Although the nature of goblins varies from menacing to malevolent, all goblins love chaos and trouble. A goblin may hide small objects or alter a signpost to trick a traveler. They weave nightmares out of cobwebs, which they insert into human ears. Some goblins have even stolen human babies, exchanging them for ugly goblin infants, called changelings. Even their laughter sours milk and causes fruit to fall from trees.
When humans began mining for metals and minerals, cave-dwelling goblins took their mischief to new levels. Blowing out the miners’ dim lanterns and breaking their tools, these cave-goblins became known as “knockers” for the mysterious tapping noises they made to confuse the miners in the dark underground tunnels. (In other countries, knockers are known by other names: In Germany they are called kobolds and wichtlein, while they are called coblynau in Wales.) Offended by the miners’ whistling or swearing, knockers showered the miners’ heads with small stones. If it appeared a miner had lost his wits, heartless knockers would pop out from the rocks, pulling their already ugly faces into horrible grimaces to torment him further. With time, however, some miners found a way to calm, and even befriend their underground foes. By leaving a portion of their pastie””the miner’s traditional meal””the miners could win a knocker’s goodwill. In return, a knocker might lead the miner to a wealthy lode.
As miners tore away and destroyed the goblins’ cavernous homes, the goblins returned the favor in like kind. Following the men into their villages, goblins took up living in farmhouses, taking their revenge upon the human households. It was found that many goblins favored children””especially naughty children! At first such children, attracted by the goblins’ wicked sense of humor, agreed to their do goblin-friend’s bidding. However, a goblin is never a loyal friend, as many children learned when deserted to receive severe punishments on their own. From their hiding spots, goblins rejoiced to watch adults lose their tempers and mete out severe punishments upon their children.
Like the miners, housewives soon found a way to chase off goblins who had taken up residence in their houses. By always remaining sweet-tempered, the ladies managed to bore the pests, sending him to look elsewhere for excitement. If that failed to work, the housewife could try spreading flax seed across her floors over night. Sometimes the goblin would feel compelled to pick up the seed by hand. Goblins, like gnomes, cannot endure the sunlight of day, and if their task could not be finished by dawn’s light, the frustrated goblin””unable to cause any mischief for the night, would move elsewhere.
Goblins are known to mimic human actions. How they are perceived in the natural world must give humans pause to reflect””for the goblin nature may very well be nothing more than a mirror held up to mankind, showing us the very worst aspects of our culture!
About the Author:
This article was written by Robin Daniels. Robin is a mystic and contributes to Mystical Creatures http://www.mystical-creatures.com and Fantasy Gifts http://www.fantasy-gifts.net .