Over at The Realm of Hachette …

White fox by Kathleen Jennings

… my post on Ten Scary Creatures from Fairy Tales and Mythology is up!

As an avid reader and self-confessed story junkie I’ve spent most of my life reading books of fairy and folk tales, legends, myths, religious texts, apocrypha, and demanding the people around me tell me stories. My mind, therefore, is a really big treasure chest of, well, stuff. When I say “treasure chest” I mean like that drawer in the kitchen where you put EVERYTHING: all the useful stuff, like the good scissors, the different lengths of string, the cool cookie cutters, that allen key you need for the Ikea shelves, the last couple of headache tablets and cough drops, the sharpie, a tiny scrap of ribbon for when you’re wrapping an emergency birthday present … you know, the stuff that seems like crap but is in fact entirely useful in the right situation. So I offer some items from the top sedimentary layer of my personal kitchen drawer/brain treasury: my Top Ten Scary Creatures from Fairy Tales and Mythology

1. Trolls

Generally found in Norse fairy tales and mythology, trolls come in various forms, some live in caves, mountains, under bridges, some look more like humans, but most seem to be generally described as lumpy, bumpy and not at all attractive. They’re nasty and smelly, overly fond of treasure, not too bright and, if you believe Tolkien, tend to turn to stone in the sunlight. Plus there’s their nasty habit of swapping human babies for their own, leaving a squalling changeling in the cradle like a cuckoo for harried parents to bring up. In “Tatterhood” while the ugly sister is fighting the trolls, the pretty sister opens the window to watch ? and a troll snatches off her head and replaces it with a calf’s (of course!). Eventually the ugly sister beats the trolls and gets her sister’s head back, but it’s touch and go for the pretty one’s modelling career for a while. My favourite version of this story is Mike Mignola’s The Troll Witch.

The rest is here.

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