From Wikipedia, the source we can all quote from and not get sued:
A goblin is a monstrous creature from European folklore, first attested in stories from the Middle Ages. They are ascribed various and conflicting abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. They are almost always small and grotesque, mischievous or outright evil, and greedy, especially for gold and jewelry. They often have magical abilities similar to a fairy or demon. Similar creatures include brownies, dwarves, gnomes, imps, and kobolds.
Whoever wrote this obviously has no real experience with goblins. For that, we must go to primary sources. These sources do not include J. R. R. Tolkien. Tolkien used the term “goblin” in The Hobbit. He later wished that he had used the word “orc”, which is not the same creature as a goblin.
No, we need to go to someone who has accurately described goblin behavior and appearances. That would be James Whitcomb Riley. He’s been dead long enough that I may quote him liberally, like unto Wikipedia, with no ensuing legal consequences.
So here goes:
Little Orphant Annie
Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun,
A-listenin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers, –
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout: –
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,
She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘for she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’bugs in dew is all squenched away, –
You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
An’ cherish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
From my own experience, you can catch one in a properly baited snare, utilizing locally caught, free range, naughty children. They have a nice pelt and they taste like chicken. The goblins, that is. Don’t eat the children. You can sell their left over bits to the wicked witch down the street, thereby destroying the evidence.
First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast: