Trolls Go Trick-or-Treating
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: RV Staff Writer J.C.

The group of trolls are scared of the neighborhood children, but they want to come out and play too. When Halloween rolls around, they find the perfect opportunity. After reading the story, students will answer questions on the characters, the plot, and the theme.

Topic(s): Fairy Tales & Fables, Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Theme, Character Traits, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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The small community of trolls who lived near the village wanted to go out and play. They thought the big park near the school would be a perfect spot to spread out their picnic baskets under the trees and play games on the grass, except for one thing. They were terrified of the children in the town.

There were so many children, and they were very loud, yelling and laughing and shouting at each other all the time. Some of them had runny noses, some of them liked to spit, and some liked to push and shove each other around. It made the trolls nervous. Whenever they tried to go out and play, a group of children would come tumbling out, and the trolls would go running for a place to hide. The trolls ended up spending many hours under the bridge.

They realized that the best time for them to go out was in the evenings, when most of the children had gone home to dinner and their beds. The streets were left nearly empty and the twilight darkness helped to keep them out of sight. This helped, but the trolls did miss playing in the sunshine.

One day the band of trolls noticed that the neighborhood looked a little different. Pumpkins lined the houses. Cobwebs and ghosts adorned the trees, and skeletons popped up from the ground. And the children looked different too! They giggled and shouted as usual, but the children did not look the same. Instead, they were dressed as more familiar figures: goblins and witches and werewolves and yes, even trolls. The children ran up and down the street, knocking on doors and laughing. The trolls peered out from under the bridge, watching it all. They did not know what to make of it; it was so strange!

Pipsqueak was the shortest troll but was one of the bravest. “Let’s go out,” she suggested. The others gasped.

“No way, look at all the wild kids,” said Boomer, one of the biggest trolls, and also one of the most cautious. “It’s still daylight. Who knows what they’d do if they saw us?”

“But they are all wearing disguises! They sort of look like us today! Maybe they will think we are kids too. I’m tired of hiding; I want to play!” insisted Pipsqueak.

Finally the little troll was able to convince the others to join her. They ventured down the street, heading for the park.

“Wow, your costumes are great!” Called several children, dressed in funny hats and wigs, carrying large bags. “Did you make them yourselves?”

“Uh, yeah, we did, I guess. Thanks!” replied Pipsqueak, smiling. That wasn’t so bad, she thought.

“Did you get a lot of candy?” asked one of the children. “I’ve got tons, and we’ve only just started!” He showed his bag to Pipsqueak, which was loaded up with candy and lollipops and chocolate bars.

Pipsqueak was confused. “Where did you get all that from?” she asked. The child gave the troll a funny look, and pointed to the houses where children were gathered around the front doors, and adults were putting sweets into the bags they held open.

“From trick-or-treating, silly. Haven’t you started yet? Come on, you can come with us if you’re shy about it.” The child grabbed the troll by the hand and pulled her up to the closest house. Boomer and the other trolls followed cautiously behind. They watched as the child showed Pipsqueak how to trick or treat. The small troll had no bag, so she took off her cap and the adult at the door tossed a handful of candies into it. The troll raced back to her friends and showed them, and they all tried it for themselves.

“This is wonderful,” said Boomer. “Do they do this every day?”

The costumed children laughed. “No, just on Halloween.”

‘I love Halloween!” exclaimed Boomer, munching on a treat. The trolls and children agreed. For the rest of the afternoon, the trolls collected candy and explored the neighborhood with their new human friends. Then they headed over the park and played together until it got dark.

As the children headed for their homes, the trolls waved goodbye. “See you next year!” they called. “Happy Halloween!”

Comprehension Questions

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