Goblin Name Game


“George!” The goblin exploded as he stormed back into his house, hopping from one foot to the other in front of his magic mirror. “Do I look like a George?” How could any human be so stupid as to call him George! George the Goblin, like any self respecting mother would label her son with such a name.
The mirror did not respond. It rarely spoke, and certainly not when asked rhetorical questions, not since the “royal misunderstanding” a few years back. The goblin had bought it cheap from some dwarves, when they sold off some odds and ends prior to moving out of their cottage and into a bigger home.
In fact, their good fortune gave him the idea in the first place. After adopting a stray human, they received years of cheap labor from the girl: cleaning, cooking, sock washing, all those pesky chores that the goblin hated. Then, just when she was growing a bit too large for their cottage and expensive to feed, she’d married a prince. And bought the dwarves a much larger house, with seven separate bedrooms, closer to town.
Chores done, and even a reward later on. Personally, the goblin, whose name wasn’t George, thought it sounded like an excellent deal, better than a fairy’s wishes (fairies being tricksy things and quite liable to cheat you by the third wish). He decided to get a human of his own.
 Which turned out to be a bit harder than he expected.
For the first few months after he conceived his brilliant plan, the goblin simply left the door to his cottage unlocked whenever he went out. Each evening, he returned expecting to find the place swept clean, supper bubbling away in the pot, and some useful human taking up residence in the cupboard under the stairs. It never happened. Instead the dust piled up, the pot stayed empty until he filled it, and he finally came home one night to find his house taken over by three bears.
True, the bears apologized, saying that they assumed the place was abandoned, being unlocked, unswept, and generally unkempt. He quickly disabused them of that notion and suggested that they look elsewhere for a home.
As for their story that some nasty young human forced them out of their house by being quite destructive to the furniture and their breakfast cereal, he paid it very little heed. After the bears left, grumbling about the inhospitality of goblins (a racial slur if ever he’d heard one), the goblin did wonder about the advisability of adopting just any stray child. Apparently some came with certain bad habits, like breaking the chairs, and he was an old goblin and not sure that he wanted to spend his time on housebreaking a human.
So he visited his nearest neighbor, the West Wind’s mother, in her cave at the top of the mountain and asked her opinion.
“Go for breeding,” the hag cackled as she stirred her pot, dropping in extra pepper to make her soup spicy enough for her harum-scarum son. “You want to find one of the ones from royal bloodlines. They’ve been bred specially to have good manners. You won’t find them breaking your chairs or gobbling your porridge without a please or thank you.”
“Really?” he said, sipping gingerly at the bowl that she’d handed him. He preferred his food a little blander. Pepper tended to upset his stomach and leave him hopping up and down all night long. “I’ve heard that kings and queens were quite difficult to deal with, always marching around in armor or ordering people poisoned. I know some dwarves had quite a bit of trouble with one queen.”
“That’s when they get older. Nothing good comes of an old royal, better to put them down before they go mad and start chewing at the neighbors,” the hag said. “But they’re sweet when they’re young. Do anything you say to them. Tell a girl that she needs to put on a pair of iron-soled shoes and march for days to find her beau, and she’ll just curtsy and say ‘thank you, ma’am’ in a nicest way. Although that one might not have been royal, now that I come to think of it. It’s a bit hard to tell if they’re not wearing their crowns.”
“Still, the younger, the better?”
She nodded emphatically, causing the wart at the end of her nose to bobble in a disconcerting way. “Just never pick the youngest one in a large litter. Or the third born.”
“Why ever not?”
“They tend to be roamers, no matter how hard you try to keep them in. Oh, the stories that my blustery boy tells about those ones. Go for the first-born or even the second. But avoid the third down the line or the youngest of twelve. Either one will prove troublesome.”
He finished up his soup with a polite slurp, even though he knew that he would regret it later that night, and walked home tugging his whiskers to help his cogitation.
Obviously, waiting around for some stray to stumble through his door wouldn’t get his house clean by spring. And he most definitely didn’t want just any young human bumbling about his home and eating all his provisions. The purer the blueblood, the better, according to the hag. Sensible advice, as far as he could tell, but where did you find that sort?
At midnight, as he bounced from foot to foot to ease his churning stomach, he suddenly realized where he could find the right type of human: a castle or a palace. That’s where they bred royals. Why wait until one happened to stumble outside and into the woods? It would be much more efficient to go straight to the source!
In the morning, rather late in the morning because he’d overslept, the goblin clapped his traveling cap on his head and bade his magic mirror a polite good-bye. It didn’t say a word, which made him once again doubt prior claims as to its talkative wisdom.
After carefully locking his cottage door against ursine home invasions, the goblin whirled three times widdershins and stamped his right foot six times and his left foot seven times. “Take me to a castle!” he cried.
Exploding into the middle of a prickly stack of straw, he realized that he should have been a little more specific in his directions. The cap apparently had dropped him into a storage shed for animal feed.
As he fought his way out of the haystack, he heard a strange burbling, snuffling sound. Peering about the stone chamber, for the castle staff seemed to use their dungeon to store their straw, he found a young human, female in persuasion, sitting on a three-legged stool next to a spinning wheel. The wheel was jammed up with straw stalks.
“You’ll never get any thread that way,” he observed to the sniffling girl. “Not with all that straw stuck in it. You want to use wool instead.”
“Oh,” she rubbed her streaming eyes. “It’s supposed to turn into gold!”
He ran a professional eye across the spinning wheel and told her firmly, “You can’t spin straw out of gold, not with that old thing. There’s not a bit of magic in it from bobbin to treadle.”
“Oh, oh,” she sneezed twice and then, after a long pause, a third time. “But I told the king that I could spin straw into gold.”
“Why did you ever say a daft thing like that?”
“Because my father said so.”
He shook his bewildered head: he wasn’t sure that he’d heard her right.  “But why would your father say that?”
“To impress the king.”
“Oh. But why?”
She pulled a handkerchief from her pocket, blew her nose, and explained. “You know how it is in a small town. Same old people every day, same old gossip down in the tavern. You can only talk about the weather and Granny Mumble’s arthritis for only so long, says my Da, and then you get a sort of an itch under your tongue and you want to make them all sit up. Shock them a little. So he started telling people I could spin straw into gold. Got a right old giggle out of it, didn’t we, everyone hanging around the mill and trying to get a peep at my auntie’s old spinning wheel. But we never expected the king to believe it. I mean he’s very handsome, and such lovely manners even when he’s locking you in the dungeon, but you’d think he’d be a bit brighter, being royal and all.”
“My understanding is that they are bred for looks and politeness, not for brains,” he said.
“I’m sure you’re right,” she sighed. “Still he’s much better looking than the other bachelors in town and he even bathes twice a week.”
The goblin couldn’t think what to say to that. He bathed every night and washed twice behind his ears each morning.
Finally, because he also had been brought up to have good manners, the goblin said, “Good luck with the straw, but I must be going.”
“Oh, I wish you wouldn’t,” she replied. “It’s so lonely down here and the straw dust does make me sneeze and sniffle so. And I’m hungry too. They forgot to bring me any supper and it has been ever so long since lunch.”
“I need to pick up a young prince or a princess and be home again. There’s chores to be done,” he said, settling his traveling cap on his head to whisk himself away from the room and this girl’s problems.
“Well, you won’t find any in this castle,” the girl said just as he started to spin widdershins.
“What?” he stuttered to a halt, wobbling a bit in mid-widdershin.
“There’s no royal children at all. The king’s a bachelor, as I told you. In fact, I don’t think there are any princes or princesses in the next kingdom either. Something about turning into swans and flying away.”
He sighed heavily. He had heard something about that from a chatty robin. “Not a single prince or princess nearby?”
She shrugged. “Well, there’s those dancing girls, two mountains over. Twelve of them. Quite hard on their shoes, out all night partying. But pretty, lots of tumbling golden curls and so on.”
He shuddered. That type sounded exactly like what the bears had warned him about.
“No, no teenagers,” he said firmly. “I want a young one. A firstborn preferably.”
“Ah,” she said. “A baby. A firstborn royal baby. That’s what you want.”
“Really?”
She nodded firmly. “Absolutely. Start as you mean to go on. That’s what my auntie always said. Catch them young and train them right. You can’t get younger than a baby.”
“I suppose so.” He tugged his beard and ruminated a little. “But you just said that there aren’t any, not for kingdoms and kingdoms.”
“Well, not right now. But in nine months or so,” she smiled very sweetly at him. “The King truly is the best-looking man for miles, and so very nice right up until he went out the door and locked me in.”
Being a goblin, he was not all that certain about reproduction of humans. He’d heard that it was something like monkeys, but he wanted to doublecheck his facts.
