This is a new story for me, and I really like it. Maybe I just enjoy the image of tossing people over the top of the church? Nahhhh. That can't be right!
The Man Who Married a Troll
A man in Denmark married a troll woman, her arm muscles broader than his head, and too tall to stand up in the house he lived in, so they had to live in a barn until he could build them a new house.
Why did he marry her? Because they loved one another, and felt they were right for one another. And they were right.
But the people of the town wouldn't have anything to do with the troll."One day when it's hungry, it'll eat us up -- starting with him," they said.
And though the troll smiled politely at them, and wished them all a good day, and rushed to help the smaller women carry water or bundles of any kind, they rejected all her advances.
The kids called her bad names, and then ran away.
The women turned their backs on her when she greeted them.
The men stepped back from her as if she was a wild animal, and made the sign against the evil eye.
The husband tried to speak to them - after all, these were his neighbors and cousins – but they only mocked him or cursed him, until at last he swore he'd never speak to them again.
The two continued their lonely life in the barn, while their new house was a-building. The man even stopped going to church.
One fine Sunday, someone knocked at the barn door.
It was the troll's father, come to see how his beloved daughter was getting along with the human husband.
This troll was taller and wider than his daughter, and when he saw tears in his daughter's eyes, he would have torn off the husband’s head, if the daughter had not stopped him at once.
Instead, she had to tell him what was wrong, and when he heard the story he turned to his daughter and asked where all the people were.
"In church," she said, "everyone is there except us."
The father spoke to his daughter in a soft voice which was much more threatening than any shouting could be. "Daughter, will you throw or catch?"
"Oh, no, father, don't, please don't!," she begged.
But he persisted, "Will you throw or catch?"
And she whispered, "I'll catch."
The father started off at once towards the hilltop where the church stood, with his daughter following after him, and her tiny husband scurrying along behind.
They waited outside the doors of the church until the last hymn had been sung, and when the people started coming out, there before them was a troll who made the troll wife look like a child’s doll. The big troll waited until all the folk had come out, including the priest, but would not let them pass him.
Then he told his daughter to go around to the other side of the church, and when she called out to him, "I'm ready," he picked up the nearest villager and tossed him up in the air, and over the top of the church.
Comical as they all looked going up and coming down, no one laughed, for each knew that his turn was coming.
At last the troll father had thrown every person in the village over the top of the church - except the husband, of course.
When they walked around to the other side of the church, the husband and the troll father found all the people seated on the ground, shaking with relief.
For though the troll wife had caught each one as gently as she could, and helped them down, and smoothed their clothing, still it is no joke to be tossed over a church roof by an angry troll.
The troll father stood looking at the silent crowd and said, "If ever I hear that you have made my daughter cry again, we'll play this game again. But next time, my daughter will throw -- and I'LL catch. Do you understand?"
And from that time on, they all began to call on the troll wife, to invite her to birthday parties, and to work parties, to teach her how to knit and weave new patterns, to ask her to mind their children when they had to go away -- and she never had anything to cry about again.
Soon they saw what a sweet thing she was, and everyone said, "Didn't I tell you? I always knew she was really an angel!"