The Three Billy Goats Gruff, A Bedtime Story

The traditional story of the three billy goats gruff has been changed up in my version to feature a disgruntled baking troll and big brother billy goat who shows mercy to the troll.
The traditional story of the three billy goats gruff has been changed up in my version to feature a disgruntled baking troll and big brother billy goat who shows mercy to the troll.

It's bedtime and I flop down on my three-year old son's bed, against the wall, pushing him close to the edge of the mattress, pretending to crowd him out. I prefer to cuddle with him, but he usually resists vociferously. When he is especially tired, he snuggles up to his red blanket, which replaced his original pink one, lost at a motel long ago, as he asks for a drink of water. Not yet, I remind him. First, the story.

The story has evolved with hundreds of retellings--many elements so familiar, he will not budge on the details. But others he lets me change. To fans of the classic Three Billy Goats Gruff Story, mine may seem a little strange. My version may be called the THREE billy goats gruff, but if you pay close attention, the first thing you will notice is that there are actually four goats in our version of the story.

Often I ask my boy if he would rather hear about the three bears or the three little pigs, or some other story I know. But never--it has to be the three Billy Goats Gruff. So just for fun, I thought I'd share it with you, in its full glory, changes and all.

Once upon a time, there were three Billy goats gruff named Zane and Peter, Andrew, and Joseph. They all liked to play in the meadow, in the sweet green grass across the river and over the bridge. For the grass is always greener on the other side, you see.

But under the bridge lived a big, mean, ugly, scary, hairy, angry old troll named Elaine, and that troll was always hungry.

One day, Zane and Peter Billy Goat Gruff decided to take their soccer ball to the meadow with the sweet green grass, and so they went trip, trap, trip, trap over the bridge.

But suddenly out jumped the big, mean, ugly, scary, hairy, angry old troll named Elaine, and she said "Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?!!!"

Zane and Peter replied in unison, "It is I, Zane, and I, Peter Billy Goat Gruff, and we want to play in the meadow in the sweet green grass." (for they were small, and if truth be told, the two of them together were about as big as normal-sized Billy goat).

"NOT today you're not!" shrieked the troll, who was very angry, and very hungry. "I burned my cookies and now I have nothing left for my dinner and I'm going to eat you up for my dessert!"

"Oh No!!!!" cried the Billy goats in unison. "Please kind troll, don't eat us up, kind troll!" "We're much too small to make a meal," said Zane "and besides, we don't taste anything at all like cookies!" said Peter.

"Hmmn," said the troll, scratching her chin and stroking her beard. I guess I see your point. Well, hurry along kids, before I change my mind. And the little Billy Goats went trip-trap-trip-trap-trip-trap over the bridge as fast as their little hooves could carry them.

Next, along came Andrew Billy Goat Gruff. Andrew was a medium-sized goat, and he liked to play soccer with his brothers, so he went trip-trapping over the bridge, too.

But suddenly, out jumped the big, mean, ugly, scary, hairy, angry old troll named Elaine. "Who's that trip trapping over my bridge!!!!!!!" shrieked the troll.

It is only I, Andrew Billy Goat Gruff, and I've come to play with my brothers in the sweet green grass in the meadow, and I've brought my soccer ball, too. "Well, not today you're not!" said the troll, because I burned my cookies and I'm going to eat you up for my dessert instead.

"Oh no! Please kind troll, don't eat me up kind troll!" said Andrew Billy Goat Gruff."I don't taste anything at all like cookies, and besides, I'm much too small to make a dessert, let alone a full meal."

"We-ell," said the troll, thinking it over, "I guess I can let you go, but just this once! I have a reputation to protect, you know!"

"And Andrew Billy Goat Gruff went trip-trapping over that bridge, as fast as his little hooves could carry him, before that troll could change her mind.

Finally, around dinner time, Joseph Billy Goat Gruff came along. He was the biggest, bravest Billy Goat of all. He had long shaggy fur that reached to his toes, and long curly horns that wrapped around his head. And when he walked on the bridge, it creaked, and groaned, and groaned and creaked.

But suddenly, from under the bridge jumped the big, mean, ugly, hairy, angry, scary old troll named Daddy (No-mom-Elaine-the troll's name is Elaine! Oh, all right then). And said "Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge!!!!!!"

It is only I, Joseph Billy Goat Gruff, in a confident voice. I have come to fetch my brothers for dinner. My mother made chocolate chip cookies for dessert, and it's time for them to hurry home.

