was depressed. He hadn't caught a little boy to eat in over a month, and he was beginning to doubt his own abilities. As a result, he moped. He sulked. He whined.
“I'm no good at this,” he grumbled. “And on top of that, I don't have any friends. No one likes me. I don't even like my—”
You know, on second thought, it's not that much fun writing such a whiny character. I'm getting a headache just thinking about him. Let's try this again.
Once upon a time (actually, it was just yesterday), there was a troll who lived under a bridge. He was the proudest troll of them all. King Troll, he called himself, though he was the only troll in the area, so he had no one to even pretend to rule over. He hadn’t caught a little boy to eat in over a month, but he rightfully attributed that to his innate ability to scare away all humans. So even though he was a little hungry, his arrogance drowned out his stomach’s rumblings. Some days, he would boast about his abilities for hours on—
Actually, I'd much prefer writing about my first version of the troll. So back to that.
“—self,” he continued whining. “I’m sure life would be a lot better if I wasn’t a troll. I wish I could be a human boy.” The troll sighed to himself, knowing that this would never—
All of a sudden, there was a bright flash, a loud poof, and out of thin air a fairy appeared. However, this fairy did not look like your typical fairy. Instead of being slight, pretty, and smiling, this fairy had crooked teeth, warts on its nose, and yellowed fingernails. It was a troll fairy, after all.
“I have come grant your wish,” spoke the troll fairy in a voice surprisingly booming for its minute size.
“Oh, I wasn’t actually serious about wanting to be a boy,” said the troll, blushing slightly. “I was just feeling down on my luck, so I was complaining for lack of something better to do.”
“Too late,” spoke the fairy. “Wishing to be a boy is the one wish that cannot be taken back. What is your name, troll?”
“Troll,” said Troll.
“Troll. Troll, from now on your name will be Leslie, and you will be a human boy.”
“Ah, but Leslie’s a girl’s—”
“It’s both!” shouted the fairy. He had obviously heard this complaint before. “You are Leslie, and you are a boy!” With that and a flick of his fairy wrists, the troll fairy turned the troll into a human child.
Leslie looked down to examine himself. He was smaller, for starters. His skin was smoother, his limbs were skinnier, and he had five toes on each foot (trolls have seven, for those of you unfamiliar with troll anatomy). Leslie scrambled over to the water under the bridge and peered at his reflection. He had still retained some of his troll features, like the missing teeth and slightly jaundiced eyes. And the stench. But other than that, he looked like a normal boy.
Leslie turned around to ask the troll fairy what he was supposed to do, but the fairy was nowhere to be seen.
“Now what do little boys do other than get eaten by trolls? I suppose they go to school.” For the first time in his life, the troll now known as Leslie took action on his thoughts: he ventured into the town and went into the school building.
No one was there.
“I guess I was wrong about school,” Leslie said dejectedly. He wanted to meet fellow boys, plus his troll-instinct of searching for boys to eat wasn’t completely gone yet. “I wonder where the other children could be.”
Leslie wasn’t wrong about children going to school, as you may have surmised; it was simply a weekend. Therefore, all the children were playing together in the town square. Luckily for Leslie, his wanderings brought him to the bustling center of town. When he saw all the playing children, his face lit up.
“Children! Children!” Leslie shouted. “Let me join in! Oh how I’d love to play with you.”
The boys and girls looked up from their game of mother-may-I-leap-frog-over-the-kickball-while-dodging-red-rover-in-four-squares (the perfect game for indecisive children) and stared at Leslie. They did not recognize him, and they were always cautious around outsiders.
“Who are you?” asked Jamie, the leader of the group, though Tracy would have claimed the title.
“My name’s Leslie. I just, uh, moved here.”
“Oh. Well, welcome. Want to play?”
When Leslie had been a troll, he had never played, partially because there were no playmates (he probably would have eaten any), and partially because he simply did not know how. But with his new life as a boy came an innate knowledge of how to play. Leslie had never had so much fun in his life.
Just when the game was getting heated, a chorus of voices rang out from all over the town. “Dinnertime!” Without a second thought, each child immediately stopped what he or she was doing and ran home. Soon, Leslie was the only one left in the town square.
He sat down dejectedly, not knowing what to do. No one had invited him for dinner, and his stomach was rumbling again, reminding him that he had not eaten in over a month.
“I was surrounded by boys and girls, and I didn’t eat a single one,” grumbled Leslie. He obviously hadn’t learned any lesson about it being better to make friends than eat friends. Although a boy on the outside, he was decidedly still a troll on the inside. “Now I won’t have any supper. Again.”
Without anything better to do, Leslie began wandering. His eyes were on the ground, so he did not have any idea where he was heading. After an hour of aimless walking, he looked up. He had come across a bridge. But it wasn’t his former home.
“This must be the opposite side of town from my bridge,” surmised Leslie. “I wonder if anyone lives here.”
Leslie walked below the bridge, peering around the corner to look for any signs of a troll. For that moment, Leslie forgot that he was a boy and not a troll. By the time he remembered that he was a human child and trolls love to eat little boys, it was too late.
That was the end of Leslie, the troll who was turned into a human boy.