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The Goblin and the Woman

"There is much in this book that is serious," she said. "My mind tends toward the melancholy. Here is my 'The Sign in the Night,' 'My Evening Red,' and 'When I Got Klemmensen'-my husband; that one you may skip over, though it has thought and feeling. 'The Housewife's Duties' is the best one-sorrowful, like all the rest; that's my best style. Only one piece is comical; it contains some lively thoughts-one must indulge in them occasionally-thoughts about-now, you mustn't laugh at me-thoughts about being a poetess! Up to now it has been a secret between me and my drawer; now you know it, too, Mr. Kisserup. I love poetry; it haunts me; it jeers, advises, and commands. That's what I mean by my title, 'The Little Goblin.' You know the old peasants' superstitions about the Goblin who is always playing tricks in the house. I myself am the house, and my poetical feelings are the Goblin, the spirit that possesses me. I have written about his power and strength in 'The Little Goblin'; but you must promise with your hands and lips never to give away my secret, either to my husband or to anyone else. Read it loud, so that I can tell if you understand the meaning."

And the Assistant Schoolmaster read, and the Woman listened, and so did the little Goblin. He was eavesdropping, you'll remember, and he came just in time to hear the title 'The Little Goblin.'

"That's about me!" he said. "What could she have been written about me? Oh, I'll pinch her! I'll chip her eggs, and pinch her chickens, and chase the fat off her fatted calf! Just watch me do it!"

And then he listened with pursed lips and long ears; but when he heard of the Goblin's power and glory, and his rule over the woman (she meant poetry, you know, but the Goblin took the name literally), the little fellow began grinnning more and more. His eyes brightened with delight; then the corners of his mouth set sternly in lines of dignity; he drew himself up on his toes a whole inch higher than usual; he was greatly pleased with what was written about the Little Goblin.

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Rushen Coatie
Category: English folktales
Read times: 24