When I was a little girl in elementary school, I used to walk about six blocks to get to school. In those days, children were considered old enough to walk to school on their own without fear of being kidnapped. We were not allowed to walk along the shortcut by the railroad tracks, however, because there was a real danger from trains ... but we did it anyway. On our route was a small railway trestle and nestled just underneath it was an old shack. It had once been a nice little cabin of some sort, but now it was shabby and in disrepair. Inside the shack under the trestle lived a troll ... yes, a real, live troll. If the children got too near his house as they passed by, he ran out and shook his fist at them, "Stay away from my house you little mudrats, or I'll have you for dinner!"
Our troll's name was Digby, and occasionally we would see Digby walking along the sidewalks of our town. He would shuffle along, leering at people as he walked by. I realized years later that this was Digby's attempt at a smile. He was trying to be pleasant to the people in town.
When I was older, my father told me the story of Digby. He had come from a very upper class British family, but he had been the so-called "black sheep" of the family, so his family sent him away to Canada.
Canada seemed to be the depository for many of the black sheep of English upper class families, and often these folks went on to make their fortunes here, becoming well-known artists, entepreneurs, lawyers and judges and famous writers. One of my father's best friends was a very well-known writer. He had been caught smoking and drinking and was expelled from the tony Charterhouse School where his father had been the headmaster. He found his way to Canada where he became a teacher, a prolific writer and a magistrate.
So it seems that old Digby, the troll under the bridge, had been born with a "silver spoon in his mouth", but he had made a wrong turn somewhere in his life, and he ended up living in a shack under a bridge. My father told me that Digby's family in England continued to support him quite generously, and there was no need for him to live in a shack under a bridge. I think he enjoyed it, though. He loved frightening the children as we walked by. For him it was a game and years later we still remember old Digby -- the troll under the bridge.