Friday

One day, while walking in a wood,

Imagine ... you are walking one day through a wood. There on the ground, right in front of an old hawthorn, is a battered and tattered book, bound in worn leather, the colour of dusky orange earth.


You pick up this old book, glancing this way and that, to see who might have dropped it. How strange!
The back of the book is skewered with a thick red pencil made from a hewn tree branch, its centre carefully hollowed and stuffed with what look like dried juices of ripe holly berry. And the cover! It’s like no ordinary cover you’ve ever seen before.

As you turn the gnarled book in your hands, the shape speaks softly to you - here are a pair of stiff pointed ears, sticking right out the top of the book! And there! From the inside, a tuft of white beard! 


You glance over your shoulder, and stuff the book quickly into your woodsman’s bag, because - you know it now for sure - this book belongs to one who lives close by. This book is a book dropped in haste. Someone scurrying with the urgency of escape - perhaps to the bundle of roots they call home - let this book fall from their grasp. This is their book! And soon, very soon, they’ll return quietly in search of it, because between its precious pages are the spells that whisper to the reader where to seek the tendrils of Gold that coil within the earth.


This is the most precious book of the wood.


For this is the Book of the Troll.


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