tips for spotting hobgoblins in secret and why that’s best


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.

the patchwork castle of the hobs


As the years went by, the castle began to show its age. A family of hobgoblins were put in charge of maintenance and then they and the castle were forgotten. Frost filled the towers, bats crept in to roost, and mice ruled the throne room. The land began to shift and cracks crept through the stonework.

The hobs did their best to keep abreast of the decay, filling the cracks with mortar and shooing the bats from the bedrooms. They invited cats into the throne room and lit fires in the tower hearths when they could. After the roof collapsed they knew no king would ever return. Their wages were lost, but they’d nowhere else to go and they’d grown to love the tumble-down place.

So the hobs gardened in the courtyards and hunted in the wood to survive. They grew herbs in the open kitchen and trained peas to climb in the cracks of the stone walls. The towers they planted with grape vines, and in a few short years the towers were filled with grapes which made the choicest wine.

They sent some to the current King, who raised his glass to their success. He was so impressed he gifted them the castle, and they stayed there forever while it tumbled down around them.


It had taken all night, but the sail was mended. The fairies blessed it with dew and the hobgoblins gave it a stubborn streak so deep even the gentlest of breezes would whip it into a frenzy and send the ship speeding through the water. The sailors thanked them for their gifts and left to seek their next adventure on the terrible midnight seas.