Thursday night, as I walked the dogs, Oton had stuck his lumpy head from behind a decorative boulder in someone’s yard. His hair was matted and he was wearing dark glasses. He looked like some bizarre toddler at the kiddie pool.
“Psst, Rebecca, come closer,” he had whispered.
I have to admit I nearly leapt from my skin. It was still light, and people were about, walking their own dogs or tossing softballs in the middle of the quiet streets. “What is it?” I asked walking over. Well, truth be told, I was pulled over by the dogs. My two mutts have grown to love Oton. I don’t know what it is, but they can’t stop licking him from head to toe.
“Will you be coming to the celebration?” He asked, pinned to the ground by sloppy, pink tongues.
“What are you talking about? Tasha, Winston, let him be.” The dogs obeyed but looked sullen.
“We’ve been holding the celebration until you could come. I understand the seven moon schedule that you keep, well maybe not understand, but I can count.”
“Oton, what are you talking about? What celebration?”
“The green has returned. The flowers bloom, even the bugs are back. The time of the sun has returned.”
“You mean spring. Yes, isn’t it wonderful? This winter was too long.”
He looked puzzled, and cocked his head to the side. “But winter is troll time.”
It was my turn to be confused. “So why do you celebrate when it leaves?”
“The larder is empty and the sun brings the crops. Besides, during the season of the sun, the trade routes open and the fun begins.”
“Wait a minute, you mean there are other trolls in the area? Where? Are they like you? Won’t they have a problem with me being there?”
“Always full of questions … There’s only one way to find out. But I know one way you can be certain that they will learn to trust you?”
“Bring donuts, chocolate, with tons of sprinkles.”
He was beaming, but I could clearly recall him telling me that the elders didn’t want him eating human food. I know there was that time during a playoff game that I had a platter of sprinkle covered mini cupcakes, but that was at my house, not Elvsmyr where the elder’s opinion ruled. “Won’t the elders be angry that I bring sprinkles to the village?”
He puffed out his fat cheeks causing deep crinkles to surround his eyes. “Uredd asked me to make sure you brought them. He likes to pretend he doesn’t want human food at the village, but secretly he has been bugging me to bring some back.”