Troll Watch

Troll Watch

How many of you remember the fairy tale ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff? I recall that story well, as a youngster I heard it many times. We were small children growing up on a farm near Lake Poinsett South Dakota USA. That is a long distance from Norway. My grandfather came from Norway in 1890 with his father and mother and 3 siblings, they lived in Michigan and Minnesota before coming to Dakota Territory. In 1911 he arrived here by oxen and wagon with a new bride and a baby daughter. He also had a trunk full of necessary items for survival and farming equipment. Andrew carried the many troll tails in his head, and he loved to tell them.

We were fortunate to live on a small farm near them. A neighbor had goats grazing in his yard, each trip to town took us past that goat farm. There was one big, long horned, gruff looking Billy Goat and a real colorful group of nanny goats. There were always kids running around vying with each other for the high leaping record, or leaping over each other, jumping into the air for the sheer joy of jumping. Somebody said, “they stopped to visit the owner one time, and they looked out to see their car covered with goats. Goats must be very sure-footed to climb shear, moss covered, mountain rocks, that must be why they did not slide off the car.   

The goats were always out in the yard. Every time we went to town three young boys jumped around in the back seat like little goats. Always fighting for the best view and shouting three cheers for Billy and his herd as we went past in a cloud of dust. The willy goats outwitted the nasty old troll living under the bridge, I recall it vividly. We thought they were the smartest and luckiest three goats in the world. I’m enclosing a link to the Three Billy Goats Gruff story to refresh memories.

Many troll stories took place out in the Woods. I never got to spend much time in the Woods being a Prairie grass dweller, but I love to hunt deer. I would find wooded areas to hunt in. My imagination often ran on the weird to wild side at times in the woods. Conjuring up dead trolls from almost every fallen tree, or stump. I recall one morning; it was just getting daylight. A falcon landed on a tree branch directly in front of my face, it was about 2 feet away. I naturally concluded, he thinks I’m a troll and came to peck my eyes out, by then, in an instant he flew away, without my eyes.

Another time after hitting a deer with my arrow, it ran, full speed ahead until it was out of my sight. I could not find where it fell, following a blood trail on dry leaves is nearly impossible. The blood would disappear then show a few drops showed to start me trailing over again. It was getting dark, spooky thoughts popped into my head. Everything started looking like trolls. Where they all dead? There must be some latter-day trolls out there.

A stump seemed to beckon to me. I cautiously approached it, not remember seeing it before, that seemed unusual. My deer was there, dead behind it.  Was the troll hiding it? I drug my deer out of the trees while looking over my shoulder. It was dark by that time. Loud, or worse yet, soft nocturnal noises in dense woods make an imagination slip right into overdrive, cause your feet to travel faster, with frequent stumbling. I convinced myself there was one good troll, he was watching my deer for me, instead of hiding it.

Parental Panic



Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner- 2016 Week #41

Parental Panic

Scott’s father returns from work and doesn’t see his son’s swimming flippers or snorkel on the porch. Mira, “did you let Scott go swimming by himself?” It’s midweek, there is no one at the beach. He shouldn’t be down there by himself, a shark was out there last week. I go to work and you let him go alone? I can’t believe it, “you don’t care, he is only your stepson!”

I’m going down there to make sure everything is OK. Scott’s dad gets to the beach, the child is nowhere in sight. He spots his swim flippers near the water, one has blood on it. He goes nuts, ballistic, screaming and yelling as he runs back, to call the rescue squad. He calls 911, soon there are sirens wailing as vehicles pull up to the beach.

I have to get back down there. Pack your bags Mira, your out of here! The neighbor lady, Mrs. Parson calls, Myra, “what’s going on, with all the sirens? “Bob thinks something happened to Scott. Stop crying Myra, “Scott cut his foot, he came here because it was closer, he is just fine.”

Bob cried, while Mira drove away.

Do Not Panic


Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Do Not Panic

If you are being chased through the woods by a big grizzly bear you have good reason to be having a big, nasty panic attack. You cannot out run that huge, ferocious bear. You will not be able to climb a tree faster than the bear either. You continue running as fast as you can in sheer panic, with the knowledge that he’s going to get you. There is one good thing about this whole scenario, that bear will end your panic attacks for you, while he is eating you for lunch. You will have no more panic attacks. There must be a better way to get rid of panic than that.

Panic attacks are affecting more than 20 million people today. People are effected in different ways, churning stomachs, racing heart, fear of going out-of-doors, fear of being around other people, staying in your house alone, doors and curtains shut. Afraid of the whole world.

Everyone seems to have different types of problems and the doctors are at a loss for what to do. Psychology  and many types of counseling are tried. Medications for chemical in-balance in the brain are used, a multitude of things are being tried, yet they seem to be a Band-Aid approach. People still suffer in silence, hiding from themselves, loved ones and the world.