"Well, not today you're not!" said the troll, who was very hungry and very jealous. I burned my cookies and now I'm going to eat you up instead!!!!!

"Oh really?" said Joseph, "I'd.like.to.see.you.try!"

And then the billy goat lowered his horns and ran at the troll, and the troll ran at the billy goat, and the billy goat ran at the troll, until suddenly, *POP*, the troll flew into the air, and landed in the river with a big *SPLASH*. Right on top of the ducks, and geese (and gooses--my son doesn't yet recognize that geese and gooses are the same), and swans, and fish, and frogs, and turtles, and hippopotamuses, and zebras. (No!!! Not Zebras, mom! Silly!)

And just as the troll was starting to float downstream, Joseph Billy Goat said, "Hey, troll, now that you've learned your lesson, why don't you come and have some cookies at our house? My mom made plenty to share, and she didn't burn them!"

"Well, OK! said the troll, with a big toothless smile, and they all went to the Billy Goats Gruff's house for dinner. But on the way home, the troll reminded them, "Don't tell a soul, I have a reputation to protect!"

Children's Book Reviews by Wannabwestern

 

I have written over 40 reviews of my favorite children's books here on HubPages. Please feel to explore some of my favorite children's books listed here!

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett · A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams · Babies by Gyo Fujikawa · Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See by Bill Martin and Eric Carle · Charley Harper's ABCs by Charlie Harper · Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons · Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes · Daughter of a King by Rachel Ann Nunes · Excuse Me! By Lisa Kopelke · Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat · Harry and The Terrible Whatzit by Dick Gackenbach · Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson · I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll · I'd Choose You by John Trent · Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback · King of Kings by Susan Hill · Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis and David Soman · Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes · Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney · Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney · Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle · No David! by David Shannon · Olivia by Ian Falconer · Out of the Ocean by Debra Frasier · Snowballs by Lois Ehlert · So Much by Trish Cooke and Helen Oxenbury · Souperchicken by Mary Jane and Herm Auch · The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone · The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle · The King With Six Friends by Jay Williams · The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman · The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges · The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell · The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy · The Red Shoes a Fairy Tale by Gloria Fowler and Sun Young Yoo · The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats · Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel · Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White · Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak · Yoon and the Christmas Mitten by Helen Recorvits

 Last updated on August 18, 2011

Useful Funny {4}Awesome {1}Beautiful {1}Interesting 

Comments 35 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Level 5 Commenter

Very cute story and I'll bet your son loves it. These are special times as our children grow up so fast. Good hub.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 4 years ago from Virginia

Cute rendition of the story! I've found that children sometimes love made up story just as much as picture books...something to do with the interaction and the love, maybe! Great hub!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

Lovely story and well written. Thank you.


Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 4 years ago

Nice story.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Ha! I really enjoyed this story. I am the youngest of my three brothers (I have two older sisters as well). What a great mom you are! I wonder if there is an esoteric message here? Hmmm...


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

@Pamela99: Thanks for the compliment. I think it is my son's favorite part of the day.

@PBallard: Thanks.

@Ann Nonymous: I agree with you. Telling stories out loud from memory has a whole different dynamic than reading. Obviously I'm a huge fan of children's books, but listening to a story told aloud is something else entirely. From personal experience, I think my son enjoys hearing the sound of my voice, which I modulate quite a bit, depending on how tired he is or how excited he is at the time. It is easy to say "in the meadow...in the sweeeeet, greeeeen, grasss," in a low, soft voice that helps him go to sleep.

@Hello, Hello: This was purely just for fun. THank you for your kind words!

@Dohn121: I used to worry that my son liked this story because it ended up in a battle between the troll and the billy goat, but I think my son likes the way the big brother stands up for his little brothers and offers the mean troll a second chance. It is a fun story, esoteric messages or not. I wish I were a better mother than I am. I spend too much time hubbing!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States Level 5 Commenter

Oh, you are just too darn nice, offering that troll a second chance! haha. My kids loved that story. Thanks for reminding me of those wonderful bedtime story evenings. I think that I enjoyed them as much as the kids did!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Sometimes Dolores, but not always. Sometimes the troll floats down river to troll town, then sits in the sun until she is dry. Then she goes into the McDonalds play place and scares the little children at the top of the slide. This usually involves some kind of demonstration where little Zane gets startled!! I'm glad you have some wonderful bedtime story memories. They hold a special place in my heart too.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 4 years ago

Very nice. So they didn't eat the troll? That wouldn't be as good an ending though. Thanks


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Micky Dee, in the traditional version of the story I heard growing up, the biggest goat knocked the troll off the bridge. Your ending would be a little more gruesome, but perhaps not as satisfying to a three-year-old. Thanks for your comment!


grannygoodearth profile image

grannygoodearth 4 years ago from Midwest

Glad to see others value a good children's story as much as I do! Great hub!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Yes, certainly! Children's stories are a wonderful addition to our troubled world. Thank you for your kind complement.


