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The Goblin in the Forest - A Children's Tale

Updated on March 14, 2015
Pollyanna Jones profile image

Pollyanna's influences include folklore, M.R. James, J.R.R.Tolkien, and H.P. Lovecraft.

Illustration from "English Fairy Tales" by J. Jacobs
Illustration from "English Fairy Tales" by J. Jacobs

Once upon at time, far away, there was a deep dark forest, called the Forest of Feckenham. It was so dark, that in the deepest parts, the sunshine never reached the ground through the trees, and it was there that a goblin lived.

The goblin's favourite food was snails, and he loved to suck them out of their shells... "slurp!", then crunch the shells up "crunch crunch!"

One day, a little boy and a little girl had gone out to collect some firewood so that their mummy and daddy could cook them some tasty cakes. They were talking about how lovely the cakes were going to be, and how they would decorate them, and weren't paying attention to where they were going. So it was no surprise that they soon got lost.

"How do we get home?" asked the little girl, looking about her at the tall trees that she didn't recognise.

"This way!" said the little boy, leading her along a mossy path.

"This isn't right." said the little girl, "I'm sure it's this way." she said, turning along another path that went alongside a small stream.

But they just got more and more lost.

"I remember now!" said the little boy, "It's back this way!" he declared, pointing towards a big pile of boulders in a clearing.

Well, the two children hurried as they were getting a bit frightened and hungry, and they started to cry.

Sunset in a forest by Arkhip Kuindzhi
Sunset in a forest by Arkhip Kuindzhi

"What do we have here?" hissed a voice, as a goblin with big yellow eyes snuck out from the brambles. "Visitors?"

The little boy and little girl stopped with a start as they saw the ugly creature emerge from the bushes. "Oh no! A goblin!" they both shouted.

"Yes, a goblin. And you have found my home." he smiled, with a mouth full of pointy teeth. He picked up a tasty looking snail off a log, and sucked out the juicy bit with a "slurp", then crunched up the shell as he decided what to do with the children. "Yuck!" they both said, as they watched him eat his slimy snack.

"I like snails." said the goblin, "but I think I will see what children taste like. Now come to me, and you shall be my dinner!"

The little boy and girl were frightened, but they were clever and brave. The little girl piped up, "Wait! If you like snails, then you will love the ones by our cottage. They are the biggest and juiciest snails that you have ever seen."

The goblin arched a brow as they caught his attention.

"Yes," said the little boy who understood his sister's plan. "They are the best snails in the whole of the forest. You won't taste better."

"Just show us the way back to the cottage, and we'll bring you a whole bucket full!" said the little girl.

The goblin scratched his pointy chin as he thought about this. He wasn't very bright, and he was greedy. So he agreed.

"Turn back and follow your shadows until you see the old lightning-struck elm. Then turn so the sun is to your right cheek, and you will find the path back to your cottage."

Gesner snails, from "Popular Science Monthly"
Gesner snails, from "Popular Science Monthly"

The children thanked him, and ran all the way home as fast as they could. When they got back to their lovely cottage, they told their mummy and daddy what had happened and were very sorry for straying so far.

"Don't you worry." said daddy. "If that nasty goblin comes here, we'll feed him to our dog!"

And so daddy put the firewood in the stove, and mummy helped the children to bake some delicious cakes.

It was not until the sun had gone down that the goblin realised that he had been tricked. He was furious! "Nasty children!" he hissed, "I'll get them and put them in my pot and have a tasty stew!"

He followed the path until he found the old lightning-struck elm, then turned to follow the path with the moon shining on his right cheek, until he could see the cosy lights of the little cottage on the edge of the woods.

He crept up to the window, where he could see the little boy and girl tucked up fast asleep in their beds with tummies full of cakes. He smiled a toothy smile, and decided that he would creep in and snatch them up when... "A-ruff ruff ruff!" out came the big dog! With a snarl, he bit the goblin on the bottom, and shook him like a rag.

"Ow ow owww!" howled the goblin, as the dog loosed its grip. Clutching his bottom, the goblin raced off back into the woods, as the dog gave chase. The goblin disappeared deep into the Forest of Feckenham, and nobody ever saw him again. The boy and the girl lived happily ever after, and learned never to stray where they could not find their way back.

Who knows what happened to the goblin. Perhaps he is still there now, deep in the forest, slurping snails. Yuck!

Illustration from "The Goblins' Christmas" by Elizabeth Anderson.
Illustration from "The Goblins' Christmas" by Elizabeth Anderson.

Are you ready for bed now?

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© 2015 Pollyanna Jones

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What a delightful children's tale Pollyanna. A happy ending is always nice and this ended well (except for the goblin). A well written and enjoyable read.

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image
      Author

      Pollyanna Jones 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks Jodah! Our little one suggested the characters, and I just took it from there.

    • Randy Horizon profile image

      Randy Hirneisen 2 years ago from Philadelphia

      Lovely story with a mean old snail slurping goblin. Spooky bedtime story for children. It is creative and fun to read.

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image
      Author

      Pollyanna Jones 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks Randy!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      They'll be asking for the nightlight!

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image
      Author

      Pollyanna Jones 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Poor things! My little one loves spooky stories for some strange reason. As long as the goodies win, of course.

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