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The Kobald Letters

Son of Stump

My Dearest Auntie. 

It is with a full belly and happy mouth that I left for the human hive.  I departed on the smoke and wheels balanced on the two long metal vines just down the road from the Rolf farm. At first, I was afeared that my travels would not happen as I did not understand the dance of “tickets please.” But, thanks to the family charm, I made a grand impression on uncle ticket man. “Ride on the roof for all I care,” he said, and I was so thrilled with his generous suggestion that I gifted him a beautiful rat. A great big one from Mama’s smothering jar. Uncle Ticket man, so overcome, demonstrated a new human custom to me. He shared the contents of his full belly for all to see. I fear I was uncouth. I could not return his generous sharing as the smoke and wheels beast whistled our leaving time.


The roof was exciting. A wonderous change in how we Kobolds see the world around us. In the village everything is still, unless we move.  Then, still with slow changes as we move. On the roof, everything moves but it is I that am still. The land moves. The sky moves. The air moves very fast against my eyes. My luggage moves from my satchel. Uncle Berthrob’s maps on the human hive sprang out and flew away home. Please look out for them.  


I was kissed by a bird. Birds kiss very, very hard when they see you riding on the roof of the smoke and wheels. My snout ached till Father Sun descended from the sky. Mrs. Moon was kind enough to follow me for the night. As a true friend of the Kobold she follows us everywhere! Bats gave me their kisses as well, though much softer.  

I will be riding the smoke and wheels for two more trips with Father Sun and Mrs. Moon.  I will write again when I arrive at the human hive. 


I hope this message reaches you and the family soon. Please teach mother how to read so I may write to her.  

All my Love to you, mother, the twins, Ergothrip and Neondomath, 



My Dearest Auntie, I don’t know where to begin! So many good humans here, and I’m sorry to say, one bad.   

Greetings from the human hive! What a place! For here there are more humans, huts, metals, smoke and smells than I ever imagined. Louder than a million waterfalls with an array of crunches, crashes squeals and snaps. It is like the forest came alive to have harsh words with a rock quarry. Uncle Berthrob was much too humble in his tales on the size of the grand human hive. It is enormous. When I left the smoke and wheels roof, I felt so small. My belly was empty, and fear was making it a home. But a kindly human auntie let out a beautiful welcoming shriek and pointed to me. Her greeting invited many others to join. I have never felt so welcome in a new place.  

Because I am smaller than humans a thoughtful uncle picked me up by my neck to give me a better view. A large crowd of pointing welcomes greeted me. I returned this kindness. I let out such a shriek of welcome while extending my best finger. You know the one.  Many Aunties had little human hatchlings who played the game of “hide behind” and I felt they were inviting me to join. A group of big uncles with salty smells and runny noses wanted to approach me with gifts. Well-made sticks and shiny sharp metals, and one with appealing new rope. I was so pleased.  

But not all humans were so nice. 


As I was showered with the gifts and the welcomes a human arrived that aggressively attacked my new friends. Oh Auntie, my heart falls to an empty stomach as I write this to you. This Uncle seems to be one of the hives' big uncles. And a bad one at that. I remember sitting on your knees as you told me of second uncle Torblignonthomeanth and how he told everyone in the village what to do. How he told you what human farms to stay away from. What humans were bad because they were sick with the “sober.” This human could be three Torblignonthomeanth’s stacked end to end. He is called Professor. 

His voice was a very loud bellow, like the call of Farmer Rolf’s old dog. He yelled and shook fists at my new friends, making me very embarrassed. “You ignorant fools” he said as he puffed around like a strutting cluck cluck. “That is A Kobald from the forests! A being of purity and blah blah blah...” So rude auntie! So rude. 

 I know I am new to the human hive, but I do not want to be seen as unworldly. I was trying to be respectable. This Uncle professor made me look like a tourist! I know what you’re thinking auntie, I can just see you shaking your head. I am a tourist. But I don’t need to be treated like a hatchling. I am four now! And I wish to be treated as such. 


I am sorry for the rude tone of my letter. I will continue.  


The rude uncle Professor threw his great big round body around and it seemed to drench the crowd of humans with shame. He told them many things about us Kobald. Things I thought were not true or nice. He said we were “ghosts of the forests.” That we “helped clean homes of humble farm folk and picked up their sins.” Bah! I have never seen a sin nor picked one up in my life. I remember I once helped farmer Rolf unpack the lovely soot from his fire closet. I spread the soot all over his kitchen while he was milkings moos. But he was very clear that what I did was not cleaning! 


This professor just kept embarrassing me. He said I had to be here with a message from the “nature.” I don’t know this nature. I do not like that he tells strangers this nature and I are working together. It makes me sound like a bandit. The worst part is my new friends chose to listen to this professor! I did not get to play with their hatchlings or accept their gifts of the sticks and the sharp metal. Ooh that made me so mad. One nice uncle had made a loop out of the rope for me. No loop for Twoblignog though.   


My greeters left and I was forlorn. Worse yet they left me with the stupid professor. He then insisted on my going with him, but I ran off. If he can be so rude, so can I.  


As I write this dear Auntie, I am in a wonderful place between two human huts that throw many foods and old water on the hard ground. I am well fed and there are many polite and tasty rats. I talked with a nice uncle who takes his sober medicine in healthy amounts. He calls this wonderful place an alley. Tomorrow I am looking forward to trying again to meet and greet more humans in the hive. I cannot wait to tell you of my progress.  