Art 4 Life profile image

Art 4 Life 4 years ago from in the middle of nowhere....

I loved your story!! I am going to tell it to my little grandson this weekend..I know he will love it...thank you so much for sharing it...


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Level 3 Commenter

Brilliant! Although from now on I'll not look at my friend Elaine in the same light.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Art I'm glad you found it and excited to hear you are sharing with your grandson. It would be fun to hear how you change it up!

Dim, thank you. As long as your friend Elaine doesn't have a beard you probably have nothing to worry about. My story uses names from our extended family that made an impression on my son, so the troll is his aunt, even though I don't think he finds her scary or even unlikable. Ah, children!


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing this story with us.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain Level 3 Commenter

Phew!!! Thanks for letting me know Wnbwsrtn., My Elaine has no beard. !!!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thanks, Sheila, and LOL Dim!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California'

Cute rendition ;) Nice of 'Mom' to share the cookies with Troll Elaine LOL


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thanks Enelle, I agree, Mom sure is nice!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 4 years ago from Canada

Ha, I loved your version. The one I tell my son is revamped too, but not as fun as yours. Perhaps I'll tell him your version tonight. Thanks!


susansisk profile image

susansisk 4 years ago from Georgia, USA

It is great that Kids can still enjoy mom told stories, instead of the television inspired ones all the time.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thanks Susan and Beth, I'm glad you liked it! Beth I hope your son enjoys the story.


lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 4 years ago from Virginia

Great story. Storytime with the little ones is a great memory to make. They grow up so fast.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thanks, lovelypaper, I really appreciate the comment!


pippap profile image

pippap 4 years ago from Surrey, BC

Brought back memories of when my dad used to read to us at night. I always loved it; and, looked forward to it every night.


ALYSSA 4 years ago

i love it so much i remeber when i was in pr.k my teacher use to read these to me i was happy i was laughting hard i could hardle breath so thanks it was good bye see you next time pes


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 4 years ago from australia Level 1 Commenter

Wannabwestern.Hi. The Three Billy Goats Gruff, is a wonderful story for children of all ages.

My Grandchildren absolutely love to snuggle up in bed while their Mother or myself read them a story, so they are really going to love this version when I read it to them.

Thank you it is beautiful. :) :)


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy reading this to them and changing it up to fit your family. We use cousin's names and the name of an aunt that was arbitrarily assigned to be the troll. She is actually a very pleasnt person, though!


 
habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Level 1 Commenter

Nice remake of an old fave! My dad used to tell me the story of the goats and the troll when I was a kid.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thanks habee, some nights we don't do the full-on version. My husband is especially effective at reducing the story to its barest details, but he has his own unique way of telling the story. I don't know why this story has become so special to our family, but it is fun to know someone else out there has a similar experience!


My Mother's Child profile image

My Mother's Child 4 years ago from Southern United States of America

My dad told this story to my brothers, sister and I time after time as we were growing up. The Three Billy Goats Gruff seems to be a story that simply must be revised for the teller and listners. Your story is supreme and I smile to think of how that son of yours will always remember his own special version of this classic story. No doubt too someday when he is an adult he will retell the story to a child, or groups of children. I'd pretty much bet he'll revise it a bit to make it his own for his own. I am 65 years old now and once again have been blessed to hear your tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Thank you!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thank you so much! That is rich and generous praise. I'm glad to get to know you here. I'm looking forward to seeing your hubs--we are in the middle of moving and having a baby, but I will see you soon on HP!


jairjohn 4 years ago

Very funny twist you've added to this story. My students will enjoy this version.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 4 years ago from The Land of Tractors Hub Author

Thanks jairjohn, I am honored that you would share it with your students, I hope they enjoy it!

    8192 characters left.
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your Hubs or other sites.


    wannabwestern profile image

    ,
    HubPages AuthorAugust 18, 2011

    Click to Rate This Article
    Please wait working