Dumplepumple the Friendly Troll Meets a Dragon—a Fun Short Story for Children

~From the Children's Short Story Book: Cinderella Sarah (for 5-9 year olds) by Karen Cossey. Get your copy for free here, plus another free book for 9-12 year olds.~

One night a young and foolish troll named Dumplepumple wandered deep into the dense forest, far from home. He came upon a clearing as it started to rain. Oh no! His mother had always told him to stay out of the rain in case he got too clean. He spotted a cave nearby and ran inside, bumping straight into a sleeping dragon!

The dragon stirred and opening one eye, looked the small troll up and down. Fortunately for Dumplepumple, the dragon had eaten his dinner before going to bed, so he wasn’t hungry. Also, wet trolls smell like stinky skunks, which no one likes to eat, not even dragons.

Dumplepumple, never having experienced fear, did not realise the great danger he was in, and sat down to warm his feet on the smoke coming from the dragon’s nostrils.

The foul odour of his feet was too much for the dragon who roused himself enough to push the troll out of the cave with his snout. Laughing now, thinking it was a game, Dumplepumple skipped back inside and seated himself expectantly in front of the dragon. Surprised, the dragon pushed him out again, and once more the young troll scooted inside and sat in front of him, giggling.

Luckily, as well as having a full tummy, the dragon had been dreaming of piles of gold and was in a humming mood, so he picked up the troll in his teeth and tossed him in the air then caught him high on his tail. Dumplepumple slid down the tail and landed hard in the back of the cave, laughing loudly. As he landed, he kicked something out from a crack in the wall—a golden and jewelled bracelet! Not understanding what it was, he offered it to the dragon. Normally the dragon would have swallowed anyone whole who dared touch his treasure, but he had been looking for that bracelet for days and was so happy to have it returned he stood up and roared in delight. This made Dumplepumple laugh even louder.

When the roar died down, Dumplepumple heard a familiar sound—it was his father calling to him. He raced outside, leaving the dragon nosing his treasure. He followed his father’s shouts till he found him a long way from the cave. His father scolded him for walking so far away from home. When he told his parents about the dragon at their midnight munch, he got another scolding for making up stories and wasn’t allowed his vegetables until he’d eaten all his dessert. Yuk!

As he grew, he sometimes searched for the dragon, but could never find him. He always remembered the fun he’d had that night, even though no one ever believed his story.


Back in those days, it was a well-known fact that every autumn the humans prepared to fight the trolls and trolls got ready for war. Every year, many lives were lost on both sides, neither side won. Winter came, and it was too cold to fight, especially at night. The humans wanted to go to bed, and the trolls wanted to go sledding, so war would end.

One year, when the fighting began, the trolls saw the humans had captured a wild and hungry looking dragon. The trolls were terrified. The humans were quick to set it onto the trolls, shouting, “To your dinner, Dragon Fire!”

Dumplepumple, now almost fully grown, saw his family and friends run away. He knew they couldn’t escape the dragon, no matter how fast they ran. So, he turned and studied the dragon as it got closer. Then suddenly, he did the most remarkable thing.

He lay down on his back and pointed his toes in the air at the dragon swooping down towards him. The dragon seemed to pause in mid-air as it got a familiar whiff of those feet. It landed next to Dumplepumple and nuzzled him with his snout. Dumplepumple giggled like a child troll and as everyone looked on, he and the dragon started playing Push the Troll. Humans and trolls were both amazed and stood at a distance, watching and talking to each other. That was the start of the peace talks. Nowadays, there is an annual holiday, called Dragon Day, to mark the peace between trolls and humans. Every year on Dragon Day, Dumplepumple visits his friend the dragon and has a game of Push the Troll.


Story by Karen Cossey
Copyright © Karen Cossey, 2014

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