The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Learn about the origin of the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Once there were Three billy goats who were all brothers and who shared the last name of Gruff.

The Littlest Billy Goat

smallest billy goatOne day, the littlest billy goat decided to go onto the hillside where the grass grew lush and green.  There, he thought, he could eat all the delicious grass he wanted.

But first he had to go over a bridge that crossed a stream.

Trit-trot, trit-trot, the little billy goat’s hooves tapped the planks as he made his way across the bridge.

“WHO’S CROSSING MY BRIDGE?” Growled the voice of an ugly troll who lived beneath the bridge in its mossy shadows.

“It is only I,” bleated a small voice, “the littlest billy goat.”


“Oh, please Mr. Troll,” cried the littlest billy goat.  “Please, don’t eat me!  I’m so small, I’d barely make a mouthful.  But my brother, the second billy goat, who is much bigger and fatter than I am, will be by here soon.  Why don’t you eat him instead?”

“Oh, alright,” the troll grumbled as he settled back onto his slimy rock, “but get off my bridge!”

Much relieved, the littlest billy goat trotted over the bridge and up the hillside, where he immediately began to enjoy the lush, green grass.

2nd medium billy goat.

The Second Billy Goat

Soon, the second billy goat saw his brother grazing happily on the hillside and decided that he too would like to dine there.  Trip-trap, Trip-trap, the second billy goat’s hooves souned on the planks of the old bridge.

“WHO’S CROSSING MY BRIDGE?!” growled the troll from beneath those planks.

“It is only I,” said a medium-sized voice, “the second billy goat.”


“Oh, please Mr. Troll” cried the goat.  “Please don’t eat me!” I wouldn’t make much of a meal compared to my big brother the biggest billy goat.  He’s much bigger and fatter than I am.  Why don’t you eat him instead when he comes by?”

“Oh, alright,”  grumbled the Troll, who was getting hungrier and crabbier, “but get the heck off my bridge!”

So, with a sigh of relief, the second billy goat hurried over the bridge and up the hillside where he and his little brother together enjoyed the lush, green grass.

big billy goat

The Biggest Billy Goat

Soon, the biggest billy goat noticed that his little brothers were getting fat on the hillside and he decided to join them.  CLIP-CLOP, CLIP-CLOP, the biggest billy goat’s hooves sounded loudly as he walked across the bridge and the planks bent under his weight.

“WHO IS CROSSING MY BRIDGE?!” growled the hungry troll.

“IT IS I,” growled a large voice in return, “I  AM THE BIGGEST BILLY GOAT!  WHO ARE YOU?”

“I AM THE TROLL!” came a snarling reply.  ” AND THIS IS MY BRIDGE YOU ARE CLOMPING OVER!  SO NOW, BIGGEST BILLY GOAT, I’M GOING TO GOBBLE YOU UP!” and with that the great drooling troll came climbing up over the edge of the bridge.

Without another word, the biggest billy goat lowered his head, positioned his horns and charged, full force, into the oncoming troll.

There was a louse SPLASH as the troll fell into the river.  Instantly, the swift current carried him downstream, around the bend and out of sight.  The biggest billy goat snorted, and then casually strolled across the bridge and up the hillside.

There, he joined his brothers and, if they are not gone, then they are there still, enjoying the lush, green grass.

Billy Goats Gruff laughing at troll in the water.

The End


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