Cobbin The Hobnobbing Goblin – Part 2
David John Newman
Jacobs Well, Queensland
WILD Competition entry
Continued from yesterday …
Upon each guests face, a mask hid all trace;
Of a trolls wicked soul, here in a human place.
On the walls, lanterns dim, cast shadow over sin.
By small light, all looked bright, to a spellbound goblin.
What he saw in the hall of the masquerade ball;
By magic’s touch, was not as such. – No! not at all.
All ladies there, oh so fair, dressed in silk and lace;
Elegant, intelligent to make his heart race.
The little goblin, he had tricked them, one and all;
That night at high societies masquerade ball.
He spoke to the guests as one who had been well schooled;
But now, our little Cobbin, he had them all fooled.
Cobbin could not help but stare at one lady fair;
A beautiful enchantress with long flowing hair.
Smitten he, to take the chance, to ask her to dance;
And she agreed, plain to see, the start of romance.
Curious be, those deceived, both goblin and troll;
That at such place, be found grace, and love take its hold.
As they danced, they were entranced, by the witches spell;
Yet loves bloom, no spell can doom, which is just as well.
There was an evil troll by the name of Groll;
By a promise told, planned to wed the lady troll.
As Groll watched Cobbin, romancing her – hobnobbing;
Anger welled within, towards this one so charming.
Plans defined in Grolls mind to win back her heart;
And bring shame to Cobbin, that he must then depart.
Not knowing that Groll had won many a tournament;
He was miffed by the trolls constant little torments;
And Cobbin desired such, that he then accepted;
A challenge issued, with nought for love respected.
For each of them one chance to step most debonair;
And dance the dance of swords, to win the lady fair.
Cobbin went first, unknown by him the witches curse;
Where by trolls and human souls, were seen in reverse.
Bonny watched the cook take a long knife to sharpen.
She called for Cobbin, but Cobbin could not harken:
Lost he, in this place, where humans would dare not go;
He felt here at ease, though nothing he saw was so.
Cobbin leaped up so high as he spun in the air;
To dance up a treat and to win the lady fair.
High kicks, acrobatic tricks, up on tippy-toes:
Cobbin he did know, he ought not put on such a show.
Humans cannot dance quite the way that goblins do;
And he saw humans, for Cobbin did not see true.
Some gathered close, with hopes, Cobbin might defeat Groll;
But Groll was the troll that many there did extoll.
In the kitchen, they heard and felt the passions grow.
Came one and all, through the door, just to watch the show.
The cook, holding bonny, reached for all his money;
To wager that Groll would win back his fair lady.
As he reached to place his bet, his hold loosed some yet;
With no, ‘By your leave!’ Bonny jumped free of the threat.
Onto the tote table jumped Bonny the Bunny.
She ran wildly around and knocked down the money.
Coins of copper and gold, which across the floor rolled;
In the mayhem to steal them, were chased by the trolls.
In their confusion and greed, the trolls did ignore;
One little white rabbit, as she leaped to the floor.
Zigzagging, zagzigging, Bonny raced all around;
But for the poor scared bunny, no exit was found.
Lost he, in the dance of swords, and still going strong;
Cobbin knew nothing of all the things going on.
Back flips, dangerous tricks, with the swords all flashing;
He tripped over Bonny and then came down crashing.
Bewildered he, in that she, might cost him his chance;
To win the lady fair at the masquerade dance.
‘What have you done?’ he said, ‘Groll may now defeat me!’
‘So sorry,’ she cried, ‘but the trolls want to eat me.’
‘Trolls?’ Cobbin asked, ‘I see nothing but human souls.’
‘If you’ve lost me my chance, then you must pay the toll!’
Bonny ran off in fright, so alone in her plight;
As the cook chased her that night, with his sharpened knife.
Groll the troll, that many did extol, took his turn;
So sure he, that Cobbin had such lessons to learn.
Groll had won many tournaments in these events;
And he glared at Cobbin with nothing but contempt.
‘Watch now,’ Groll sneered, ‘as I win her away from you!’
Cobbin felt so sad, for he thought it might be true.
Groll spun around, swords flashing brightly in the air;
And to be quite honest, he did look debonair.
Swishing, twirling swords to make a chandelier;
Cheating death, most held their breath, but Groll showed no fear.
Cobbin watched astounded, his fears now compounded;
As he saw that Groll’s confidence was well founded.
To see Groll leaping, through an arc of swords sweeping;
It was a wonder to behold this troll dancing.
The only rule was, that each must dance on their own;
With no help from others, they must be all alone.
Cobbin, head held low, turned away from Groll’s display.
That he felt beaten, it was quite needless to say.
For all his hobnobbing, he was but a goblin.
For all his wishing, he was still only Cobbin.
Bonny ran screaming, it was for her dear sweet life;
As the cook chased her around with his sharpened knife.
When she saw Groll dancing with sword numbers untold;
She leaped onto his chest, to take hold of the troll.
‘Save me! Save me!’ Bonny cried out in her great fear;
But through all the commotion, her words were unclear.
All his steps, in which before there had been no faults;
Looked now strange somehow, as Groll danced the Rabbit Waltz.
Swords falling by the way, Groll was disqualified.
He could not pry Bonny off, even though he tried.
‘Ah!’ said Cobbin, ‘You’ve found my lucky rabbits foot.’
‘Now a wedding present, her life not be forsook’.
They married right there, Cobbin to his lady fair;
They found a troll priest and had a bug feast to share;
But then the clock struck twelve, which broke the witches spell.
Those things unknown were then shown at the final bell.
All those secrets of the past, that could never last;
Were revealed now of all who hid beneath the masks.
Poor little Cobbin, he was still but a goblin;
So intent had he been on all this hobnobbing.
‘What’s this?’ screamed Groll, ‘I’ve been cheated by a goblin?’
And now Cobbin saw trolls, to end his hobnobbing.
Yet loves bloom, no spell can doom, which is just as well;
For the love betwixt troll and goblin would not quell.
Cobbin with his lady fair, raced towards the door.
Bonny ran ahead, for she, they could not ignore.
Jumping, thumping wildly on the door, Bonny cried;
‘Hurry up! I’ve had enough! Let me get outside!’
One hundred trolls, led by Groll, chased them through the night;
Down dark streets, until came the early dawning light.
They made their way back to Cobbins beloved forest;
And only when they reached its safety could they rest.
For many more years, all sang the song of Cobbin;
And the adventures of the brave little goblin.
Even today, his story is still often heard;
Through the breeze in the leaves and by the song of birds.
Now happy is Cobbin, there with his lady fair;
So no more hobnobbing for Cobbin the goblin.
Now happy is Cobbin, there with his lady fair;
A troll and a goblin with their ten little troblins.
Bio: David says that this is the revamped English version of ‘Cobbin’ a fairy tale which has been translated into Russian and is now read to schoolchildren in war torn Ukraine, believe it or not, by a Police officer giving road safety education. This particular version has an added character and is done in a poetic form.