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The Inspiration for The Three Betty Goats Griff

As an educator, I often work with the classic story The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I read several versions of the story, and ask students to think about what are the similarities and differences in each version. We look at a variety of ways this book is illustrated and talk about the mood/tone of each. In addition, we discuss the characters in the story.

One time at the end of a dynamic discussion, a student said, "I think we are doing the Troll a disservice. He might be a homeless person. Or he might be grouchy because he has to live under that bridge." This statement stuck with me. For several years I asked my students: How do we treat our homeless? How do we respond to the panhandlers who populate our city streets? How do we treat people we meet who are grouchy?

I wrote this version as an alternative way to respond to the Troll than in the traditional story. The characters offer a different response at each encounter with the grouchy Troll, and as a result he is better for the attention. In the end everyone lives "happily ever after."

I hope you enjoy reading The Three Betty Goats Griff, who present a different way to respond to grouchy individuals and provide good female role models for our young readers.