“Are you saying that you might have a royal baby?” he asked.
“Not that I could give you. Not right at this minute,” she said. “But in nine months or so, quite possibly. If I’m still here.”
“You mean in this room?” He had a queasy feeling in his stomach, which he wanted to blame one yesterday’s stew, but he did wonder about the way she was eyeing him so sharply. There was something almost tricksy fairy about the speculative look on her face.
“I mean in the kingdom,” she said finally. “After all, there was some talk of cutting off my head if the room was full of straw in the morning.”
“I heard kings do that sort of thing. But it seems…it seems very messy,” he said. “Maybe I should be looking for something other than a royal human.”
“Babies don’t do that sort of thing,” she answered quickly. “In fact, babies do exactly what you tell them to do. And they’re easy to care for. Just a little milk for supper and they sleep through the night. No bother at all.”
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Haven’t you ever heard the phrase ‘slept like a baby’ to describe a very calm night?”
He nodded. He had. Still something sounded a little odd about her earlier statement, not quite the way he thought babies worked, but he’d never lived with humans. Just a few squirrels and a badger one winter. He pulled on his left eyebrow to try to jog his memory about young humans. Something about swatting them on the nose with a rolled up piece of paper came to mind.
“Would I tell a lie?” she said, interrupting his thoughts.
It was one of those questions that left him tugging his whiskers for a few minutes but he couldn’t think of a polite answer so he didn’t say anything.
“So, just to make this clear, you will give me a royal baby sometime later this year?” he asked her.
She nodded her head. “Absolutely. If the straw turns to gold by morning and the king marries me.”
He looked around at the piles of hay filling the cell to the ceiling. It wasn’t that big of a room. “I could go home, fetch my spinning wheel, and be back here in time to have the straw all spun by dawn,” he reckoned. “But I can’t do a thing about the king.”
“Oh, leave him to me. I can bring him around,” she said, ticking off her reasons on her long pink fingers. “If I’m sitting in a room full of gold, he’s sure to find me very attractive. Especially since the straw belongs to my father, and I will have done the work (or he will think that, if you don’t hang around), and with those sort of claims on the treasure, despite the fact that it is sitting in his castle, the court case could drag on for years and years. It would be much quicker and easier to marry me. Especially if I add a little extra pressure about a certain interlude in the haystack. Besides, he likes my kisses.”
He blinked at this long speech. “You seem a very clever girl.”
“Sometimes, my auntie used to say, our family is too clever for our own good. After all, look where Da’s boasts have landed me!”
The goblin smoothed down his mustache and resettled his cap on his head. Just before he began to turn widdershins, he thought of something.
“Here now,” he said. “How do I know that you’ll keep your word? A right fool, I would look, if I come back for the infant and you just show me the door. Or hide the baby away from me.”
She stripped the ring off her finger and the necklace off her neck, dropping them into his hand. The jewelry was trumpery stuff, more gilt than gold, the type of gewgaw sold in any peddler’s pack.
“Those belonged to my auntie,” said the girl. “I swear on her witchery bones that you shall have my firstborn, may she haunt us forever if this promise is broken.”
He felt a zap and a zingle in his palm. The goblin knew that magic bound her promise true. With a nod of agreement, he whipped himself home to fetch his enchanted spinning wheel.
As he predicted, the whole job took less than a night. He even brought back a small picnic basket full of treats for a midnight snack that he shared with the hungry girl. In turn, she sang him merry songs to keep him awake while he plied the treadle, fed straw to the wheel, and pulled out bobbin full after bobbin full of shining gold thread.
The castle cock crowed outside the dungeon window as he packed up his picnic basket and tucked his spinning wheel under his arm. Altogether, an interesting night, he realized, but he worried a little about the girl sitting on her stool. She was still humming a sweet tune as she made a cat’s cradle out of a skein of gold thread.
“What if the King locks you in another room full of straw?” he said. “I can’t be coming back every evening to save your head.”
With a smile, she stood up and kicked her old aunt’s spinning wheel to the floor. Then she jumped up and down on it a few times until it was nothing more than kindling.
“I’ll tell them that with so much work that it broke into pieces. Nobody, not even a King who knows nothing about spinning, can expect me to keep turning straw into gold with just any old spinning wheel. That was a family heirloom, and essential to my art, and it could take years, maybe even decades to find the right replacement.” Then she winked at him.
“Well, you are a clever one,” he said, and with his traveling cap firmly on his head, he stamped his way home for a long nap.
