It was inevitable, when Zelda said she didn’t believe in trolls, that something terrible would happen.
She didn’t have to say it just prior to leaving for a bicycle ride with her twelve year old daughter and ten year old son. We shall cycle up the valley on that old dirt road. There are three ancient bridges and wild terrain to see. And what is more, it might be uphill on the way there, but it’s downhill all the way home.
“But what if there are trolls under the bridges?” said ten year old Mario.
“I don’t believe in trolls,” said Zelda. And that was the invitation to disaster.
Off they went! Heading for the hills! Heading for the old dirt road with lots of ancient bridges and no trolls!
They had barely crossed the first bridge when Chiara got a puncture in the back tyre. “That’s no matter,” said practical Zelda who had brought her puncture-fixing kit in her haversack.
Before long the puncture was fixed. Off they went! The second bridge was a little more dangerous. It was a very old bridge used years ago by the forestry trucks. It had no sides. It crossed a narrow ravine with a ribbon of river far, far below. Mario’s wheel got stuck in a crack between the bridge planks. He fell off his bike and almost plunged over the side. Thank goodness he didn’t plummet into the ravine. His jammed bike was rescued. Off they went!
The third and final bridge was crossed without an event.
“Time for the homeward journey,” said Zelda, turning her bike around. “See! No trolls!”
Will that stupid woman never learn? Apparently all hell broke loose somewhere between the third and first bridge.