The Princess and the Green Troll
Reading Comprehension Activity

A queen spoils her daughter, and the princess grows up vain and conceited. When it is time to marry, the princess thinks all prospective grooms are unworthy. A visit to the Forest Fairy shows the extent of a mother’s love and gives the princess some much-needed enlightenment. Students will read the passage and answer questions on the theme and the story details.

Topic(s): Fairy Tales & Fables. Skill(s): Summary, Character Traits, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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There once was a Queen who adored her daughter, Princess Adriana. She gave her everything she could ever want. She spoiled the princess.

Adriana grew to be very vain. She believed she was better than everyone else.

When the time came for Adriana to marry, there were fifty princes and kings who wanted to become her husband. But Adriana would not marry any of them. None were good enough.

The Queen pleaded with her daughter to take one of the royal men as her husband. Adriana still refused.

Finally, the Queen decided to visit the Forest Fairy. The Forest Fairy was powerful and wise. The Queen felt she could help.

The Queen journeyed into the forest with a basket of special plums and apples to appease the Forest Fairy’s guard dogs.

When she stopped under a tree to rest, the basket disappeared. Her body trembled as she heard the ferocious dogs approaching.

“AYYYYEEEEEE,” she screamed.

Suddenly, a green troll with red hair appeared. “Promise me your daughter in marriage and I will save you.”

“Oh, no,” cried the Queen. “I cannot.”

“Then you’ll be eaten by the dogs.” He turned to leave.

The barking grew closer and louder.

“So be it,” whimpered the Queen. She shut her eyes tight and stiffened her body.

In an instant, the Queen was back at the castle. “What happened? I’m alive!” Tears of joy streamed down her cheeks.

Realizing that she didn’t get to talk to the Forest Fairy, the Queen became sad and ill.

Adriana began to worry about her mother. She believed her mother was sick because she wouldn’t marry.

So, Adriana set off to see the Forest Fairy. She hoped the Forest Fairy’s wisdom would help her choose a husband worthy of her.

Adriana brought a basket of special plums and apples for the guard dogs. Like her mother, she stopped by the same tree to rest.

Suddenly, the basket disappeared.

“OHHHH!” she cried as she heard the ferocious dogs. She fell to the ground trembling.

“May I help you?” said the troll, frightening Adriana.

“No . . . no, stay away.”

“Of course,” said Green Troll. “But, you must know that if I don’t help, you will surely be eaten by the guard dogs.”

Adriana wept. “Yes. I must accept your help.”

“Promise to marry me first.”

Adriana’s eyes opened wide in horror. “NOOOOO. I cannot. I denied kings and princes my hand in marriage because they were not worthy of me. You are certainly not worthy of me.”

“Well, is it you think you are too good for the dogs to eat?” said Green Troll. “Do you think your skin won’t tear like any other maiden’s skin?”

The troll’s words came crashing down on Adriana. She was like everyone else. She wasn’t any better.  

Adriana saw the dogs racing toward her. “Yes, I will marry you, if you will still have me!”

In an instant, Adriana was in her room at the castle with a note in her hand.
“You’ve learned a valuable lesson, Adriana. You are free to marry who you will. Always remember: everyone has value.” Signed, Forest Fairy.

“Mother, Mother!” Adriana raced to find her mother.

“I’m here,” yelled the Queen.

“Oh, Mother, I met a green troll, but I think he was really the Forest Fairy. She made me realize I’m not better than others. I’ve decided on a husband.”

The Queen hugged Adriana. “I’m sorry I raised you to be vain. I shouldn’t have. But, thanks to the Forest Fairy, my heart is full again, and so is yours.”

Comprehension Questions

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