“I remember very well, Grinmleck,” Vogle answered, menacingly. Vogle calls me Grinmleck, but I am not yet able to translate the meaning of the word.
“The night was warm and dry. I decided to leave the party after a few hours, rather than spend the whole night at the Bogler’s,” recalled Vogle.” The Boglers are well-known for their hospitality, their wild parties, and the very strong ‘blow your brains out’ apple and damson beverages that are consumed in huge quantities on these occasions.
At this early point in the story, I would like to point out that goblins will draw a person into a long intricate discussion when questioned about anything; if they have a mind to. It’s the way they are; they feel it’s expected of them. This behaviour can be very annoying and also very time consuming. It might be the lack of television, radio, IPods or books to help wile away the long dark winter evenings, that encourage them to indulge is such long boring diatribes. Some of you readers might feel that I make a meal of my posts, but believe me, I can’t hold a candle to Vogle’s intricate verbal meanderings. So, rather than bore you all to tears with the goblin’s words, I will voice this story in my own way. This is a posting after all, and the object is to keep things short and to the point. And don’t forget, it’s you readers – some of you, anyway – who have badgered me for another episode. So here goes! Let’s see which way this tale rolls:
After the Bogler’s party, Vogle made his way down the narrow path alongside Owl Brook (Hoo Brook) and onto the twin water pipes that run parallel with the swamp. He was accompanied for part of the way by his friend, the one-eyed Bogler. “Lovely night,” barked Ra Muntie, from somewhere in the swamp. “Indeed it is,” barked the goblin in reply – Vogle understands and talks to all the marsh animals in their own language. The Bogler crossed the river on the pipe bridge and the goblin turned left along the river bank, heading for North Pond. He crept very quietly on his hands and knees past the home of the vicious and much feared Minkymonk.
Vogle sat on the soft ground under the Lightning Tree and sucked his pipe. He puffed away contentedly, recalling some of his most favourite wonderful nights spent fishing on his pond. His coracle and fishing gear are hidden in the reeds. The pond is one of the goblin’s most treasured of all places. There is nothing better after a night out at the Bogler’s, thought Vogle, than spinning gently in my coracle.
Clouds of pungent pipe smoke billowed up through the Lightening Tree. The cooler birds and nutlers coughed and wheezed as the smoke brought tears to their eyes. Within seconds they began to fall from their branches, stunned rigid, hitting the soft ground with sickening dull thuds. The goblin tittered as he counted six glorious thuds. Not bad, he thought. I fancy a fresh cooler bird snack right now.
The goblin picked up and inspected the cooler birds; he wasn’t at all keen on the taste of nutlers. Selecting the juiciest, he sat under the tree and removed the bird’s head cleanly from its body with one quick bite. He chomped away noisily until there was nothing left but feathers. With a full belly, he walked down to the edge of the pond and pushed his head into the water to wash the blood from his face and beard. “That was a really tasty he mumbled to himself. Vogle washed away the blood not because he wanted to be clean, nor was he ever so slightly concerned about his appearance; no, he didn’t want the marsh carnivores to smell the blood and chase him. He is not afraid of the carnivores; he has many ways of dealing with vicious hungry beasts. No, he prefers not to run all over the marsh on a full stomach.
The goblin’s pipe is filled with a potent concoction of specially selected herbs, flower petals, shredded fly agaric toadstools, and ground up deadly nightshade berries. There have been times when breathing in this fragrant second-hand pipe smoke, that my head has soared to a weird and mystical land where fairies serve me bowls of strawberries and cream, large whiskies in finely cut crystal tumblers, and even big fat Cuban cigars from a sandalwood box.
Vogle decided to visit a friend who lived in the wood next to his. He would walk along the river bank where he will be hidden from the moonlight and hungry mash animals.
Everything went to plan until Vogle crawled under the fence into the Tenant Farmer’s Corridor. He sniffed the sweetness of a Long Tall Grinner. Slowly, and quietly he crawled along the edge of the river bank. Goblins are not good swimmers, and they would never ever think of venturing into a river. Vogle stood as still as he could. His body tingled with apprehension. He pressed himself tightly against a tree – nothing moved. He crept silently to the towards the next tree. Suddenly, a brilliant flash lit up the night, severely frightening him and the pet bat that lives in his beard. The startled bat shrieked and flew terrified into the darkness. Vogle wasn’t so fortunate! Temporarily blinded by the flash, the goblin lost his footing and fell headlong into the river. “Help me, help me!” he screamed.” I’ve fallen in the water.” As he sank into the spiraling murky depths of the river, the goblin saw a large dark shape loom over the river bank….