When the horse pulled the wagon out onto the troll bridge, the smell
was overpowering. An unmistakable odour was coming up from underneath, an
unwholesome sort of smell that reminded everyone of old basements and dirty
tunnels with a good many mouldy old trunks and mildewy closets thrown in.
"Maybe you better use pennies after all," said Jennifer.
"Won't," said the porcupine, sulking.
He shook the stones in his fist a few times, pulled back his arm and
threw them over the side of the bridge.
"Pennies for the troll," he called out loudly.
The stones hit the water with a plop-plop-plop. For a moment there was
silence. Then an enormous splashing occurred underneath the bridge and the
stones came flying back up again, landing in front of the wagon.
"Oh-oh," said the horse. "That's not a good sign."
A great roar echoed out from underneath the bridge and rattled the wagon
like thunder. The horse bolted for the other side, but he found his way
blocked by an enormous troll. It was hairy and scarey and big and fat; as
fierce as a wildcat and as strong as a bear, only more so, with sharper
teeth and longer claws. Its hair was like a bramble of prickers. Its eyes
were like sparks spat from a fire. Its breath was indescribable.
The troll started towards the wagon with a bellow of rage. The horse
backed away only to be met by another bellow from the other end of the bridge.
A second troll, even bigger and more horrible than the first, was climbing
up behind them and the wagon was trapped in between.
"Oh nol" gasped the horse. "It's a family business!"
The whole bridge started to shake as the two trolls approached the wagon
from opposite directions. It was time for someone to do something fast.
"Help!" squeaked the porcupine and he fainted.
"Don't eat the horse! Don't eat the horse!" cried the horse
hysterically and he closed his eyes tight.
"Back off you trolls!" shouted Rachael.
"Go away or we'll call the police!" called out Jamie.
The trolls just continued to stomp closer. They had obviously never
heard of the police.
"The pennies! " cried Jennifer and she undid the lid.
She grabbed a handful of pennies from the jar, so did Jamie and Rachael,
and they all threw them into the air.
"Pennies for the trolls!" they shouted.
They threw handfuls of them into the air and suddenly there were pennies
everywhere. The trolls went after the cash in a flash, they dashed this
way and that, gobbling up the coins like candies. The horse opened one eye
to see if he was eaten yet, and when he saw that he wasn't he gave a whinny
of relief and galloped away off the bridge. But the children didn't stop
"Pennies for the troll! Pennies for the troll!" they called over
and over until the jar was all empty and they had collapsed exhausted on