I’m a swamp troll. My name is Epsik. Dad and Mom call me Epsu. I have got dark hair and a shaggy tail. I have a belly and fast toes. I’m a bit of a good troll and a bit of a bad one too. I’m bad when I splash water from the swamp into my father’s slippers. Or when I secretly shove a chewed piece of oak bark into my little sister’s mouth. But she likes it! I am good when I help dragonflies stuck in the swamp mud to get free. And when I hide an earthworm left in the sun under a birch leaf.
But most of the time I’m simply a troll. Just like the rest of us.


I live in a swamp. And I live in the forest. With my family. I have a troll mom. I have a troll dad. My sister is Tralla and my brother’s name is Goody Two-shoes. And we have a lot of relatives, grannies and grandads.
Forest trolls are not my relatives. They are relatives of trees. They know how to make themselves the same colour as the trees. We are swamp trolls. We can change our colours. So that people would not see us.


I come from the world of trolls. It’s different from the world of people. We don’t have houses. We live under hillocks and trees. And inside the rocks. Some even live under moss.
It’s good to live with trolls. There are many of us, and everyone knows a few secrets. Some trolls are forest trolls. Some swamp trolls. I think there are also cloud trolls and wind trolls.
We don’t live alone in the troll country. Trees and plants also live here. Animals and insects. The Wood Spirit and the Mother Earth. I don’t know all of them yet because I’m small. Little troll kid.


I usually go to ‘Trollila’ to play. When the mom and dad are at work. But some days, I have to go to the Wood Spirit. I know real kids go to the doctor. The Wood Spirit is our doctor.
I go to the Wood Spirit when my stomach aches. The Wood Spirit will pat my tummy and draw a new heart there. So, mommy will know where to pat. He gives me medicine, too. He says the pills are making my stomach feel better.


The mothers and fathers of all the troll kids go to work. They take care of the forest and the swamp. Everything that grows there wants care.
The troll kids go to ‘Trollila’. ‘Trollila’ is like a nursery. The oldest troll moms, the ones who can no longer turn wild strawberries to the sun, are ‘Trollila’ teachers. They guard us, play with us and teach us. Yesterday, for example, I learned that swamp frogs jump, and you shouldn’t ride them. The troll mom suggested that you sit on the toad instead. But, you know, it’s awfully boring. Toad walks so slowly!


Sometimes all ‘Trollila’ children go swimming in the swamp. Do you know that trolls are very good swimmers? If I have a hard day and the tummy pats do not do any good, then I cannot swim. Then I can’t catch sunspots. I cannot eat blueberries, not even cranberries. I want to be in my bed at home. I want to watch the Cloud TV. Alone. That’s when I’m sad. Because I can’t do everything that others do.


I’m happy when the sun shines into the forest. I’m happy when it rains in the swamp. I love to lie in the sun and run under the rain. And to swim in the swamp. I like it when my hair drips.
I’m happy to be with my family. And when we all, troll kids, turn into colourful leaves and come into the world of people. The Wood Spirit can show us the human world. It’s our secret.
I get most happy when You paint my picture. And when you play with me or cuddle me.


I’m here so that you could pat my tummy.
I’m here so you can tangle my hair and hide secret things in my pockets. You can sometimes put your pain in there. And your sadness. I can turn it into a pleasure, believe me!
I have come to be your friend and tell you how trolls live in the woods and the swamp.


I want you to cuddle me when your stomach hurts.
I want you to cuddle me when you’re scared.
I want to remind your Mommy and Daddy to pat your tummy, cuddle you and read you stories. Stories about other children and swamp trolls and forest trolls and the world. Just so that you would know the world is beautiful and a good place even when some days are hard!


The Wood Spirit can make dolls out of trolls. If you want my doll for yourself, ask your Mom, Dad or grandma to write or call the Estonian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Society. That’s where you can find out what you should do.
But if you want me right now, print out my picture, paint and place it on the wall!