When the North Wind first began to blow along his younger brothers’ routes, seven rather handsome swans landed on the goblin’s lawn. They were flying south for the winter, but perfectly willing to stop for a bit of gossip and a loaf of bread. The new queen recently birthed a prince, the swans said, and the castle was flapping with bunting and stuffed with fairy godmothers visiting for the christening.
“Oh, well, if she’s busy with visitors, fairy visitors,” the goblin mumbled to the magic mirror later, “I should probably wait.” The mirror said nothing.
As the snow settled around his doorstep, he heard from a deer traveling west to avoid the royal hunts that the fairies had all gone home, having showered the young prince with the usual magical presents of good looks, good manners, and other blessings.
“Including an ability to clean,” hoped the goblin.
Still, he put off the whole business for a day or two. It was his favorite time of year, snow piled up outside, crackling fire inside, plenty of work to do in his shop as he built a spinning wheel on commission for the slightly crazy fairy witch who kept repeating that the bobbin had to be wicked sharp and bent in such a way that it was sure to prick the spinner’s finger. Fairies! What could an honest goblin do but accept their gold and hope it didn’t turn to dust by moonlight.
But, after a long day and an evening spent washing socks, never a pleasant chore, he decided that he had delayed long enough. He clapped his traveling cap on his head and gave most specific directions for it to take him to the new prince.
He landed in a royal bedroom that was extraordinarily noisy and rather smelly too. It reminded him of the little house out back of his cottage.
“What is that pong?” he said.
“Oh, it’s you!” said the girl. She was much better dressed than the last time he met her, in a long velvet gown generously trimmed with golden thread. She glittered slightly in the candlelight as she paced up and down the silken carpet, also fringed with gold. In her arms was a bundle of golden lace that shrieked like a banshee and stank like a skunk.
“Here, hold him,” she thrust the bundle into his arms. “I gave the nurse the night off. Falling asleep on her feet, she was, she’s been up with him three days running. You’d think with all those fairies flitting about, one of them might have thought to protect him from colic, poor mite.”
Startled, he clutched the smelly bunch of lace, filled in the center by a squalling small human that seemed to be all red round face.
“What is it?” the goblin said, jiggling the bundle up and down as far away from his nose and ears as possible. The human in his hands burbled into hiccupping whimpers.
“That is the prince!” she said, reaching into a high painted chest of drawers and removing a large white square of fabric monogrammed with the royal crest done in gold thread.
“But, but,” the goblin sputtered almost as much as the baby dangling from his arms. “It’s useless. It can’t wash socks.”
“Well, not this week,” said the young mother, shoving her bangs out of her eyes and straightening the gold and bejeweled snood that bound her braids. “Here, you better watch closely. You’ll need to know how to change him. I can give you a goodly supply of diapers, it seems half the ladies in castle were stitching and monogramming linens for him.”
What followed was a procedure far worse than washing socks, involving a porcelain pail with a lid for the storage of horridly soiled squares of cloth, swabbing parts of the royal child that the goblin thought best left unexposed, and more wrapping of those same parts with other cleaner cloths.
“How much laundry does it require?” he asked.
“A great deal,” she admitted, settling into a gilded rocker with the now much quieter and far less malodorous prince on her lap. “We had to hire two extra maids from the village just for the washing.”
He clapped his traveling cap firmly on his head and told her, “I can’t take it. That isn’t what I wanted at all. You keep it.”
Even as he said it, a cold shadow began to gather in the corner of the royal nursery.
The queen gave the shadow a nervous glance and hissed at him, “Now look what you’ve done. You can’t break a promise, not with her ring and necklace in your pocket. She’ll haunt us both!”
“What?”
“You swore, I swore, we both swore on my aunt’s things that you’d take the royal baby. And if either of us breaks that promise, we’ll have her ghost following us forever.”
Looking at the black cloud forming in the corner of the room, the goblin asked, “What sort of witch was your aunt?”
“Not the sort that you want to face over your porridge every morning,” she said. “Go on. Take him. Just keep him bundled up, don’t forget to burp him after feeding, he likes lullabies. I’ve packed a basket of supplies for you, enough to get your through the first month or so.”
The queen shoved the baby in his arms, grabbing a large wicker basket from behind a screen and thrusting that on him too. Then she ran to the chest of drawers and pulled out a creature made of woolly scraps (it looked something like a bear) and added that to the growing pile in his arms. Her lower lip trembled as she stood there looking at him, but the shadow in the corner of the nursery began to fade.
