Chapter 14 – A Puff of Magic


Later that night, the moon was bright and Jerry and Jacob began to feel nervous.

“What if we’re stuck with him forever?” Jacob couldn’t help feeling worried.

“Don’t even think about it,” said Jerry, secretly worrying himself.

Soon after, they were standing in the moonlight under Hob’s tree.

“Here’s the elf shoe.” Jerry thrust it into Hob’s grubby hand. “Oh, and I nearly forgot,” Jerry grinned. “Here’s a present for you as well. You wanted a present, remember?”

Jerry pushed a small red parcel tied with a blue ribbon into the goblin’s other hand. Hob stared big-eyed at Jerry and then at Jacob

“A present for me?” The goblin had a tear in his eye. “That is a good thing,” the goblin stammered. Thanks was still an unknown goblin word.

“Yeah,” Jerry smiled. “It’s something for you to play with your brothers in Goblinland.”

Jacob ran his hand through his hair.

“It’s time, Hob.” He glanced at his watch. “Now hold that shoe tight and wish for Goblinland with all your might. Come on, Hob, think really hard.”

The goblin stood there quieter than he had never been before, his eyes bright with teardrops, his right hand clutching the elf shoe and his left hand grasping his tiny red present.

“Think it, Hob,” Jerry muttered under his breath. “Think about your family, please, Hob, please!”

The goblin stayed still, gazing up into the bright face of the moon. He blinked, looked at the boys, and then he was gone! There was no flash, or noise or magic smoke – one second he was there and then, in the blink of an eye, Hob the goblin was gone.

The boys said nothing for a few moments

“It worked,” Jerry said at last. “It actually worked. I wonder what he was thinking about?”

“Chasing elves, probably,” said Jacob. “I expect that elf wanted his shoe back.”

Jacob laughed a bit, but didn’t sound very happy. Then, more cheerfully, he asked, “Hey, Jerry, what was the present?”

Jerry grinned as they began to walk back along the path.

“Remember that tiny pack of Snap cards we got in a Christmas cracker? We all laughed because they were too small to play with. Gran said, Snap cards for little people. So I thought – perfect for Hob and his family!”

The boys looked up at the clear moonlight sky and glanced back at the dark shadows of the woodland trees.

“That’s one place we don’t need to visit for a while,” Jacob groaned as they turned into the path leading to their garden. “I could sleep for a week. Being a goblin minder is hard work.”

“But I suppose we’ll miss him, in a funny sort of way.” Jerry glanced down at the spot where Hob had been standing just moments ago. “Looks like he has left us a goodbye present too.”

Jacob smiled as he picked up the dirty green scrap of rag that Hob had used as a hanky.

Back in their shed, Jacob found a small bag and carefully placed the rag inside it. Jerry smiled at the empty hammock before he fell asleep. “Maybe we’ll even miss him.”

The boys slept and slept. It was very late when Gran bustled in with a breakfast basket of rolls, yoghurts and orange juice.

“What on earth do you two do at night that makes you so tired? Well, it’s breakfast time. If you sleep any later, it’ll be time for lunch!” She opened a window and sniffed. “At least that awful smell seems better today. I wonder what it could have been?”


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