Julia spun around and saw a tiny green blur scurry across the bookcase.
A scrabble of feet, a tiny sneeze, something squeezed out of sight.
A book of fairytales flew off the shelf and hit the floor with a thud.
“Who’s there?” Julia imagined a spiky grasshopper.
Carefully, so carefully, she put the book back where it belonged.
A tiny hand, a papery scrape, a puff of dust and the book whizzed off the shelf again.
“Ouch!” It hit Julia right on the nose. “That wasn’t very nice.”
Zing, clunk, thump! She heard a chuckle as more books pinged off the shelf.
“Stop that.” Julia rapped on the bookcase. “Don’t you like books?”
“No!” a tiny voice squeaked. “Hobgoblins hate books!”
And out of hiding came a tiny green hobgoblin.
He had a gold buckle on his pointy hat and gold buckles on his pointy shoes.
She replied firmly. “Then please leave my books alone and go away.”
“Was planning to make a pile of books up to your window,” he grumbled.
Julia thought for a moment. “Use a chair.”
“Can’t move a chair all by myself,” he mumbled.
The hobgoblin watched as Julia pushed the chair under the open window.
“Difficult for me to get way over there,” he huffed, arms folded.
Quickly Julia gathered the books and stacked them like a staircase.
It wobbled but the hobgoblin skipped down as light as a feather.
He tapped his foot while she built another staircase up to the seat of the chair.
He scrambled onto the leather seat and stopped. “Can’t grab the window ledge.”
With a voice like her mother’s, Julia said “Try.”
Bounce, bounce! The tiny hobgoblin tried kangaroo hops.
Several books shook, but it didn’t work.
He changed his frowny face into a crooked smile.
He raised his tiny green arms. “Would be most grateful if you’d pick me up.”
Julia felt uncomfortable, she wondered if he might bite.
“Miaow.” Julia’s cat prowled into the room.
With a squeal, the hobgoblin jumped high in the air and flew out the window.
In a flash, the cat raced after him.
Julia ran to the window and saw the cat jump down as the hobgoblin flew up.
The hobgoblin’s tiny, shiny wings caught the breeze and he flew over the fence.
Julia looked down at her wide-eyed cat. “Well, that was a mystery.”
The window stayed open as Julia heaped her books higher and higher and higher.
She placed her favourite book of fairytales on top.
Meanwhile her cat sniffed at a speck of green on the window ledge.
It was a tiny pointy hobgoblin hat.
Julia snatched it up and something fell out.
A teeny tiny book with a gold cover.
She laughed. “He does like books after all!”
Something tiny and green hovered just outside her window.
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward