TheFableCottage.com presents

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

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(This story is available in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian)

Once upon a time there were three billy goats. They lived in the mountains in a little goat-village called Goatstown.

The three goats were brothers, but they were very different. The youngest brother was the smallest, the middle one was the fattest, and the oldest one was the strongest.

As you probably know, goats eat grass all the time. Grass for breakfast. Grass for lunch. Grass for dinner.

(Sometimes they eat chocolate cake for dessert, but usually they just eat more grass.)

During the summer, there was lots of tall, green grass in Goatstown. But in the winter, the mountains were covered in deep snow, and there was no grass anywhere.

So the three goats decided to go down from the mountain and find the tall, green grass in the meadow on the other side of town.

They went across the road (clip clop, clip clop),
... through the village (clip clop, clip clop),
… and across the pond (splish, splash, splish, splash),
… until they arrived at a long bridge.

On the other side of the bridge was the tallest, greenest grass that the goats had ever seen. They stomped their feet and wiggled their tails. Yum, yum! Grass!

But the bridge was very long and very narrow. Only one goat could cross at a time. 

"Hey guys, let me go first!" said the youngest goat. "I am the smallest and the fastest. I will see if the bridge is safe!"

"If that’s what you want," said the other goats, and the youngest brother began to cross the bridge.

When he reached the middle of the bridge, he heard a big, terrifying voice coming from below… 

"WHO’S UP THERE? WHO’S CLIP-CLOPPING OVER MY BRIDGE?"

The young goat thought for a moment and replied: 

"Hello! My name is Steve. I enjoy knitting and playing cards. My favorite colour is red, and my favorite foods are grass and chocolate cake. How are you?"

"I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE!" shouted the troll. "YOU WOKE ME UP! NOW I'M HUNGRY, AND I'M GOING TO EAT YOU FOR BREAKFAST!"

"Goodness me," thought Steve the goat. "What a rude and grumpy troll!" 
But Steve was very intelligent, so he said to the troll:

"Excuse me, Mr. Troll. I am small and bony, and I taste like cabbage. But my brother is bigger and tastier than me. Wait for him. He is right behind me!"

"URGH! I HATE CABBAGE!" grumbled the troll. "OK, I WILL WAIT. NICE TO MEET YOU, STEVE, HAVE A LOVELY DAY." 

And Steve ran across the bridge, (clip clop, clip clop) until he reached the tall, green grass in the meadow.

His brothers saw him frolicking in the grass. They licked their lips and waggled their ears. 

"Hey buddy, let me go next!" said the middle goat. "I am fatter than you. If I can cross that bridge, then it is safe for you!"

"If that’s what you want," said the big goat. The middle goat started walking. 

When he reached the middle of the bridge, he heard a big, terrifying voice coming from below…

"WHO’S UP THERE? WHO’S CLIP-CLOPPING OVER MY BRIDGE?" 

The middle goat thought for a moment and replied:

"Hello, Mr. Troll! My name is Roger. I like to play the piano and sing opera. My favorite colour is yellow, and my favorite foods are grass and chocolate cake. How are you?"

"I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE!" shouted the troll. "YOU WOKE ME UP! NOW I'M HUNGRY, AND I'M GOING TO EAT YOU FOR BREAKFAST!"

"Yikes!" thought the goat. "What a rude and grumpy troll!" 
But Roger the goat was not stupid, so he said to the troll:

"Excuse me, Mr. Troll. I know I look fat and tasty, but it’s really just gas. If you eat me, I will taste like a fart. But my brother is much tastier. Wait for him. He is right behind me!"

"DISGUSTING! I HATE FARTS!" grumbled the troll. "OK, I WILL WAIT. NICE TO MEET YOU, ROGER, HAVE A LOVELY DAY."

And Roger ran across the bridge, (clip clop, clip clop) until he reached the tall, green grass in the meadow.

The big goat saw Steve and Roger playing in the grass. He did a little goat dance and made a funny goat sound. Meh-eh-eh! Meh-eh-eh! 

"Now it's my turn!" said the big goat, and he began to cross the bridge.

When he reached the middle of the bridge, he heard a big terrifying voice coming from below… 

"WHO’S UP THERE? WHO’S CLIP-CLOPPING OVER MY BRIDGE?" 

The big goat thought for a moment and replied.

"Good morning! My name is Tony. I like to bake cookies and walk on the beach. My favorite colour is blue, and my favorite foods are grass and chocolate cake. How are you?"

"I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE!" shouted the troll. "YOU WOKE ME UP! NOW I'M HUNGRY, AND I'M GOING TO EAT YOU FOR BREAKFAST!" 

"Oh dear," thought Tony. "What a rude and grumpy troll!"

But before Tony could say anything else, the troll jumped up onto the bridge. He had hands as big as dinner plates. His feet were as long as loaves of bread. And the hair on his back was as thick as grass.

The troll stretched and shook his hairy body, and growled:
"TWO GOATS HAVE ALREADY CROSSED THIS BRIDGE TODAY. SO DON'T GO TELLING ME YOU HAVE A BIGGER, TASTIER BROTHER. I AM NOT AN IDIOT. NOW, STAND STILL SO I CAN EAT YOU! I'M VERY HUNGRY!"

Tony the goat was very smart, but remember… he was also the strongest of the three goats.

He stomped his feet. He lowered his horns. Then he charged at the troll… clip clop, clip clop, clip clop… BUMP! 

He hit the troll in the backside and knocked him off the bridge.

"AIIIEEEEEEE!" squealed the troll as he fell all the way down into the river. Splash!

Tony ran across the bridge safely, and joined his brothers. The three goats ate a big lunch of tall, green grass. They talked and laughed and played goat football in the meadow—far from the cold winter snow.

And the troll? He was washed down the river and into the sea. He was never seen again.

(This story is available in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian)

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