A fairytale about a little goblin who never fit in with her people and hopes to find kindness in another place.
The Little Goblin (part 2 of 3)
The next evening, when the little goblin was watching the village, she saw how there were festivities. The smell of delicious food floated into the forest. A big fire had been made and people were dancing around it. They were wearing beautiful bright colours. The little goblin wanted to also wear pretty clothes. Her own brown rags were dirty and ugly. She dreamt of dancing in a dress as bright as the sun.
A single shadow pulled away from the people. The shadow went to the forest, running from house to tree and back as to not be seen by the people around the fire. Soon, the goblin saw who it was. It was the girl. She was wearing a lovely green dress and held a warm piece of pie in her hands.
“Little goblin? Little goblin?” The girl whispered softly at the edge of the forest. The little goblin was nervous. She didn’t dare say something back.
The girl put the pie onto the grass. “I wanted to thank you for finding my doll. That was really nice, so I brought you something tasty.”
A while longer the little goblin didn’t move. The girl looked kind, but the little goblin didn’t trust her. No one had ever been kind to her.
The pie smelled very good. Blueberries. Still warm. The little goblin’s tummy rumbled. It had been so long ago since a meal had smelled this good. Maybe it never had. For a moment, fear and hunger fought. Hunger won.
Timidly, the little goblin left her hiding place. She came closer with little steps. The girl did nothing. She only waited, with a kind smile on her face.
“Don’t be afraid,” the girl whispered. “I’m not afraid of you either. Here, take this pie. I brought it for you. To thank you.”
The little goblin was very close to the pie and prodded it with her finger. She looked at the girl questioningly. The girl laughed. “Please, eat! It’s yours!”
All doubt disappeared. The little goblin took the pie in her hands and attacked it. With big bites she devoured it. It tasted so good! Sweet and warm. It tasted like the home she had never had.
Way too soon she had finished the pie. The little goblin looked sadly at her hands. She should have taken longer. She should have enjoyed it more.
“Did you like it?” the girl asked. The little goblin nodded slightly.
The girl took a handkerchief from her dress and moved towards the little goblin. The little goblin flinched.
“You don’t have to be afraid,” the little girl told her again. “You have a lot of berry filling around your mouth. May I wipe it away for you?”
Only when the little goblin nodded did the girl start cleaning her mouth. The little goblin felt her knees tremble. No one had ever touched her in a kind way. All the while she was afraid the girl would hit her. The girl didn’t.
When the little goblin’s mouth had been cleaned, the girl stood up. “You don’t seem like the evil goblins the grownups talk about. Where is your tribe?”
The little goblin shook her head. “Alone.”
“That’s so sad!” The girl had tears in her eyes. “You know what? I can visit you more often. Dad and mom won’t never notice it when I play somewhere else. We’ll play together and I’ll bring you more tasty food! Would you like that?”
The little goblin’s face split into a big smile. She nodded enthusiastically.
“Deal!” The girl turned around to look at the fire. “I have to go back to the village, before they notice I’m gone. Mom always yells at me when she can’t find me. See you tomorrow?”
A warm, happy feeling filled the little goblin as the girl rand back to the village. She called after her. “See you tomorrow!”
In the moments after the girl had left, the little goblin started doubting. All this was too good to be true, so it couldn’t be true. The girl wouldn’t return tomorrow. She had only said so to be nice, because she was a nice person. But she had taken a good look at the little goblin now. She had seen how ugly the little goblin was, so she wouldn’t return.
Again, the little goblin was wrong.
The next day the girl return. She brought freshly baked bread. The day after she was there again, with soft cheese this time. Day after day she returned, never forgetting the little goblin. She brought pieces of meat, pear pie, cooked eggs and jam. The little goblin and the girl spend a lot of time together.
For the first time in her life, the little goblin was happy. For the first time in her life, she had a friend. The girl didn’t mind it when the little goblin talked only a little. She didn’t mind that the little goblin couldn’t talk about the other goblins. The little goblin listened fascinated when the girl told about her own dreams. She said she was going to be a knight. A knight who would be good and protect everyone, no matter who they were or how they looked.
