Sanbiki Yagi no Garagaradon (The Three Billy Goats Gruff) 三びきやぎのがらがらどん

1970s or earlier

Author : Marcia Brown  マーシャ・ブラウン

Translation : せたていじ (Teiji Seta) 

Published : 1965

Personal recommendation : 5 years old and up

This time, I would like to let this blog’s reader know that, not only domestic Children’s books but we have also many translated editions of kid’s book from oversea. This is one of the examples : A story from Norway (based on Norwegian folklore) by Marcia Brown, translated by Teiji Seta.

The story starts with the scene where three goats are trying to cross the bridge over the canyon river.  Yet, they found the monster (troll) under the bridge and they decided to cross the bridge one by one (smallest to biggest goat in order).  Troll would like to capture the small goat but the goat said “You should wait until next (bigger) goat comes to cross” and troll waited. The 2nd goat came and repeat the same conversation.

Lastly, the biggest goat came along and was stopped by the troll in the middle of bridge.  Yet, as this big goat got large horns and hoofs and the goat beats and actually won against the troll by taking the troll apart.  Then three goat can cross the river safely and climb up the mountain. Soon after, they live happily by munching the grass (by gaining some weight).  

The story line is quite simple, but one thing I noticed was that the translation from original language was done more directly. Thus, some expression in translated sentence are quite difficult to understand.  For example, I took a few min for me to figure out the 3rd goat had bigger hoofs as the translated sentence in Japanese says  “Come on, Troll! I can beat you easily as I have got two horns and stones.”  ( = I believe it was meant to be “stone-like hoofs”)    

Though there are some other similar examples, but as long as we are aware of above points/facts, the reader can surely follow the storyline without major issue and I believe this is great way to expose the little readers to somewhat exotic non-Japanese old tale world.

You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら

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