Once upon a time, there was a girl……
She was just an ordinary girl, she wasn’t treated badly by a wicked stepmother and she wasn’t a fairytale princess or destined by some twist of fate to meet a prince and become a princess.
She was always a bit of a loner as a child and prefered the company of her books and favourite cartoon movies to the other kids her age as they would tease her for silly things, like not having the ‘right’ school bag (aka one with a big brand name emblazoned all over it which made it ‘cool’) or for not having crush on the ‘right’ kind of boys (what could she do? She just happened to be drawn to the geeks like herself)
Every day the girl trudged through a big swamp, not to go anywhere, in particular, it seemed to be a curse that everywhere she went there was just a big energy sapping swamp to drag herself through.
It was hard, it was tiring and sometimes when a storm arrived she would find it too hard to go on so she would just sit…..up to her neck in the thick muddy waters and wait for it to pass before getting up and trudging on some more.
A few years passed and the negative comments that had been carefully stored by the girl’s brain into a special little compartment began to manifest into a little troll who lived in her head. He was a mean and nasty little grey creature, shriveled and angry looking and he liked to whisper mean things to the girl every time she thought that she deserved something good.
One day as she was dragging herself wearily through her swamp the little troll spied a water well. He directed the girl to the well and then kicked her into it!
The well was large and it was deep and the water was just a little higher than the girl was tall. Drowning would be as easy as just giving up trying.
The girl spent many years treading water in the well and the troll was happy. She was making bad choices that kept her in the water and never tried to escape the well as it was far too high and even if she made it what was the point? She would still be knee deep in swamp water right?
A few more years passed and the girl had grown up and had a baby girl of her own. She decided that a well was no place for a baby so she decided to climb out of the well. It was hard!
The walls were wet and slippery but she knew things had to change so she ignored the troll in her head and she climbed! She slipped a few times on the way up but she kept on climbing and though it took a whole year to do it she made it to the top of the well.
The troll was so unhappy that he passed out from rage and the woman and her baby found a small patch of dry grass close to the well and lived happily on their ‘island’ for a while.
Soon through the troll recovered and began whispering to the woman again. He managed to get her to visit the well a few times but he couldn’t get her back down it no matter how hard he tried.
Happily ever after?
The woman met a man who was passing by her island and they fell in love. He was a good man and he helped the woman to empty some water from her swamp. He said nice things to her many times a day and grey little troll began to shrink and become quieter.
They had 2 more children and the sun began to shine on their now much bigger island. They were happy.
Then a storm rolled in and the troll snapped awake and seized his moment! He picked the woman up and threw her back in the well.
The woman wasn’t taking this lying down though. She knew now how it felt to be happy and she knew she would get back there again! Her husband threw down a rope and helped her to begin climbing again. He tried to help as much as he could but he children needed him too so the woman climbed when he helped her and rested when he was away. Sometimes she would rest too long and more than once she slipped all the way back down to the water but she kept climbing and once again got clear of the well.
The woman and her family will probably always live on that island near the well. The little troll now lives inside the well and calls to the woman daily. Sometimes the love and laughter of her family drown out the trolls calls sometimes a storm will blow in and make his calls louder, or worse, blow her back down the well again. But she knows no matter how many times she falls down that she can get back up again and that the sunshine at the top is worth the fight.