Huff and Puff and the Troll Hole
by Don Arthur Torgersen

A gnome is as small as a fox is tall
And twice as sly as a fox’s eye.
He’s clever and fast and hides in the grass
And may not come out til children run past.

Huff and Puff were two small gnomes who looked exactly alike. They wore red boots and red caps. Huff’s cap flopped to one side and Puff’s flopped to the other side. That’s the way you could tell who was who.



They were young gnomes and had not yet grown beards.
A gnome has to live for at least one hundred years before he grows a beard and three hundred years before his beard turns white.
Huff and Puff lived with their family in Pepper Tree Forest. They lived in a cozy home under the roots of a large oak tree.
Huff and Puff seemed to get into twice as much trouble as the other young gnomes. They liked to run through the forest, explore caves, and climb in the trees. Sometimes they climbed into the branches of an oak tree to drop acorns on their friends.
Once they dropped a large acorn that bounced right off their father’s head and left a big bump. Their father shook his fist at them and shouted so loud that he nearly blew them out of the tree.
Early one morning, Huff and Puff snuck away from home. It was so early that their mother and father were still snoring in bed. And it’s always darkest before the dawn even when you’re snoring.
The two gnomes set off on a short trip out of Pepper Tree Forest. They wanted to play tricks on a little girl who lived in a small blue cottage near the forest. When they reached the small blue cottage, they peeked through an open window.
Huff said to Puff, "Let’s tie knots in the little girl’s hair while she’s still sleeping."
"And pull the bedcovers off her bed," said Puff to Huff.
The two gnomes slipped through the open bedroom window. The little girl was sound asleep. Huff climbed up on the bed and tied elf knots in the little girl’s hair. Puff pulled all the covers off the bed and left them rumpled on the floor.
Then the two gnomes hid in the corner and began to chuckle to themselves. Suddenly, they heard a snarl and a loud MEOW! A large calico cat, who was sleeping alongside the bed, pounced at them from the shadows.
Huff and Puff were nearly scared out of their boots. They jumped through the window and ran away as fast as their little legs would go. They would be lucky to get home safely.
When the two gnomes ran back into the safety of the forest, they were seen by a large troll who had a long nose and a long tail. He only had one eye, but that was a large one, and it was set right in the middle of his forehead.
The troll was walking with two other trolls, and they were ugsome, ugsome, ugh-ugh-ugsome trolls. The three trolls were called Grunt, Bellow, and Roar because that’s how they sounded when they got excited and tried to talk.
But the three ugsome trolls only had eye among them. It was a very large troll’s eye that was passed from one troll to the other. Each troll could see only when he slapped the large eye right in the middle of his forehead.
It was Grunt’s turn to use the eye. "Hey, you guys," he said, "come with me. I think I saw two gnomes running into the forest."