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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.
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.