Howardism Musings from my Awakening Dementia
My collected thoughts flamed by hubris
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Each night, my daughter asks me to tell her a story. She often starts the story giving me the characters and some of the plot, but I have to do the rest. This story, however, is a story I told many, many years ago when I lived down in Southern Utah where there is a canyon full of shapes formed by mud.

The Three Brothers Troll

Between two snow-covered mountain peaks, there flowed a waterfall that watered a deep, dark forest. And in the middle of this forest was a small hut, and in the hut was an old woman, and on the woman was a fly, and in the fly was an ocean and in the middle of the ocean was an island, and in the middle of the island lived the Three Brothers Troll.

Now this story takes place long before the Sun and the Moon cast their light upon the world, for this story takes place in the dark. For the dark back then was a dark that you could feel. A dark that would stick to your skin, and the Three Brothers Troll didn't like the darkness. But they liked the heat even less, for even though it was dark, their land was quite hot.

So they used to lounge around in a big mud hole that they called *The Bath*. And they would take a large bottle of hooch with them to pass between them. Before one would take a turn at the jug, he would always say, "Here's mud in your eye."

While it may have started out as some sort of joke, they had been saying this slogan for as long as they could remember. They had been wallowing like pigs in this mud for as long as they could remember. They had been brothers for as long as they could remember.

On one particular muddy-wallowing-drinking-hooch occasion, Tom, the one with three horns, said, "Here's mud in your eye." and Bill, the one with three teeth, took a glob of mud and threw it at him.

"Ow! Now whaddya haf ta go un doo dat fahr? Youse hit me in mah eye!" cried Tom.

"Ah, shaddyup witcha. Bert was jusa bein' bored un all," said Bill.

Bert didn't like the accusation and explained, "Ay! It wasn't me dat did a thing. I was jusa thinkun 'ow much youse smell, Bill."

The arguing got louder and more heated and the only way to cool each other off was to throw more mud, and that is just what they did. Soon each of the Three Brothers Troll were covered from the top of their horns to the bottom of their claws in mud.

But wearing a coat of mud didn't slow the Three Brothers Troll. They continued to hurl mud and insults back and forth until one poorly aimed glob missed its victim and flew out of The Bath and out of the valley and landed on the house of Gracea, the Witch.

This witch had a shiny stone that she used to see through the inky darkness, and when she saw the mud on her house, out she came peering through the darkness at the Three Brothers Troll.

"Awright boys, Which of you threw that mud on my house?" she cackled.

"Uh, Isa sure it wasa Bill," said Tom.

"Oh no, its wasna me. It wasa Bert," said Bill.

"Oy! Me didnut do it. It wasa Tom!" cried Bert.

While the blame was being passed around like their usual jug, a glob of mud left the vicinity of The Bath and headed towards the Witch, but before she could move, it hit the witch… you guessed it. Right on the glass eye.

She was so mad that she started jumping up and down and yelling in own language, and soon the mud started to dry up and turn to stone. And the Three Brothers Troll, who were covered in mud and part mud themselves, found themselves stuck under the mud.

As a boy, I used to run around and on top of the Three Brothers Troll, or the mud that covers them. For they are still there, just waiting for enough rain to come and wash away the mud.

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