Over the course of my life, I’ve collected many methods for seeing the fey. As a former little girl, a mother, and a writer, I consider these the tools of my trade. Among my favorites are wearing your jacket inside out, gazing through a hagstone, and washing your eyes with dew at midnight on the summer solstice. My favorite one of all is peering through the natural hole in an autumn leaf.

This method is, in fact, the best way I’ve come across for spotting a hobgoblin unbeknownst to the hob, which is the best way. If they know you’re looking, they might adopt you and start doing your dishes and helping out around the kitchen. In return, they’ll expect you leave out a saucer of milk for them behind the stove. This might seem like a wonderful idea, but here’s where things can get complicated.

One night your cat is bound to discover the saucer and have itself a taste. Hobgoblins turn into boggarts when they lose their temper over the cat stealing their dinner, and the next thing you know kitty’s been turned into a dragon. Now you have to go out and buy a dump truck full of kitty litter every week. This can get expensive, and that’s without the fee of hiring an excavator to empty the stinky thing. Toss in the extra insurance charges for having a fire-breathing pet and suddenly you’re broke, your kitty litter’s overflowing, and you can’t even afford dragon kibble.

Of course, you do get a dragon out of the deal. This may seem wonderful, but be warned, the dragon isn’t guaranteed. I had a friend whose cat was turned into a saber toothed tiger after drinking her hob’s milk. I miss her. If only I’d told her about the holey autumn leaf.

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