Sometimes the girl brought her doll to play with. Sometimes they wove flowers into necklaces. The summer pasted quickly.
The little goblin was still afraid. Every day she believed it would be the last time the girl would come. That the girl would realize human friends were better than a dirty goblin. Every day the girl returned.
Everything was perfect, until the little goblin’s fears came true.
On a warm autumn day, the little goblin and the girl were sleeping underneath the tree where they first met. Fiery leaves fell down like ember rain. A dark shadow fell over them.
Slowly the little goblin opened her eyes. She thought it might be a storm. A scared shriek escaped her when she saw what it actually was. The hairy woodcutter towered above them.
The little goblin tried to run away, but the woodcutter grabbed her and pulled her put. He was big and strong an had no trouble holding the little goblin off the ground. The shriek had woken the girl, who was now hitting the woodcutter’s leg.
“Let her go! Dad let her go!” the girl yelled. “She’s my friend. Let her go!”
With his other hand the woodcutter threw the girl over his shoulder. He looked grumpy. “Darling, goblins aren’t your friend. They are dirty, evil creatures who will rob you when they get the chance. Or worse. The only reason this one hasn’t done anything yet is because it hasn’t found the right moment. I’m glad I found you in time. I couldn’t have lived with myself if anything worse had happened.”
The woodcutter marched to the village. The girl over his shoulder kept yelling and crying and hitting with no effect. The little goblin hung in the air. Humans weren’t nice. It had been wonderful that the girl had seemed different. Everything was done now.
Not much later they arrived in the village. Lots of humans came out of their houses. They looked and gasped and pointed. With horrified fascination they watched the little goblin being brought to the middle of the village.
A woman ran out of her house, crying. She grabbed the girl and hugged her close, telling the girl how afraid she had been. How the evil goblin could have eaten her.
A group of big, strong woodcutters joined the hairy woodcutter in the middle of the village. The woodcutters spit at her and tried to hit her, only to be stopped by the hairy woodcutter. He told them they weren’t animals and that they would give the little goblin a quick death. Still, a wiry woodcutter hit the little goblin.
People looked at the little goblin as if they wanted her to get hurt. She knew that feeling. She had felt it herself too often. As she was shaken in every direction by the hairy woodcutter, who tried to keep her away from the fists of others, the little goblin did nothing. She could only look at the girl and smile. Smile at the only friend she had ever had. If this was her end, then at least she had known love.
As the little goblin was shaken, her sparkly stones fell out of her rags. When the hairy woodcutter saw them, he ordered everyone to stop and shut up.
“Is that what I think it is?” He bend forward and picked up a sparkly stone. He held it in the sunlight. “Gents, this is gold. It’s real gold!”
The little goblin didn’t understand why, but the men around her started shouting exhilarated. They were jumping and congratulating each other. “Gold!” They shouted. “Gold!” As if it was more beautiful than friendship.
The hairy woodcutter held the little goblin in front of him. “You found this gold, right?” he said. “If you can show us where it is, we’ll let you live.”
The little goblin frowned. She didn’t get why anyone was this crazy about the sparkly stones. She also didn’t know if she wanted to help. Even if she stayed alive, she would be on her own again. She couldn’t do that. She couldn’t return to that loneliness.
Then her eyes found those of the girl. The girl’s eyes were red with tears, but they weren’t sad. There was something else. Hope.
Hope. The little goblin knew what she had to do. If she lived, she would be alone, but if she died, she would make the girl sad for the rest of her life. She couldn’t let that happen to her only friend.
She nodded at the hairy woodcutter. “I let see gold.”
Weirdly enthusiastic, the village cheered.
I'm a dutch fantasy and mythology enthousiast who's always working on a novel and sometimes finds some time to write a short story. I have a paticular love for positive character arcs, the good in people, and original settings.