My Head of Curriculucm emailed me today asking whether I had some figures for him or whether he would need to 'troll' though existing data in order to garner the relevant statistics.
Yes, our Head of Curriculum.
In sharing this faux pas with my colleague we mused briefly on the meaning of 'troll',which has of course been hijacked by social media to refer to unpleasant internet types.
"It's one of those little creatures with the fuzzy hair," I lamely offered, thinking of the dolls, which had been popular for a time in my youth, and of 'The Hall of The Mountain King' which I had imagined populated by these cute little fellers.
"Or wasn't it the monster under the bridge in the story of 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff'?" my colleague offered.
"Oh yeah! The one where the troll eats them and then they cut open his stomach and put in stones!!!"
My friend's face suggested that this was not the version she had heard!
"No, really," I blustered, "I'm sure that's what happens isn't it?"
Have I mentioned how much I love Google? Quick as a flash I typed in 'Three Billy Goats Gruff' and discovered that the largest Billy Goat had tossed ye olde troll off the bridge with his horns, thus bringing an end to him.
So, not the stones then.
But I was not content. I knew there was a story which involved stones and a stomach and cutting open something. So I googled those key words. Sure enough, up came the story of 'The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids' on a website entitled:The Baldwin Project: Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children. With a byline, The Rainbow Book of Fairy Tales for Five Year Olds, this website proceeded to tell the story of seven little kids being swallowed whole by a wicked wolf and released from their captivity by their mother with scissors and a needle. Replacing the kids with stones, she restitches the wolf's stomach, all without disturbing him untowardly during his afternoon nap! Naturally, the wolf awakes with a great thirst (as you do after major surgery) and trots off to the well where he falls in and drowns due to the stones in his stomach.
He ran to the miller and said, "Strew some white meal over my feet for me."
The miller thought to himself, "The wolf wants to deceive some one," and refused; but the wolf said,
"If thou wilt not do it, I will devour thee." Then the miller was afraid, and made his paws white for him.
Truly, men are like that.
And let's face it folks...that's what our daughters need to know about, at five!
PS: Coincidentally I had only been discussing troll/trawl in a spelling lesson with Year threes today! They had managed to include 'trall' in a list of words with the 'all' ending. Most thought it meant an internet nasty (yes, in year 3, aged approx 8 they know about internet nasties) and sadly, no-one suggested a method of fishing or searching. Interestingly, on googling 'trawl', it mentioned 'troll' as a type of fishing too, one where lines are dragged rather than nets. So perhaps my Head of Curriculum's expression isn't so wrong after all! Although I will be interested to know with what he intends to bait his line!!