Fossegrimen, the waterfall troll


Before bidding Betws-y-Coed farewell, we stopped to visit Swallow Falls. The reviews on TripAdvisor said it was a must-see and despite a bit of grumbling on Jason’s part about the £1.50 entry fee, we all enjoyed the stunning views. The pictures speak for themselves of the beauty of the falls so there’s not much I can add about that. So instead, I’ll share with you a little story from my childhood in between some pretty photos of us looking at nature.

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I started playing violin at six years old and my mom swears this all started upon my request. This claim has yet to be verified and several gallons of preteen and teenage tears over practicing have me questioning otherwise. But that’s a story for another time (and a professional therapist).

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Being the good Norwegian mother that she is, my mom thought it appropriate to tell me the exciting story of Fossegrimen, the waterfall troll. Now that I was going to be a violin player, I could expect a visit from Fossegrimen while I was sleeping. She could have stopped right there and I would have had plenty of material for nightmares. But no, the story continued. Fossegrimen would come into my room while I was sleeping ( and break all my fingers (are you kidding me?!) so that I would become an amazing violin player.


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Obviously, sleeping in my room became a major issue as I was absolutely certain an overfed, long-haired leaping gnome (WAR, anyone?) was coming to sabotage my phalanges in a painful way. This may have actually been a clever ploy by my mom to get me to snuggle with her at night. We’ll never know.

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I should also mention that we had trolls decorating our house as well and as all kids know, trolls come to life in the middle of the night. So no matter how many times I checked my windows and doors to make sure they were locked, the enemy was already inside and I had no defense. That is, until, my dad made me a troll hunting stick out of a rhododendron branch. On nights when I wasn’t curled around my mom in the fetal position, I was tightly clutching my troll stick anticipating a sneak attack.

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Luckily for Lena, troll trauma didn’t make the cut when we picked our parenting style. No worries though, I’m sure we’ll come up with our own special ways of passing on dysfunction.

Sidenote: Upon further investigation, I’ve found that my mom’s story about Fossegrimen isn’t quite in line with folklore. Apparently, Fossegrimen is a spirit living in waterfalls who plays his fiddle day and night and if you bring him a choice piece of meat, he’ll teach you to play as well. You really put the “grim” in Fossegrimen, Laila. Well played.


By | 2017-02-10T16:56:33+00:00 October 3rd, 2013|Days Out, Travel With Kids|1 Comment

About the Author:

Wife, mama, graphic designer, and documentary photographer. Never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like. I love celebrating special occasions, exploring new cities through their local cuisine, and kissing my babies incessantly.

One Comment

  1. […] proper Scandinavian children. I grew up with these creepy monsters all over the house and have the psychological issues to prove it. As a reward for their bravery, we let the kids wander around the Lego […]

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