One of my favorite fairy tales is the one about the poor cobbler who wakes every morning to find an elf has visited his home overnight and mended all the shoes for him. We have a related creature visiting us every other night, the dreaded laundry troll. Instead of a helpful creature like the shoe elf, he is malevolent, filling the hampers with dirty children’s clothes.
Now, you may be skeptical that such a creature exists, but I have seen the proof. In addition to two full hampers of children’s clothes that somehow appear overnight even though I just washed the kids’ clothes the day before, there are other telltale signs that our home is infested with a naughty little creature, possibly more than one. I clean the mirrors in our bedroom, the next morning there are little handprints and fingerprints all over them. This leads me to believe he lives in my closet and dirties the mirrors when he comes out. He also helps himself to food in the kitchen. I know this because I wash the kitchen floor on my hands and knees one day, the next morning there are crumbs and sticky little drops of who-knows-what all over the place, although they are mostly under the table (at least he sits at the table). He’s also very hairy, as one would expect a troll to be. After sweeping the floors one day, the next day they are covered in hair. (Mostly white and gray hair, if you were wondering what color he is.)
He usually visits at night, but on occasion I believe he comes during the day, too. Today, for instance, I had just finished sweeping the floors and vacuuming the carpet. I left the room momentarily to replace the little area rug in the nursery. When I returned, there was Life cereal crushed all over the couch, carpet, and hardwood floor. He’s very quick and quiet. I neither saw nor heard anything and was completely surprised when I re-entered the room.
Now I am on the lookout for troll extermination techniques. There must be something to be done about such a pesky little creature. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.