* * Dala Horse -- A thing in the forest which pursues them.
"Why doesn't it come?"
Because it has absorbed her parents -- the Dala Horse told him -- and they are able to drag it back.
"How could such a thing be?"
Long ago the Swedes prepared.
But it is digesting them. And when it does . . .
That is why it howls.
All the above is a kind of shorthand for a conversation within "The Dala Horse" which I ended up not using. But the idea of a thing pursuing Linnea and her troll I kept.