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"Three Billy Goats Gruff" (Norwegian: De tre bukkene Bruse) is a Norwegian fairy tale. The fairy tale was collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in their Norske Folkeeventyr, first published between 1841 and 1844.

The Troll Bridge

Plot

The story introduces three male [[goat]]s, sometimes identified as a youngster, father and grandfather, but more often described as brothers. In other adaptations, there is a baby or child goat, mama goat and papa goat. In any case, there is almost no grass left for them to eat near where they live, so they must cross a river to get to a meadow or hillside on the other side of a stream in order to eat and fatten themselves up. To do so, however, they must first cross a bridge, under which lives a fearsome and hideous troll, who is so territorial that he eats anyone who tries to cross the bridge.

The smallest billy goat is the first to cross and is stopped abruptly by the troll who threatens to "gobble him up!" However, the little goat convinces the troll to wait for his big brother to come across, because he is larger and would make for a more gratifying feast. The greedy troll agrees and lets the smallest goat cross.

The medium-sized goat passes next. He is more cautious than his brother, but is also stopped by the troll and given the same threat. The second billy goat is allowed to cross as well after he tells the troll to wait for the biggest billy goat because he is the largest of the three.

The third billy goat then gets on the bridge and is stopped by the hungry troll. When the troll threatens to devour him, however, the third billy goat challenges him and knocks the troll off the bridge with his horns. The troll falls into the stream and is carried away by the current. From then on the bridge is safe, and all three goats are able to go to the rich fields around the summer farm in the hills, and they all live happily ever after.

Successors

Three Billy Goats Gruff: Three Billy Goats Gruff

Troll: Bridge Troll

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