Those of us who own television sets know that, in addition to hundreds of thousands of cute kittens, there are a host of fearsome creatures in our world. Thanks to "Animal Planet" and "The History Channel," we know that Bigfoot lives (probably) in all of our backyards, and that there are giant alligators and even gianter octopi waiting to do battle with Southern rednecks and other scruffy, uncouth human adventurers. But there are stories - seldom told - that hint at things even fiercer than your rather commonplace Sasquatch or Yeti.

   Perhaps they don't get the publicity of some of our fellow inhabitants of this earth because of where they live - a place so hostile to the human race that few ever enter their domain.


A place where - should any hearty soul venture there in broad daylight - one might think nothing existed but barren rocks, the stunted trees of the krumholz, and a few tiny flowers. To go there after dark... Well, suffice it to say, you shouldn't.


Despite the dangers, on 27 June 1977, a small group of us scientific types established a base camp in the heart of this alien environment. We named the temporary shelter (rather poetically, I think) Lakes of the Clouds. 

After one harrowing night there (during which everyone but me mysteriously disappeared), I penned this brief cautionary tale. As far as I know, no one has ever been back to Lakes or any other part of their habitat. (Or, if anyone went in, they never came out.) But, perhaps some day, The History Channel......


Spruce Trolls

If you go out in the krumholz tonight,

You'd better be made aware -

You'd better go fast and not be polite

To the creatures inhabiting there.


They belong to a breed known as Trolli Sprucite.

They're carnivorous right to the core.

The things that they do in the dead of the night

Even Ed Allan Poe would abhor.


But spruce trolls fastidiousness do exude,

And their manners are truly ideal.

They all gather round you when you are their food,

And they leave not one scrap of their meal.


(Ecological note for any Old Hutmen who might read this: The trolls' fastidiousness means, of course, that the hut crews do not have to pack out any litter because of them.) 


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