“Well, so be it,” she said. “Best say good-bye quickly. They say that’s easiest and it’s not like the eldest ever amounts to much. It’s always the youngest who gets the glory.”
She blinked rapidly in the candlelight and the despairing goblin caught a hint of tears in the corners of her eyes. With a flash of inspiration brought on by desperation, he juggled the baby, basket, and woolly toy into a more secure grip and said firmly, “Now see here, I can’t just take off without giving you a sporting chance to regain your baby. Every magic promise has a loophole, a way out, perhaps….ummm…..a wager…”
“Like I guess your name and you give me the baby back,” she said.
“Sure, fine, that sounds good,” he was distracted by the slippage, the basket tilting one way, the baby the other, and the woolly toy threatening to slither down his stomach to the floor. He hooked up one knee to balance the basket, shifted the baby to a more secure spot against his shoulder, and joggled the toy onto his hip, clamping it tight to his body with one elbow.
“Hmm,” said the queen, tapping one finger against her lower lip, “that’s not half bad an idea. And if we do it right, it could solve a few other problems too.”
“Huh? Yes. Whatever. Help!” The basket skewed sideways, the toy slithered out from under his elbow, and the baby spat something disgusting down his back.
“Oh, here, give him to me. Whatever are you doing? He’s almost upside down.” The queen snatched back her child and settled him neatly in the crook of one arm, tickling his chin with one long pink finger. “Silly goblin,” she crooned to her son, “clever mommy. We’ll soon have this sorted out.” The smile that wreathed her face was as lovely and wicked as any fairy grin.
Which was how the goblin ended up in the throne room the next morning before a bewildered king and smiling queen, and a great many courtiers who looked like they’d spent too much time drinking with the fairies at the christening party. He thrust a very fine document, all seals and ribbons, and a spinning wheel at the royal couple.
“Your proclamation says it fine, a spinning wheel for the queen, a reward that’s greater than any seen, that makes the baby mine!” The goblin pointed at the prince in his basket at the queen’s feet and prayed to himself that the king would, as the queen swore, object.
“I object!” yelled the king.  Then, with an embarrassed cough, “ummm, we meant not that the payment…ummm…would be…umnn. Hang it, we weren’t talking about our royal heir!” And in a desperate whisper to the hungover duke next to him: “Who wrote that stupid proclamation? Any reward? Any! That’s just asking for trouble.”
The duke sighed, heavily, and replied: “I believe I did raise just that objection in chambers, sire.”

Oh, oh, the queen hissed to her husband in the type of hushed tones meant to carry through the chamber. I knew we should not have tried to replace auntie's spinning wheel. After all we barely know what to do with all the gold thread that we do have. I told you, dear, that trying to replicate that magic would lead to trouble.”
“Well, never mind that now, how do we get out of this?” whispered back the king so loudly that the footmen outside the door could hear him.
Silence reigned. Then the prince in his basket began to whimper, building up to louder and louder cries. The goblin began to sweat.
“Oh,” cried the queen, falling back against her throne with one hand artistically pressed to her forehead. “Oh, please, please, don’t take my baby.” Everyone glared at the goblin and a few of the younger courtiers drew their swords.
The goblin mopped his own brow with his handkerchief and wished he was back home.
“Oh please, please, don’t take my baby,” the queen repeated, a little more fiercely and glared at him from under her hand.
With a start, the goblin remembered his carefully rehearsed verse: “Plead you may, plead you might, but you can’t stop me tonight.”
“Oh, surely, you will show pity on me and my baby,” the queen said with a quick nod of approval that he was back on track.
“Play my game, guess my name, three days to try, and then with baby, I will fly!” he felt the last bit was rather awkward but they’d been in a hurry when scribbling down these verses. Still, if you were going to be a wicked goblin, you must speak in rhyme, everyone knew that, or so the queen had said.
The court recoiled with a gasp at his ultimatum. The king leaned over to the queen and whispered in her ear again. She nodded back at him and then said to the goblin: “Very well, we will guess your name before the third day is over.  Is it Tom?”
“Not!” He hopped from one foot to the other. This whole performance was making his stomach nervous.
“Babysnatcher!” yelled one enterprising young footman from the back.
“No!” The goblin blushed.
“Sydney,” opined the duke.
“Not I!”
“Fluffy? We had a puppy called Fluffy,” said the king.
“No!”
