2017-08-27 / Family

Widgin the Brownie (Part 2)

By VALERIE EGAR
Author

Widgin, a small elf, known as a ‘brownie,’ stood by the fence and looked at Belle, a brown cow. That morning, he’d whispered good-bye to the Benson children as they lay sleeping and locked the front door behind him. He hadn’t wanted to leave, but no one believed in brownies anymore. The Bensons had no idea he watched over the house every night. The super-duper alarm system they installed made him feel like a failure. Electronic gadgets controlled everything and he was left with nothing to do. Widgin didn’t know where he was headed or what he was going to do, but now, he needed a place to sleep.

“What did you just say?”

Belle snorted and stamped her hoof. “I said, two brownies live in my barn and two is two too many! All they do is fight with each other! They play tricks on us, too.”

Widgin shook his head. “How odd!” he thought. “Brownies are peaceable.” He’d never heard of them fighting or playing tricks on anyone, certainly not animals. “Please,” Widgin said. “I need a place to sleep. I’ll leave in the morning. I’ll ask them to come with me.”

The cow shook her head and her bell clanged. “They said they’d leave in the morning, too, but they stayed and make trouble every day.”

Widgin hung his head. He supposed he could walk a little longer, but it was growing dark. He feared meeting a fox or a bobcat who might mistake him for something good to eat.

Belle sighed. “Oh, all right! You don’t seem like the other two. I know you’re hungry.”

Belle and Widgin strolled to the barn. “You’ll probably want to sleep in the loft,” advised Belle. “It’s cozy up there. Raffles — he’s the horse — will give you some of his oats. Not as good as oatmeal, but it will have to do.”

“Thank you,” said Widgin.

When they arrived at the barn, Belle and the other cows settled in their stalls because it was milking time. Widgin climbed to the loft and found a warm spot in a corner on a soft pile of hay. He stashed his tiny satchel. Bored, he walked back downstairs and went outside.

“Who you?” bleated a black and white goat. Her two kids frolicked nearby.

Widgin slipped under the fence. “I’m Widgin. What’s your name?"

 He heard a piercing scream and something yelled, “Troll! Troll! He’ll eat your children!”

A large Billy goat came flying across the pasture with his head lowered. “Troll?” he yelled. “Troll? Did you forget about the bridge?”

“I’m not a troll, I’m a brow —" Widgin began, but he was too late. The Billy goat head-butted him and Widgin flew high into the air, over the pasture fence and into a mud puddle.

Smarting from a hard landing, Widgin heard laughter.

“Oh, he’s in up to his ears in mud! I wonder if it tastes good.”

More giggles. “He mustn’t be too smart. Maybe he thinks he’s taking a bath.”

“He’s going to smell so —“

Widgin stood and yelled, “Stop it!”  He rubbed the mud from his eyes and walked to a water trough to clean his face. He looked at his two tormentors. Standing before him were two elfin creatures, but they were definitely NOT brownies. Hobgoblins!

Distant cousins to brownies, hobgoblins come from the troublemaking side of the elfin family. They encourage spiders to spin webs over doorways and giggle when people walk into them. Hobgoblins grab dogs’ tails for a ride and laugh with glee when the poor dog spins around and around trying to catch the hobgoblin latched onto it. A bit taller than a brownie, with mischievous faces, hobgoblins spend their days undoing shoelaces and hiding eyeglasses.

“Why’d you tell the goat I was a troll?” Widgin demanded.

“Just having a little fun,” said the first hobgoblin.

“My idea,” boasted the second.

“Was not.”

“Was too!”  They started to fight.

Widgin shook his head.  Something had to be done with these two!

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