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 3 of 3)
That night the goblin slept in the hairy woodcutter’s house. She was bound and put away in a room with the woodcutter watching her. She could hear the sobs of her friend in the dark.
The next day the woodcutters took the little goblin away. She had to walk herself, bound by the rope around her middle and arms. The entire village watched them leave, cheering for gold.
The only one not there was the girl.
Obedient, the little goblin led the humans to the river. She had to. She needed to live for the girl. She stopped when they reached the water. “Gold here,” she told them.
The woodcutters seemed confused. They mumbled about being fooled. Their axes seemed hungrier.
“There is no gold here,” the hairy woodcutter said. “Don’t you dare lie to us.”
“Here gold!” The little goblin walked into the water, causing confusion again. The woodcutters had never met a goblin that wasn’t disgusted by water. The little goblin searched in the river and soon she saw something sparkle in the water. She smiled at the little goblin in the water and then plunged her head in. It took a few tries, but eventually she found a sparkly stone. Water dripped from her as she showed it to the woodcutter. “Gold!”
“Gold! Gold!” The woodcutters jumped into the water, calling out to the sparkly stones. They were searching for it like madman.
The only one who stayed on the river bank was the hairy woodcutter. He pulled the little goblin to him and unsheathed his knife.
The little goblin turned her head down. She should have known. At least the girl would believe she got away.
With a single movement the hairy woodcutter cut the rope. He took a brown package from his backpack. “Thank you,” he said. “I’m not sure if you can understand me, but you should know how much this helps us. We’re a poor village with high taxes and regular attacks from evil goblins. This gold will give the village, my wife, and my children a better life than we’d dared dream of.”
There was sorrow in his eyes. “And I’m sorry for doing this to you. I don’t think I’m a bad man, but it’s… We have bad experience with goblins. You’re free now. Take care, little goblin.” He put the brown package in her hands and the little goblins smelled freshly baked bread.
What hurt the little goblin the most is that she understood the woodcutter. She knew how her family behaved. Even she had thought herself an ugly monster.
Suddenly the goblin smelled a new, too familiar smell at the river. Startled she yelled. “Goblins!”
A horde of her brothers and sisters appeared from the trees. They had bows and knives and ugly faces. They seemed hungry. The elder goblin stepped forward.
“Little goblin good goblin,” he laughed. “Little goblin brings food.”
Behind her, the woodcutters grabbed their axes. They were big and strong, but there were way more goblins. If the little goblin hadn’t warned the woodcutters, they wouldn’t have stood a chance. Now, they had a small one.
Shaking, the little goblin spread her arms and stood between the two groups. Her voice cracked. “Don’t fight…”
For a moment it seemed like the goblins would listen. It turned out they were just surprised. They started laughing. The first arrow was shot, and the goblins attacked the woodcutter.
The entire fight was messy and confusing. The little goblin ducked behind a boulder, her head between her legs. She hoped that if she ignored everything, the pained screams and bloody smell would leave her alone. Around her, goblins and humans fought.
It took way too long. The little goblin stayed there, frozen. She couldn’t do anything. She didn’t dare do anything. She closed her eyes and saw her friends face. The girl smiled and encouraged her. “You can do it,” she said. She turned sad. “Protect my dad.”
The little goblin opened her eyes exactly at the moment the elder goblin aimed at the hairy woodcutter. A single word filled the little goblin’s mind.
The little goblin’s body moved like in a dream. She could only think about how sad the girl would be if here father wasn’t there anymore. She ran. Just before the elder goblin shot his arrow, the little goblin threw her body against him. She was small, thin and weak, but even a small, thin and weak body was enough to change the direction of the arrow. The arrow shot through the air, barely missing the hairy woodcutter.
Immediately the elder goblin drew his knife. He screamed that the little goblin was a traitor and tried to pierce her. He never got the chance. The hungry axe of the hairy woodcutter split his skull.
With their leader defeated, the goblins ran away. All woodcutters were wounded, but none had died. They looked dazed around them, until they saw the little goblin. The little goblin had filled her hands with water and was now cleaning the hairy woodcutter’s wound.
Axes ready, the woodcutters came toward her, but the hairy woodcutter raised his hand. “Don’t even think about it,” he grumbled. “The little goblin saved us. She saved me from being shot. Now she’s treating my wounds. If anyone has been a monster, it’s us.”
One after the other, the woodcutters lowered their axes. They mumbled their apologies. Not convinced, but at least they weren’t angry anymore.
The setting sun created an orange sky when the woodcutters returned to the village. Wounded, but alive. Their pockets filled with sparkly stones. And the little goblin entered the village on the shoulders of the hairy woodcutter.
No one could believe what they saw. The hairy woodcutter told loudly what had happened and how the little goblin had saved them. There was still suspicion, but all hostility slipped away.
The little goblin couldn’t believe how she was treated. Tears of joy filled her eyes. All this time she had been misunderstood. And now, these villagers looked further than her green skin, and they smiled at her.
The girl ran out of the hairy woodcutter’s home. She hugged her friend when her dad put the little goblin back on the ground.
“I told you!” she said to the village. “The little goblin is kind!”
And the humans in the village could only agree. It would take a long time before they fully accepted the little goblin as one of their own, but the day would come.
The little goblin was welcomed warmly into the family of the hairy woodcutter and the girl. The rest of their life the little goblin and the girl were like sisters. Maybe the hairy woodcutter felt guilty, or maybe he was a good man, but he announced to the village that the little goblin would be his lovely new daughter. She even got a yellow dress. The little goblin was finally happy. She finally had a home.
One day, many years later, a human knight and a goblin healer would travel the lands, helping the misunderstood. That is one day. Before that, they would have many happy, interesting and sometimes sad days together. First, they became sisters.
And eventually they live happily ever after.
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.