June 21, 1993

I returned this morning to the place where I found that strange stone which looked like a face, and sat down and waited, not really knowing what I was waiting for.
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(Strange object I found in the forest)

For hours nothing happened and I must admit that I felt rather silly sitting there, all alone in the middle of nowhere, wishing to see something which I didn't, couldn't, believe existed. I thought about people I knew and how glad I was that they didn't know where I was and why I was here, and I filled my sketchbook with drawings of silly looking trolls as if to reject the mere possibility of their existence...
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As I, a few hours later, was beginning to get hungry and wanted to return to the cottage, leaves suddenly rattled in the bushes a few feet away. For a moment my heart stood still, but to my own surprise I suddenly called out in a soft voice:
"Come forward, don't be afraid of me. I won't do you any harm!"
The leaves rattled again, revealing two small yellowish eyes which stared straight at me. I repeated my words very carefully and suddenly a strange figure, looking like nothing I had ever seen before, emerged in front of me, as out of the thin blue air. I knew it must be a troll, but it didn't look like anything I had expected: He was big and tall, with very broad shoulders, big hands, big feet, and yet seemed very gentle. He was dressed in simple clothes made out of animal hides, and around his neck he wore a beautiful chain of gold. His face was very wrinkled so I assumed he must be very old, perhaps 80 or 90, yet his movements were very swift, like an animal in its natural habitat. I looked for a tail but saw none.
We just kept staring at each other while all my childhood images of trolls turned into silly nothings. But at last he pointed at me with his big index finger and then in the other direction, before he turned around and began to walk, quite briskly for such a big creature, I thought. I understood that he wanted me to follow him.
We walked for a long time, me constantly perhaps ten or twenty steps behind him, but at last the forest opened up and we came to the shore of a small lake, where a fire was burning on the empty beach.
The troll then called out something in his language and slowly a large number of trolls, both big and small, came out from behind the trees and bushes, gradually forming a silent demi- circle around us, afraid and curious at the same time. I myself thought this must be a crazy dream..
We then sat down in a big circle around the fire, and the youngest trolls brought me water to drink and some kind of dark bread to eat.
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 The troll who had led me to this place then addressed me with the following words, spoken in a language which I partly understood.
"My name is Puska. Unlike you humans we trolls have no kings, but I am the oldest and the only one who can speak your language. We know you came looking for us and we know you have come in peace. Tonight, the shortest night in the year, is a holy night for us trolls as it once was for you humans, and we will let you watch us in silence while we perform our ancient rites. Tomorrow you can ask your questions, but then you must return to your world and forget about us."
I will now try to describe the events which followed, however impossible that seems:
I climbed onto a big rock from where I could see everything. It must by now have been 10 or 11 in the evening and the sun stood low on the horizon.
At a certain moment the whole tribe, which consisted of 30-35 individuals, went down to the beach and a few feet out into the water, forming a strange chain holding each other's hands. After a while they began to hum in a rhythm which I have never heard before. The hum slowly grew louder and louder until it almost seemed as if they were singing, and this wordless song merged in the most beautiful way with the echoes from the mountains that surrounded the lake. When they had finished their song, they left the water and began to remove all their golden rings and armlets and necklaces which they laid very carefully in the sand before they bowed towards the low red sun several times.
Then it was all over. They picked up their beautiful belongings and returned to the fire where they ate and drank in silence.
I cannot remember what I was thinking during all of this, I had never seen anything like it.