“Know why people quicken when they cross o’er that bridge yonder?
It’s so’s their feet don’t get swept from under them, s’what I ponder.
‘Cause once you slide over the ledge, you’re troll meat, good and true.
‘No such thing,’ you say! I know a troll who disagrees. Do too.
He likes to be called Lurk, for that’s what he does, watching, waiting.
Knows if he’s patient and ankles trot too close to the railing…
What do you mean no one’s reported a troll under that bridge?
You think he’s vegetarian? No, not ‘ol Lurk, not a smidge.
How’s it I come to tell of him? Well, that’s good yer askin’.
Lean in close. I’ll tell you true, as I did me some unmaskin’.
See, not an hour past, I were myself alone on that ‘ol arc.
Having a moment see, just my thoughts and me,while it grows dark.
I hear a rumble, then a growl, and a mighty cursed speaking.
‘Hello,’ calls I, and then I spy the clasping claws a’creeping.
Up comes the top of a gnarly troll head, then those watchful eyes.
Up comes a tongue smacking hungry troll lips and sharp teeth besides.
‘I say,’ says I, ‘you’re a troll, no lie, and that means somethin’, see.’
‘So I am,’ says he. ‘A hungry troll, but a fed troll I’ll be.’
‘They must call you somethin’ says I, thinkin swiftly what to do.
‘Aye,’ says he, ‘I lurk in the shadows ready to feast on you.’
‘But a name,’ I press for I’m stallin’ now, devisin’ an out.
‘Lurk,’ he says with his toothy troll smile, while I ready a shout.
But a thought stays my call. For why shouldn’t I live after all?
‘Would you say,’ says I, ‘is it more fun to eat many, or one?’
The troll, in his great wisdom, stops to consider. ‘Many sounds fun.
‘You could snack on me,’ says I, “but what if I could bring you three?’
Ol’ Lurk has a think and he gives a nod. ‘Aye, make them tasty.’
‘Give them good ale and a meal hot and filling then bring them here.’
‘Tell ’em my name and of my teeth for I like em full o fear.’
I see in your three gazes that now you’re not so quick to mock.
For these woods are full of shadows and you yet have far to walk.
Do you feel dark eyes upon you?
Perhaps that is not a breeze,
but troll breath, thick and heavy making that rustling in the trees.
That twig snapping in the dark there could it be a little mouse?
Or might it be a hungry troll roughly the size of a house?
You three travelers, back at the inn, were so ready to smirk.
See that shadow there? Did I not mention that the troll’s called ‘Lurk?'”