The Benevolent Goblin





FROM GESTA ROMANORUM (ADAPTED)



In the kingdom of England there is a hillock in the midst of a dense

wood. Thither in old days knights and their followers were wont to

repair when tired and thirsty after the chase. When one of their number

called out, "I thirst!" there immediately started up a Goblin with

a cheerful countenance, clad in a crimson robe, and bearing in his

outstretched hand a large drinking-horn richly ornamented with gold and

precious jewels, and full of the most delicious, unknown beverage.



The Goblin presented the horn to the thirsty knight, who drank and

instantly felt refreshed and cool. After the drinker had emptied the

horn, the Goblin offered a silken napkin to wipe the mouth. Then,

without waiting to be thanked, the strange creature vanished as suddenly

as he had come.



Now once there was a knight of churlish nature, who was hunting alone

in those parts. Feeling thirsty and fatigued, he visited the hillock and

cried out:--



"I thirst!"



Instantly the Goblin appeared and presented the horn.



When the knight had drained it of its delicious beverage, instead of

returning the horn, he thrust it into his bosom, and rode hastily away.



He boasted far and wide of his deed, and his feudal lord hearing thereof

caused him to be bound and cast into prison; then fearing lest he, too,

might become partaker in the theft and ingratitude of the knight, the

lord presented the jeweled horn to the King of England, who carefully

preserved it among the royal treasures. But never again did the

benevolent Goblin return to the hillock in the wood.





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