There is an old saying, we are what we eat. I must be a refrigerator plumb full of fattening food. Diet points a suspicious finger straight at panic and anxiety attacks. In our modern world with our hurry up fast food diets and artificially sweetened soft drinks, it all appears to be shining a search light on the problem of panic. The solution to everything doesn’t have to be complicated and costly, a simple change of diet could be the miracle cure for stress, anxiety and panic attacks.

Survival Slog

Daily Prompt
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

Survival Slog

I’m very proud to have Viking blood surging through my Nordick veins, maybe perking, trikling or seeping at times. I’m part Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Saami, reindeer people. I came from a long line of fishermen, trappers and hunters. They were all survivors, some living in the worst climate on this globe. Many of them came from north of the Arctic Circle. I have come to slowly realize, all of those ancestors in no way gives me a free pass to not respect, or take for granted the elements of nature and the great outdoors.

In the winter of 1968 and 69 we had well over 100 inches of snow here in Northeastern South Dakota in what is called the Glacial Lakes Region. That winter resembled a lot of places north of the Arctic Circle. The prairies of South Dakota and the Lake region have never been snowshoe country. That winter snowshoes were about the only way to travel, over the many drifts or the over 100 inches that was on the level. There were very few snowmobiles at that time, the rescue units had a snowcat similar to those used in the Antarctic and in the Arctic expeditions. That snowcat was not used for recreation, strictly for rescue.

I have always been one to ponder a project, then build it. A person who manufactured what he needed from odds and ends that could be found lying about in our backyard or the old toolshed. I knew I needed snow shoes if I was going to do much of anything that winter. I came up with my own designer snowshoes and proceeded to manufactured a pair in a very short time.

My goal was to go deer hunting in a large area of swamp that was over a mile square. There were many deer wintering in there. They had their own trail system developed. I planned on an easy slog when I got to their trails. I drove as close to the swamp as I could get with my car, then strapped on my not so snazzy looking new snowshoes. I was ready to travel quietly and smoothly on top of the deep snow, no slogging for me. The great White Hunter walking on top of the snow, like a polar bear. I found out I had to walk with a whole lot different gait than I was used to, but I picked up and slid my feet along staying on top of the snow quite well.

I got out to the middle of this magic deer marsh where many trees had grown thick in one  large area. I managed to catch my right snow shoe on a tree branch that was just under the snow. My right snowshoe just disintegrated before my eyes and it wasn’t very long before the other one came apart. That’s when I finally realized just how deep the snow was. I went head first into the snow, floundering around getting up it was way past my waist in most places. I found out it was next to impossible to get back up on top of the snow. Each try to stand up would send the other foot right through, right back down to the bottom again. This went on for quite a long time, I was weak and working up a sweat from plowing snow with my body. It also was starting to get very cold.

I was sitting there half submerged doing a reconnaissance job on my surroundings and the situation I was trapped in. The trapper gets trapped, amusing turn of events. I could see where the wind blew the hardest it made a fairly good crust on top of the snow. I decided to stay away from the trees and follow these wind swept areas. I was doing quite well, traveling without falling through most of the time. I was using my gun for a cane to help keep my balance. It was starting to approach evening, me, even being the sturdy proud Viking that I am, started to get a little panic attack. I was soaked with sweat, still falling through a lot and rapidly running out of strength, the youthful limitless energy was gone. Looming doubts quickly formed about being able to get back to my car. That was a terribly lonely, lost, hopeless feeling.

I started to consider the situation that I got myself into by not thinking it through clerly at the beginning. I should have realized from the start, if I would have shot a deer, there was no way I was ever going to get it out alone. I would have to contact someone with a snowmobile, they were rare, this was also the days before the cell phone.

I kept slogging along thinking, I may not get out of this mess, a simple little hunting trip brought about my demise. It will make quite a story for people to tell years from now. I can hear some of the comments. “He was young and very foolish.” “Everyone knows deep snow treking requires good snowshoes.” ‘Wasn’t as tough as he thought.” “He thought he could slog it out.”
I did somehow muster up enough energy to get to my car, another lesson from the school of hard knocks.

All Locked Up



Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Our great nation, the United States was founded on Christian principles. Somewhere in the past we must have lost our way. Today everything has to be locked up. We should not have to lock our property away from our neighbors to keep it from being stolen. Many people today live in gated communities, they lock themselves into their little private community with their own security to protect themselves and their possessions. When the honest person feels they have to lock themselves away to feel safe. It paints a very poor picture of what our nation stands for today and what kind of citizens we are made up of.

Everything is locked, many doors have multiple locks and deadbolts to keep intruders from breaking in. We have evidently locked away our love, one for another. We cannot love our fellow man and want to harm him, or steal his possessions. We all are locked into our own lives and lifestyles. Those locks and lifestyles are all changeable!

Questioning Eyes

Questioning Eyes

Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Eyes



These innocent looking eyes are staring at the camera with a questioning look, a look that doesn’t show trust. They appear to know fear well. The brothers hand on the little girls shoulder, tells her it is OK yet. If that little hand moves they will go running off into  the crowd.