“George!” cried out the queen, getting into the spirit of the game with twinkling eyes.
“Really?” said the goblin, forgetting to stay in character. “Really? Tom? Sydney? Fluffy? George? Don’t you people have any imagination?”
And so it went. He stayed throughout the day as the guesses grew worse and worse, showing a complete ignorance of goblin nomenclature. Then he flew away home. To settle his nerves, what if that stupid queen had forgotten his name, he had a cup of extra bland soup, plain crackers, and an early bedtime.
The next day went just the same, ridiculous guess after ridiculous guess until his voice gave out and he could barely croak “No, that’s not it.”
In the background, the increasingly worried king whispered into his wife’s ear and she whispered back. Then the king waved forward a number of the stalwart messengers, pressed purses into their eager hands, and sent them scurrying out the door.
That night, the miller met the goblin at the prearranged spot in the forest just before midnight. He looked much like his daughter, with the same wicked smile lurking around the corners of his eyes.
“Can’t tell you how much I appreciate you helping out my girl,” said the miller. “And my apprentice. He is simply useless at the mill, seventh son of a seventh son, I should have never taken him on. But I can’t just boot the boy out, it would break his mother’s heart. I’d have to return his apprenticeship fee to his father, too. This way, the boy can earn the reward, and with a little stake of his own, be off to see the world like he wants. And I can get a new apprentice, somebody more reasonable. Like an eldest son.”
The goblin just nodded, preoccupied with reading the note that the miller had brought from the queen. This verse was even more complicated than the earlier ones and it had instructions scribbled on it about dancing around the fire. He didn’t know how to dance. He hoped that hopping would work.
The miller helped him build up the bonfire and then slipped away, saying it would never do for the lad to see him there. The goblin waited in the snowy woods for a long, long time until he heard the boy’s feet clumping down the road.
Then he hopped around and around the fire, chanting as he went: “Today I bake, tonight I brew; nobody guessed, nobody knew! I’ll take the baby in, for my name is Rumpelstiltskin!”
He heard a loud gasp in the bushes and the sound of feet running away quickly. With a sigh of relief, the goblin doused his fire.
The next day, the queen drawled out a number of names, each one wrong and the clock ticking away the minutes. The king grew paler and paler. The courtiers all huddled together, the ladies weeping into their gold-embroidered handkerchiefs. The goblin began to sweat again, afraid the queen would break their agreement, and he would have to take the prince after all.
But, just at the last possible moment, she shouted out:  “Is it Rumplestiltskin?”
“Yes!” The goblin shot his fist in the air in happy relief. Then he clapped his traveling cap on his head and wished himself home as quickly as possible.
Much later, he heard that the king declared his previous proclamation null and void. A new proclamation was drawn up stating that, like their wise neighbors to the south, all spinning wheels were banned from the castle as being dangerous to the royal health and happiness.
The goblin settled back into his work, resigned to washing his own socks. One day, while up to his elbows in soapy water, he heard a tentative tap-tap, followed by a much louder rap-rap.
“You better answer the door,” said the magic mirror.
Grumbling, the goblin pulled open the door to find a princess standing on his front porch. With much waving of her arms and some distressingly drawn-out pantomime, she conveyed to him that she was the sister of the seven swans that had wintered on his lawn a few weeks earlier. She needed a loom: could he build one for her?
The goblin looked her over. The communicating by charades might get tiresome, but she seemed well-behaved. She batted the long lashes surrounding her blue eyes and with gestures indicated that she had not had anything to eat in a very, very long time.
The goblin held the door open a little wider. “You might as well come in and have a cup of soup,” he said. “I don’t suppose you’d be interested in doing a few chores for me?”   

Goblin drawings by L. H. Houseman from Goblin Market by Christine Rossetti, 1893 Macmillan edition, courtesy of  British Library. See all of Houseman's goblins here.

Story "Goblin Name Game" copyright 2019 Rosemary Jones. Please credit the author when quoting or sharing. For inquiries about reprinting, please email the author.

About the author:
Rosemary Jones writes stories about fantastical creatures and superheroes, as well as collecting children's books about the same. For a list of her current publications, see her Amazon page or Goodreads page.

This story is made available here for SpoCon 2019 "All Hail The Goblin King" -- look for Rosemary on panels at the convention August 9-11, 2019. To learn more about the convention, please see their website.
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Comments

Unknown said…
Very cute story. Fluffy the Goblin!

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