The Goblin Tree by Adam Charnock from flickr

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And so as night fell, I carried my daughter to her bed. Her tired eyes grew big as she said, “Father, please tell me more of the story.”

I chuckled as I pulled the sheets over her. “Oh, alright, but just a bit.” Her face lit up, and I sat down on the bed and continued the tale I had started many nights ago.

“Where was I? Ah, yes, I made my way back to that tree, still determined to keep the promise I made with the monk. I took the goblin down from the tree once again and slung him over my shoulder. After walking for a while in silence, I thought I might actually be able to carry him the whole way.

But alas, the goblin spoke, ‘Oh great king who is truly wise and clearly patient. I shall ease your weary steps with a story.’ At this point, I almost cried out an objection, but I held my tongue.

And so the goblin began his tale. ‘In a distant land known as Peace, there ruled a King. Having no heirs, the king made trips to the holy river to pray to the gods for a child. After many trips, the gods recognized his faith and dedication and said to him, “Your prayers have been heard. You will receive a son who will be a rivaling force to neighboring countries and a daughter whose beauty will be the envy of the nymphs.”

The king was delighted and returned to his palace. There, his wife gave birth. First to a boy and then a girl. Proud of his daughter, once she grew of age, the king sought throughout the kingdom to find a suitable husband for her. However, despite his efforts, he found no one he deemed worthy. “My daughter, I can find no one worthy of you.” He said, “Let me summon kings here, and you shall have your pick of them.”

“Father, that would be far too embarrassing. Please, all I desire is a handsome young man who has devoted himself to a science.” She replied.

And so the king set out once again to find men that met her description. After a while, four men came forward to ask for her hand. The first said, “I am a famous tailor and make five suits a day. One to honor a god, one to honor a Brahman, one for myself, one for my future wife, and the last one I sell for daily necessities. I beseech you, give me your daughter to wed.”

The second said, “I am a talented farmer known for my high-quality goods. I possess the knowledge of animal speech, which allows me to cater to my livestock better than any other. I beseech you, give me your daughter to wed.”

The third said, “I am an expert swordsman who has taken to the science of the blade. None can best me in combat. I beseech you, give me your daughter to wed.”

The fourth said, “I am a Brahman who possesses a powerful skill. I can bring the dead back to life. Isn’t that such a heroic skill? I beseech you, give me your daughter to wed.”

And thus, the king and his daughter had much to think about.’

The goblin chuckled and asked, ‘Oh, king, who should they choose? Remember, if you know and refuse to answer, your head will explode.’

And this time, I did not even have to think. I berated the goblin. ‘Are you growing so tired of speaking that you neglected to create a riddle. There is no thought needed to answer your question. Clearly, the warrior should be chosen as he is the only leader. Are not those other three destined only to serve?’

And hearing that, the goblin disappeared from my back, and I once again turned around to head back to the tree.”

I kissed the forehead of my now sleeping daughter. “Goodnight, my precious angel,” I said and extinguished the candle at her bedside.

Author’s Note:

I thought it would be a good idea to have the twenty-one goblins story written from the king’s memory. And I thought, what better way than as a bedtime story as these riddles really do resemble someone constantly adding more night after night.

Based off of The Twenty-Two Goblins Mythology and Folklore UN-Textbook: Myth-Folklore Unit: Twenty-Two Goblins.

5 thoughts on “Week 5 Story – The Bedtime Tale

  1. Hello! I first just wanted to say what drew me to your story was that it is a bedtime tale which is exactly what I did for my story during this week too. I loved how you made it a bedtime tale then within the story, there was also a goblin who was telling a story. I have never read this story but I like how you told it and showed in the author’s note why you told the story the way you did. The only thing I would suggest is how you ended the goblin’s story, it seemed like it just cut off a little abruptly. Maybe just adding a sentence or two more could have helped you to end it. I get why you ended the story like that though since it is a bedtime story and it can be added to more in the future if needed.

  2. This was a cute story to read right before bed! I really loved the thought put into changing the story telling device to king’s point of view, as it brought the importance of making the right decisions all the more important to both his daughter and keeping his own head! I would have liked to know how to story would have finished after the King answered the goblins riddle. Did the king choose the right “Scientist” for his daughter, or did his head explode. I think the King who gave no thought to the riddle answered wrong, the correct answer should have been gentleman number 4 because he is obviously a doctor. For the science of health is the most important and most valid one of all presented. I also found it funny yet troubling that the king could only find four suitable suitors for his daughter out of his whole kingdom.

  3. This was a cute story to read right before bed! I really loved the thought put into changing the story telling device to king’s point of view, as it brought the importance of making the right decisions all the more important to both his daughter and keeping his own head! I would have liked to know how to story would have finished after the King answered the goblins riddle. Did the king choose the right “Scientist” for his daughter, or did his head explode. I think the King who gave no thought to the riddle answered wrong, the correct answer should have been gentleman number 4 because he is obviously a doctor. For the science of health is the most important and most valid one of all presented. I also found it funny yet troubling that the king could only find four suitable suitors for his daughter out of his whole kingdom..

  4. Hey Jordan! I really enjoyed this story! I thought the idea of the story getting added to night after night was a good idea. It leaves the reader definitely thinking a lot about what will happen on future nights that the king continues his story for his daughter. When writing, did you consider what the goblin’s response may have been to the king at the end of the story? I was wondering what it might have said, would it have been snarky? Or wise? Or Kind? The only minor suggestion I have is to maybe add in some more description. There is a lot of dialogue, which I good for the storytelling aspect, but doesn’t help create the picture as well. Maybe describing the goblin tree? or the road the king is walking along or something? It would really help to set the scene. Anyways, good job! I look forward to reading more of your stories!

  5. Jordan, your story was very well written. I liked the bedtime setup. I got a little confused towards the end. It seemed like the head exploding thing came out of nowhere. Maybe if the author’s note had more explanation I would understand? The father, the king, is telling a story about his past to his daughter, so that makes sense that he focuses on the daughter in the story. I might have to read this story myself to understand better. You have the first picture I’ve seen that’s actually frightening. I would be scared to see such a thing hanging from a tree. Keep up the good work.

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