by S.E. Schlosser
Mighty the black Labrador lived on a small farm. Every day she inspected the vegetable garden, looked for intruders and watched the horse. She took good care of the farm for the Hadleys.
One day, Mighty was walking in the pasture where Dixie, the Hadley’s horse was grazing. To Mighty’s surprise, Dixie refused to go near the stream to get a drink of water. Mighty decided to investigate. She ran down to the bridge.
Trip, trap went her feet on the old gray boards.
“Who’s that tramping over my bridge?” roared a fierce voice from underneath the bridge.
Mighty cautiously looked under the bridge. She saw a pair of eyes as big as saucers. A long nose poked out at her. Then a big hairy arm reached out to grab her.
Mighty ran out of reach and barked at the Thing. It laughed and laughed at her. Mighty did not know what to do. She ran up to the fence and barked.
Candy, the Hadley’s daughter came and opened the gate for her. “What’s the matter, Mighty?” she asked.
Mighty tried to pull Candy down to the stream. Candy thought Mighty wanted to play and threw a stick for her. Mighty followed Candy up to the house, trying to decide what to do. She flopped down on the rug in Candy’s bedroom.
Candy was sorting through her books. “What should I read to you today Mighty?” asked Candy, waving a book in the air. On the cover was a picture of a goat crossing a bridge and under the bridge…
Mighty sat up quickly. Under the bridge was a pair of eyes as big as saucers! Mighty barked excitedly.
“You want to hear the Three Billy Goats Gruff?” asked Candy. Mighty wagged her tail. “Okay.” Candy said.
She sat down on the rug next to Mighty and read the story. Mighty listened carefully. The Thing under the bridge was a troll. A big billy goat could tramp on the troll and get rid of it. But the Hadley’s did not own a billy goat, so Mighty still did not know how to get rid of the troll.
At dinner Mighty lay on the floor listening to the family talk. Mr. Hadley said: “I don’t understand what’s wrong with Dixie. She won’t go near the far end of the pasture. She went back to the barn to get a drink of water. I had a look around but nothing was there.”
“That is strange,” Mrs. Hadley said.
After dinner, Mighty went outside with Candy. Candy wanted to find out what was frightening Dixie. Mighty distracted her by running down to the stream outside the fence. Candy followed.
As Mighty sniffed around the edge of the stream she got an idea. Mighty rolled a big rock toward the stream. It landed, plop, right into the middle of the water. Mighty rolled another stone into the stream. It landed beside the first.
“Let’s build a dam!” cried Candy excitedly. They worked for more then an hour, until only a trickle of water ran through the rocks. A pool of water was forming behind the dam.
Mighty was pleased. She would show that old troll.
That night and all the next day it rained. The whole family stayed inside. Mighty looked out the window, imagining the pool behind the dam growing deeper and deeper.
The next morning, Mighty accompanied Mr. Hadley down to the stream. Mr. Hadley frowned. “Why do you suppose the water level is so low?” he asked Mighty. “After yesterday the stream should be flooded.”
He followed the stream up to where the dam stood. There was a huge pool of water behind it. Mighty barked excitedly.
“Candy has been busy here.” said Mr. Hadley. “We’ll have to break this down Mighty.” He set to work.
Mighty slipped away to watch the bridge. A pair of eyes as big as saucers gleamed in the shadows underneath it.
As Mighty watched, the water in the stream flowed a little faster. More and more water ran past.
Suddenly a large wall of water came roaring toward the bridge. The troll gave a shriek as he was lifted by the water and swirled downstream, under the fence and far away.
Mighty barked and barked. From up near the barn, Dixie neighed excitedly.
Mr. Hadley came to see what all the noise was about. He looked at the water rushing under the bridge. “It’s a good thing you were not down by the stream, Mighty. You would have been swept out to sea.” he said.
Mighty went over to the bridge. She walked across its gray boards; trip, trap and lay down in the center.
She watched Dixie stroll down to the water and take a drink. Mighty sighed happily. No troll would ever get the best of her.
Copyrighted content: This is an original story by S.E. Schlosser, who owns the copyright. It may not be reproduced, reprinted or used in any other way without the permission of the author. Teachers may link to or photocopy this story as part of their classwork.