Berta, Terje and the Banyan Tree
A Troll Tale by Thomas Dambo
Now listen up, let this little story begin. Two trolls in a forest walked around in a ring.
The one was the sister and the other her brother. They had lost their way and could not find their mother.
Their names where Berta and Terje, and soon they got tired. So, they stopped in a clearing, where the forest
was quiet. And curiously looked at a little brown bumblebee as it buzzed, between the branches of the
grandest Banyan tree.
It was a marvelous tree, the biggest they had ever seen, with weaving vines, red berries and leaves so
evergreen. Under the branches of the Banyan, they fell into a dream, where little people poured poison
into the Eternity Stream.
They dreamt the stream became a river, and the river an ocean. The ocean turned into sky filed with dark
clouds that were floating. Floating back to land, where the skies tore open. The rain woke them up. The sky
was black, a terrible omen.
Terje told what he had dreamt, while they sat in the pouring rain. Berta listened. Then she said, “I dreamt
exactly the same”. Terje cried, and Berta said “Wipe your cheeks, wipe your tears. We will keep the water
clean, and make the bad dream disappear”.
“Remember mother taught us how the Banyan is holy. That it can talk if you listen closely, quietly and
slowly.” So, the trolls sat by the tree and whispered in its wooden ear, “Dear Banyan can you help us?
Please… I hope you can hear”.
They listened while the branch’s shadows slowly drifted like fingers. They listened while the icy lake grew
thicker and thinner. They listened while the spring turned to summer, fall and winter. Then suddenly, they
heard a whisper in their mind so tender.
“I have awaited you trolls, happy we finally meet.” Terje sprung up like a sprout surprised the Banyan could
speak. “Trees are losing their leaves and their roots cannot eat. Help me save the little people and save the
world we all need!”
“First, you must take fallen leaves by my Banyan feet. And place them under little people’s pillows as they
sleep. Then you whisper gone the evil dreams and all evil deeds. And the new morning will bring the better
world we all seek.”
And so it was agreed, between the sister and her brother, They took two fallen leaves and walked arm in arm
with one another. Would the dream become reality? Would they ever find their mother? This story is not
over; we will have to wait for another.
Internationally acclaimed, Thomas Dambo, is an artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Together with his crew and community volunteers, Thomas creates giant sculptures that become characters in whimsical stories created about them. Each installation is created from recycled items to highlight sustainability, and to encourage others to re-imagine their notions about “trash.”