Coffee Break Read – Trolls

Excerpt from Aaspa’s Eyes by Jane Jago. You can listen to this on YouTube too.

We all slept like the dead, and I don’t know when I would have awoken if it wasn’t for Owlet’s bladder. Even then it was a long time after dawn when he blew in my ear.
‘Mother. Owlet needs to piss.’
I sat up.
‘Okay. You go behind that tree there.’
He scrambled out of our warm bed and made a dash, returning quite quickly with a broad grin.
‘Better. Now Owlet hungry.’
‘There’s a surprise. Let Mother see what she can do.’
I got up and ambled over to the cook fire, which had smouldered all night. I fed it till it blazed nicely, and I was just wondering what to cook when one of the female trolls came out of the cave with a covered basket on her arm. She bowed respectfully and proffered the basket. I lifted the cover to find it contained fresh flat troll bread, several pats of butter, and a smaller basket of eggs.
‘Thank you sister’ I smiled, being very careful not to show my teeth.
‘Is little. Big Club is awake and himself again. Small thanks.’
I found a suitable pot and melted some butter.
‘Owlet’ I said ‘can you wake everyone? Politely. I’m making scrumbled egg.’
He leapt out of bed and went around tapping shoulders and whispering. By the time I had fried some alliums and fungus, I had quite an audience. Aanma and Aanda appointed themselves my assistants and buttered slices of flatbread. I tipped the eggs into my pot and they took but a minute to cook. Everybody was served quickly, and I was pleased to note that, with the exception of the tiny fae babe, who was being fed by Owlet, the former prisoners were all feeding themselves and looking much better. One of the adult fae came and sat beside me.
‘Where did you get bread and eggs? I was expecting porridge again. Would have been welcome. But this is tastier.’
‘A present from the trolls.’
She looked surprised, and I laughed.
‘Trolls’ I explained ‘don’t eat meat.’
‘You sure? We are taught that they are cannibalistic. Also, they are supposed to pull faery wings off, and keep the maimed fae in their larders to eat later.’
I laughed and shook my head. ‘I know trolls look brutish, but they really aren’t. They are actually pacifists. The clubs are for show, and self defence if they are really pushed. They eat only vegetables and dairy. Incidentally, they make the best butter and cheese of any species.’

Jane Jago.

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