The Troll TearA Children's story for Samhain
The night was very dark, with a Full Moon hanging in the
cloud-filled sky above. The air was crisp with the feel
of late Autumn and the doorway between the worlds was
wide open. Carved pumpkins sat on the porches of the
houses in the little town, and the laughter of children
dressed in costumes could be heard from the streets.
It was a sad time for Beth as she climbed the little hill
behind her house. In her arms was her cat and friend
Smoky, carefully wrapped in his favorite blanket. A
little grave was already dug on the hill, waiting,for smoky haddied
"Do you want me to go with you?" Beth's father had asked.
"I dug his grave beside MacDougal's at the top of the
hill." Beth clearly remembered when their dog MacDougal
had died after being hit by a car."No, I want to go by myself,"she
Beth stopped at the top of the hill and knelt beside the
little grave. She carefully laid Smoky's blanket-wrapped
form in the earth and covered it with dirt, laying
several large rocks on the top. Then she cried and cried.
"Oh, Smoky, I miss you so much!" Beth looked up at the
Moon, tears streaming down her cheeks. "Why did you die?"
"It was his time to rejoin the Mother," said a deep,
gentle voice in the darkness.
"Who said that?" Beth looked around but
saw no one.
"Dying is part of the cycle of life, you know." One of
the boulders on the hill stirred into life.
"Who are you?" The moonlight shone down on the little
woman, and Beth could see she was not human.
"I'm a troll-wife," said the creature as she came to sit
across from Beth. "This is a sad night for both of us,
girl. I, too, came to this hill to bury a friend." The
troll-wife wiped a crystal tear from her cheek. "The
squirrel was very old. Still it makes me sad."
Beth stared at the troll-wife. The little woman was the
color of rock in the moonlight, her hair like long
strands of moss, her bright eyes like shining crystals.
She wore a dress woven of oak leaves and tree bark.
"The squirrel and I lived together for a long time," the
troll-wife said. " We often talked to your cat when he
was hunting here on the hill. Smoky and I were friends. I
shall miss him, too." The little woman patted Smoky's
grave gently, "Sleep well, little friend. When you are
rested, we shall talk together again."
"But he's dead," Beth said, her voice choked with tears.
"Child, this is Samhain. Don't you know the ancient
secrets of this sacred time of year?" The troll-wife
motioned for Beth to come and sit beside her. "It is true
that our friends have gone into a world where we can no
longer physically touch them, but the Mother has given us
other ways of communicating with them. We can do this any
time, but the time of Samhain is the easiest."
"I don't understand how this can be done," Beth said,
"or why Samhain makes it easier."
"At this time of year," the troll-wife answered, "the
walls between this world and the world of souls and
spirits are very thin. If we quiet and listen, we can
hear our loved ones and they can hear us. We talk, not
with spoken words, but with the heart and mind."
"Isn't that just imagination?" Beth looked down at
Smoky's grave, tears once more coming into her eyes.
"Like my thinking I can feel MacDougal get up on my bed
at night like he used to?"
"Sometimes it is, but mostly it is not imagination, only
our friends come to see us in their spirit bodies." The
troll-wife reached up her hand and patted something Beth
couldn't see on her shoulder. "Like my friend the raven. He is here
Beth looked hard and saw a thin form of hazy moonlight on
the troll-wife's shoulder. "I've seen something like that
at the foot of my bed where MacDougal used to sleep." She
whispered. "I thought I was dreaming." She jumped as
something nudged her arm. When she looked down, nothing was there.
The troll-wife smiled. "Close your eyes and think of
MacDougal," she said. " He has been waiting a long time for you to
Beth closed her eyes and, at once, the form of her little
dog came into her mind. His tail wagged with happiness.
She felt a wave of love come from him, and she sent her
love back. Then she felt the dog lie down against her leg.
"Can I do this with Smoky?" Beth asked.
"Not yet," the troll-wife answered. "He needs to sleep a
while and rest. Then he will come to you. This gives
Smoky time to adjust to his new world, and you time to
grieve for him. It is not wrong to grieve, but we must not grieve
"I never thought of it that way," Beth said. "It's kind
of like they moved away, and we can only talk to them on the phone."
"It is this way with all creatures, not just animals."
The troll-wife stood up and held out an hand to Beth.
"Will you join me, human girl? Although I buried my
friend squirrel this night, I still must dance and sing
to all my friends and ancestors who have gone on their
journey into the other world. For this is a time to honor the
Beth joined the troll-wife in the ancient slow troll
dances around the top of the little hill in the
moonlight. She watched quietly while the troll-wife
called out troll-words to the four directions, words Beth
couldn't understand. Deep in her heart the girl felt the
power of the strange words and knew they were given in
honor and love by the little troll-wife.
When the troll-wife was finished with her ritual, she
hugged Beth. "Go in peace, human child," she said. "And
remember what I have told you about the ancient secret of Samhain."
"I will," Beth answered. "Will I ever see you again?"
"Whenever the Moon is Full, I will be here," the little
troll-wife said. " And especially at Samhain."
"I wish I had something to give you." Beth hugged the
little woman. "You have taught me so much." She felt the
tears come to her eyes again.
"Let us exchange tears for our lost
troll-wife reached up a rough finger and caught a tear as
it fell from Beth's eye. The tear glistened on her
finger. The troll-wife gently touched her finger to her
cloak, and Beth's tear shone there like a diamond in the moonlight.
Beth reached up carefully and caught one of the
troll-wife's tears as it slid down her rough cheek. It
turned into a real crystal in her hand.
"Remember the secret of Samhain, and remember me," the
troll-wife said softly as she disappeared into the
Beth walked back down the hill, the crystal
clutched in her hand. Her father was waiting for her on the porch.
"Are you all right?" her father asked as he gave Beth a hug.
"I will be," she answered. She opened her hand under the
porch light and saw a perfect, tear-shaped crystal lying there.
"Did you find something?" her father asked.
"A troll-tear," Beth answered, and her father smiled. For
he also knew the little troll-wife and the secret of Samhain.
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