Cobbin The Hobnobbing Goblin – Part 1
David John Newman
Jacobs Well, Queensland
WILD Competition entry
Little Cobbin he was yearning;
In him a desire wos burning;
To go down to the big city;
And fit in with society.
To go down to the big city;
Where all the girls are so pretty;
Although he’d heard the stories told:
‘No place there for goblins or trolls!’
Cobbin strolled through the forest, collecting a feast;
Of beetles, grubs and toadstools – all manner of treats;
When he heard a cry, – ‘Help me! Someone help me, please!’
Then Cobbin saw a man as he raced through the trees.
The man ran and stumbled, before he then tumbled;
And fell down a gully to lay there all humbled;
As six and seventy trolls, of him, took their hold;
To steal his fine clothes, and then to leave him there cold.
The lightning crackled and the witches they cackled;
As the poor man, he lay, all torn by the nettles.
Cobbin, the hobnobbing goblin, so pitied such;
That he went down to offer some beetles and grubs;
But as Cobbin drew near, the man ran off in fear;
Not knowing that Cobbin was his only friend here.
And there in his wake, left there to take, was a card;
Gilded fancy, but Cobbin found reading it hard:
‘An invitation, meant for those of high stations.’
Now reward for Cobbin and all his long patience.
‘A masquerade ball! Who wood suspect me at all?
Dancing with pretty girls in some grand manor hall?’
Cobbin collected more beetles and grubs to roast;
For he would not go without some gifts for the host.
And as he packed his swag, the word it passed around;
Of Cobbin’s good fortune and the card he had found:
From near and far, they came to see Cobbin that day;
That he felt like a king, it was needless to say.
Mythical creatures of the forest, enchanted;
Were hoping that Cobbin would have their wish granted;
To go along with him to the masquerade ball;
But no trolls came, for trolls don’t like people at all.
‘I cannot take so many!’ Cobbin said to them.
‘And until this day, most of you were not my friends!’
‘You laughed at me for wanting to go hobnobbing!’
‘You said humans would never accept a goblin!’
‘Give me good reason why I should take you along;
That all of you may then sing of Cobbin in song.’
Goblins, elves and leprechauns, in turn each one spoke;
But each just wanted to play on humans a joke.
‘I’ll take none of you, for only Cobbin such dreamed!’
Cobbin said in anger, and the banshees all screamed:
The witches cast spells to make Cobbin this day rue;
‘Black of night, switch of sight, Cobbin will not see true;
Where humans dwell, he cannot tell, them from the trolls;
And where there be trolls, Cobbin will see human souls!
Until midnight comes, then spells undone for Cobbin!’
‘To teach him not to be a hobnobbing goblin!’
Poor Cobbin did not know, the things that were to be;
As he started out, to meet with his destiny.
And as he walked through the trees, he heard soft rustling.
In the leaf litter, small creatures were all bustling;
To get last glimpse, me thinks, of brave little Cobbin;
To chance one last glance of the hobnobbing goblin.
‘We’ll not see him again! Of that fact, it is plain!’
‘Far better if Cobbin stays, better he remain!’
But one stepped forth, ‘I’ll go to the city as well;
For I know the way north, to where the humans dwell.’
‘People say, rabbits make the best stews – and it’s true!’
‘But I’ll make sweet cakes, pastries and casseroles too!’
So, Bonny the bunny went hop, hop, hop, hopping;
Along-side of Cobbin the hobnobbing goblin.
Twinkling bright, scattered lights, to brighten up the night;
They came to the city, they saw its wondrous sights.
Cobbin and Bonny wandered the cobblestone roads;
And marvelled that humans could live in such abodes.
All did scatter, did not matter, Cobbin saw trolls;
For him, the witches spell had not yet taken its hold:
They travelled on, ‘Trolls be gone!’ – Cobbin despised such;
‘The trolls they came, and for shame, this is just too much!’
‘But we will not share the invitation with them!’
‘They would spoil this whole night, on that you can depend!’
Down a darkened lane, where no light could be sustained;
Foul air, dankness there, of fear one could not be blamed:
The wind ghostly moaned, but Cobbin felt right at home.
All the where, they felt the stares, they were not alone:
They heard the bats screech, and the rats ate rotten peach.
Bonny held Cobbin back from joining in the feast;
‘Please Cobbin! In such a place we must not linger;
I feel here, evil clear – it is us to hinder!’
Then Cobbin saw what Bonny could not see at all;
Just ahead, nothing to dread, a grand manor hall!
Bonny tried to run in fear, as they drew so near;
But Cobbin heard no pleas and held her by the ears.
‘Your hopes not be forsook! You’ll make a splendid cook!’
But Bonny saw only trolls – saw it with one look:
‘Ahhh Sir! A fine rabbit! She’ll make us a good stew!’
the doorman said to Cobbin, ‘Welcome here to you!’
‘And such fine costume, to look just like a goblin!’
Toothy smile to beguile, ‘Rabbit for the kitchen!’
To be continued tomorrow …
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.