East of the Sun and West of the Moon - children



Once upon a time, there was a man who wondered what a troll really looks like. Have you ever thought about this too? How can you know, when trolls don’t really exist? Or do they?  

(troll sound, cackle or something a little scary) 

A long time ago, people used to think there were trolls living in the woods, but not many believe that now. What do you think? 

One day, a man was daydreaming about what a troll looks like, and he began to draw one. His name was Erik. Erik Werenskiold. Not the troll that is, but the man who drew the troll.  

Long before Erik drew his troll, people in Norway would tell each other scary stories and thrilling fairytales. Maybe you’ve even heard of some of them?   

Ash Lad and the good helpers? “What sort of a fellow are you?”  

The princess that no one could silence ? “Look what I found!”  

The seventh father of the house? “Talk to my father, he is hanging in the horn on the wall.”  

These fairytales are so thrilling that children and adults still love to hear them.  

At this time, there was a man called Peter Christen Asbjørnsen who was collecting fairytales in a thick book. Asbjørnsen was clever, because he realised that it would be so much more fun if he had pictures in the book. Lots of pictures! But he had no-one to draw them.  

“Erik, can you draw pictures for my book?” asked Asbjørnsen. “Yes, of course,” said, Erik and he drew heroes, trolls, princesses and animals.  

Erik had a friend who was also good at drawing and had a vivid imagination. He was so good at it that people had begun to talk about him all over town. Erik’s friend was called Theodor. Theodor Kittelsen. 

“You might want to talk to my friend Theodor,” said Erik to Asbjørnsen. “Alright,” said Asbjørnsen, and he did. “Theodor, can I use your drawings for something very special?” asked Asbjørnsen. “That depends,” said Theodor.  

“Can you draw a troll for the story about the boy and the troll who had a porridge-eating contest?” asked Asbjørnsen. ”Of course,” said Theodor, who made the drawing and showed it to Asbjørnsen 

Do you dare open the hatch and see the first troll that Theodor Kittelsen drew? 

Do you think the troll is scary? Asbjørnsen thought so. “Help!” he said. “This is far too scary for children!” “You have to draw a new troll, Theodor.” “Very well,” said Theodor, and did so. 

When we humans think about what trolls look like, we often think of them like the ones Erik and Theodor drew in the old days.  

You can see many of their drawings in here.   

Which of Theodor’s two trolls do you think is the scariest?