He sat in the window bay of the café, alone. The same as he did yesterday and the day before yesterday and the yesterday before that. The troll drunk peppermint tea to help his complexion and wore his hat very low to protect his uncommon face from being seen by people who might mock him.
He had just finished reading a story about yet another troll who had made the news for being quarrelsome during some debate or other. With an involuntary sigh, he closed the newspaper and lay it down on the table. He rose to pay for his tea and smiled at the waitress. Upon hearing the trolls cumbersome footsteps, the waitress had already busied herself by looking at some speck of dust or other on the ground. She meekly held out her arm and snatched away his money.
He decided that he would spend the rest of the day helping the villagers go about their daily pursuits to show that not all trolls were of a rude and unruly sort and perhaps then the waitress might even smile at him. He pulled his hat lower over his head to hide his face from the world, and stepped outside.
In the park he saw some children playing. A child asked the troll if he would push their swings faster. He warned the children that it was dangerous but they pleaded until he gave in. The children on the swings laughed and giggled with delight. As the swings swung faster and the swangs swung higher one child came loose and fell with a bump. His cries alerted the child’s mother and father who had been chatting nearby: ‘Why do you always cause trouble? You oaf..’, they shouted at the Troll, ‘..why don’t you just go home!’ He tried to help but no one would listen, and the troll thought it best he be on his way.
In the fields he saw a broken down tractor, with two or three farmers wrestling with tools. The troll stood nearby and saw the problem at once. He tried to tell the farmers about the missing cog, and said he would be able to fix the problem if they gave him just a moment of their time. The farmers laughed at the troll: ‘Why would we listen to a troll? You only cause problems! Our farm is none of your concern! Leave here and let us work in peace!’ The troll thought it best he be on his way.
He saw a group of women collecting water from a murky pool. He told them it would be best to collect the water higher upstream, as the water from the pool could be contaminated. The women laughed at the troll: ‘What would a troll know about water? I doubt you have ever bathed in all of your life!’ The troll dipped his head and continued on his way.
Later that day in the village he saw the annual fete was undergoing its final preparations. The troll looked up at the clouds and foresaw that a tremendous storm was on its way. He thought he should warn everyone in the village to stay inside where it would be safer. It just so happened that the first person he saw was the waitress. He told her that she should stay inside because the storm could be dangerous. The waitress did not take heed and shouted at the troll: ‘Everyone knows about you! We read about your sort every day! You cause nothing but trouble wherever you go! Just go home and do not ruin the fete for everyone else!’
The thoughtful troll was despondent and heavy with the gloom and wrath of the entire village so he thought it best that he retire to his home beneath the stars.
As the storm raged and tore its way through the night, the troll was racked with guilt: ‘What if somebody was hurt and I did not warn them?’ he thought.
The clouds cleared and the night turned to day. The troll pulled his hat down even further than normal. He sat in his usual place in the window bay of the cafe. The same as he did yesterday and the day before yesterday and the yesterday before that.
The waitress brought his paper over to him and she flicked through to an article near the front about how a village had miraculously escaped any harm after the worst storm in a hundred years. It told of how a troll had told a local waitress about the storm, and how upon feeling the first few drops of rain she had decided to trust the troll and warn the whole village. He looked up and let his eyes peep below his hat into hers. She was smiling.
A moment later the mother and father from the previous day came into the cafe clutching their copy of the same newspaper and said that their child had been asking about the troll all of the previous evening. They said the child had told his mother and father that the troll ‘was his favourite person in the entire world!’ The mother and father apologised and said they would not be so quick to judge him in future.
The farmers also came in, and said the troll was right about the missing cog. They said they would not believe everything they had heard about trolls any more and even asked if he would like a job working on the farm with them.
The group of women did not come to the cafe to thank the troll on account of their tummy ache, but passed on a note that read something about being ‘..very sorry..’ and ‘..unable to leave the lavatory for 13 hrs..’.
The thoughtful troll pushed aside his peppermint tea that he drunk to help his complexion and removed his hat that he wore to hide his face. He walked outside and let the sun touch his skin and for the first time he didn’t feel like he was troll any more. He was a person, just like everybody else.