Please tell mother I am being a responsible fellow when you read this to her. Don’t tell about the professor accusing me of working with nature. She will think I fell in with the wrong crowd.  

From the safety of a human alley, 



Dearest Auntie. Your sweet nephew is coming up in the human world. Tell mother I am a success! 


Where do I begin? Well, I think here.  


The day began with a scrumptious meal on the floor of the alley. Smelly Meats, brown vegetables and a cool drink from a nice puddle. My stomach full, I ventured out to greet many new humans. I practiced my greetings on the first uncle I saw. A very big man, bigger than most humans. But I remembered what I had learned the previous day about greeting new friends. I stretched out my long Kobold finger and shrieked at him as loudly as I could. What a joyous uncle! He leaped high into the air. Upon his ground shaking return to earth, he bulged his eyes out and invited me to a game of chase. Big uncle was much faster than I would have thought. We ran across the human hive for a little while and more humans came out to look. They did not join but they too greeted me with shrieks and points. I returned the greetings as best I could.  

But big uncle was far too good at the game of chase, and I lost track of him. Really, I am not sure how with his size. Many other humans saw me through and were very interested in starting a new game with me. I was invited to play a game I call ‘the lovely sack.’ It is a game of travelling to new places. A secret uncle puts a cloth bag over you, and he then takes you someplace new. To keep you from knowing where, he confuses you by throwing the sack, hitting the sack and dropping the sack. He will even trade the sack with others.  But I was much too good. I counted Uncle 1 walked me seven hundred and thirty-two steps towards where father sun starts his day. Uncle two carried me 98 steps towards a place where some whinnies sleep. I was then put on a Ms. Whinnie where we went five hundred and twelve whinnies' steps in the direction of where the cold wind comes from. Then uncle three took me forty-eight steps up. This must be where I lost because they dropped me out of the lovely sack, and I was in a human hut with Uncle Professor.  


Uncle Professor was very happy to see me. I guess it’s nice that one of us was. “I’ve finally found you dear Kobold!” and I told him “Yes I’m sorry you have.” I asked him if he would play hide behind with me and to please hide first but he did not listen. He talked to me for a long time about the human hive being a place of filth and stench, as though it was a bad thing. What rudeness. Why would any human listen to someone who doesn’t like their own kind?  


Well, my dear Auntie, I listened until I didn’t. And when I stopped listening to Uncle professor, I saw something amazing! Uncle Professor’s hut was on top of another hut, which sat on another hut. So, we were very high up in the air. And so, I looked out the rectangular hole in Uncle Professors wall and saw a human head! How tall a man this must be! He was grey and held very still as though playing a game of freeze. I then saw he was not a giant man but what Uncle Berthob had called a Sta-choo.  

Uncle Professor was still talking and since he liked his own voice more than I did I left him to enjoy it. I crawled out of the smaller hole in his hut and climbed down, greeting the humans in the other huts through their rectangular holes. 


When I reached the busy ground, I approached the Sta-choo and, oh auntie, what splendor! The grey uncle Sta-choo was so tall! He pointed in the grand greeting of the humans, and can you guess where he pointed? Go ahead Auntie guess! Ask mother to as well. The twins should guess as well so call them into the room.   

He pointed to our land Auntie! The grey uncle Sta-choo points to us in a warm greeting. My heart was overcome with joy and love for the humans. My dear family, we are welcome here in the human hive and I know it. 

I took several steps back and adjusted my stance. I took the deepest breath I ever could muster. I sucked in all the air of the human hive with ferocity and Kobold strength. From my lips to my toes to my hips to my nose I sucked in all the smells of the hive. The salty sweat of the uncles, the fragrant dung of the animals, the sweet stench of the putrid and the odd flowers the aunties wore; I sucked it all into me. My chest grew big with the air of the hive. I pulled myself up onto my tip toes, stretched out my best-looking arm and pointed at Uncle Sta-choo.  


My greeting shriek was the loudest noise a humble fellow such as myself could make auntie. And it rang. It was so loud all the humans in the hive stopped what they were doing. So loud that birds grew quiet. So high in pitch that the dogs that live in the hive began to join in with me. I greeted Uncle Sta-choo.  

Many humans surrounded me to say hello. They eagerly grabbed me and held me up above their heads wrapping me snuggly in the kind of rope farmer Rolf uses to play with his moos. The humans called over a special group of Uncles who wear a beautiful blue. These Uncles threw me to the earth and held me down with hugs of joy at my grand greeting.  


Then uncle professor showed up again and began yelling at my new friends. He pulled out many papers he had and told them that I was better off with him than with them. My new blue uncles were kind enough to dismiss him. They rescued me from the uncle Professor and his endless talking.  

Auntie, I now sit in a wonderful hotel with beautiful metal poles and a miniature pond for my convenience. It is called a cell. My new friends in the blue call themselves the police. They are going to introduce me to many new friends tomorrow including one called uncle Judge.  


I hope I have captured the wonder and happiness this trip has brought dear Auntie. I feel it may be a while before I can write again. I will be very busy with new friends. Please give my love to mother, the twins, Ergothrip, Neondomath, Kloboldaly, Dwitnoth, Qxeston, and Chet.  

Your darling Nephew 


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