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A Child's Book of Stories by  Penrhyn W. Coussens

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THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF

[251]

O
NCE upon a time there were three billy goats, who went up the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."

On the way up was a bridge over a brook; and under the bridge lived a great, ugly Troll, with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as your arm.

First of all came the youngest Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

Trip trap! trip trap!   went the bridge. "Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"Oh, it is only I, the Tiniest Billy Goat Gruff; and I'm going up the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, with such a small voice. "Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, no, pray don't take me! I'm too little," said the billy goat. "Wait a bit ill the next Billy Goat Gruff comes; he's much bigger."

"Well, be off with you!" said the Troll.

A little while after came the Second Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

trip trap! trip trap! trip trap!   went the bridge.

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"Oh, it's only the Second Billy Goat Gruff; and I'm going up the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, who had n't such a small voice.

[252] "Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, no, don't take me! Wait a little till the Big Billy Goat Gruff comes; he's much bigger."

"Very well, be off with you!" said the Troll.

But just then came the Big Billy Goat Gruff.

Trip trap! trip trap! trip trap!  went the bridge, for the billy goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked under him.

"Who's that tramping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"It's I, the Big Billy Goat Gruff," said the billy goat, who had an ugly, hoarse voice of his own.

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," roared the Troll.

"Well, come along! I've got two spears,

And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;

I've got besides two curling-stones,

And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones."

That was what the big billy goat said; and so he flew at the Troll, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the stream, and after that he went up to the hillside. There the billy goats got so fat they were scarce able to walk home again; and if the fat has n't fallen off them, why, they're still fat; and so—

"Snip, snap, snout,

This tale's told out."


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