They called me a changeling. You know, the old myth where the trolls for some reason take the human baby and replace it with one of their own. A changeling. Even the doctors thought that there was something wrong with me, suggested surgery. Why is she not growing? Why is she not eating? It took my parents a little while to figure out that they were feeding me the wrong things. But they were busy with all the others, the ones that weren’t changelings.
Feeding me the right things didn’t help anyway. I didn’t grow much. Not like my siblings. As they grew up to be elves I remained a troll. Small and dark and hairy. My mother would sometimes tell me that I was her only dark one, the one that looked like her. But what did it help. When my youngest sister was born I learned the truth as I stared at the golden locks that covered her head. I was a changeling.
One might say that I had won the genetic lottery. Winning or loosing doesn’t really matter, either you’re alone on the top or you’re alone on the bottom. In family portraits I looked like a family friend rather than one of the sisters. I was taught to justify, to explain, to defend. Yes, I’m part troll. No, I don’t know why my sisters don’t look like that.
I felt like the common cuckoo, a brood parasite, placed in the wrong nest but instead of fighting for food, resources and parental attention I let them take over instead. So I hid for a couple of years. Lost myself in the endless stories of trolls and princesses and dragons. And nightingales. Did you know that spotting a nightingale is always difficult? They are notoriously good at hiding even if you easily can hear them singing in the night (and sometimes during the day) I was good at hiding too, the singing came later. And then I left.
Much like the male nightingales lures in a mate by singing, I found my love through a similar fashion. Of course I wasn’t looking for her, I didn’t even know I was looking for a her. And I wasn’t sitting in a tree. It was a talent show. But the result was the same. She wasn’t a troll, but she wasn’t an elf either and when I called myself a dark troll, she laughed. To her I was as light as the other elves.
For the first time, I had someone’s undivided attention and even though the nightingale in me didn’t like it, the changeling did. She told me that she loved me, only me. I loved her. And I love her. And I will love her. And I have stopped caring.
I might be a troll, a changeling, but my oldest sister is so tall she can’t find trousers that fit and my youngest sister is brilliant but has the temper of a harpy. Maybe we’re all changelings in our own way. And when me and my love have little ones of our own, they will also be changelings of different kinds. Trolls and elves and come what may. We will be ready.
Semi autobiographical. Seriously,my oldest sister stands tall at 1.78 m and I’m just here, down at 1.57 m. Life is weird.