The Little Hobgoblin - A Halloween Story

Grade Levels: Pre-K - 2

Posted: October 31, 2020 | Updated: October 31, 2020
Created by: Schoolhouse by the Sea

Here is a story to tell near Halloween, when the night is dark and to moon is full. Hear the tale of a naughty little hobgoblin (intended for ages preschool through 2nd grade), as retold by Ms Sylvia.

You can find the original version by Nancy Foster in her lovely compilation book, "Let Us Form a Ring."

Once, long ago and not too far away, there was a little hobgoblin. His home was in a thick, dark wood, nestled in an outcropping of rocks past the village. The stories say that all little hobgoblins are mischievous, but oh! what tricks this little hobgoblin played. All day and every day, he dreamed of ways to trick the villagers and the farmers and all their children. He was a particularly naughty little hobgoblin.

Each evening, as darkness fell and shadows spread, the little hobgoblin crept from his rocky home. If the moon shone brightly enough to see by, he would pick his way over the rocks, through the thick, dark woods, and right into the village!

Slowly and quietly, he would pop into the farmer’s barn and leap into the cow’s stall. The cows were eating peacefully, as cows do, but not for long — because do you know what the little hobgoblin did? He would wrap his little fingers around one cow’s tail, then wrap the little fingers of his other hand around another cows tail and — oh me, oh my! — he would tie them together. You can only imagine what chaos the farmer would find as he tried to lead them to pasture the next day!

If the moon still shone, the little hobgoblin would then slide slowly and quietly int the henhouse. The hens would be roosting, their eggs unattended. So what would the little hobgoblin do? Why, he would roll them into the corners and under some hay so that the farmer’s children couldn’t find them the next day!

If the stars were still out and the moon was bright, that little hobgoblin would continue his mischief, sliding out of the henhouse and creeping into the town. All the people were snug in their beds, but you know how it can be — sometimes they would leave their toys in the yard. Well, the little hobgoblins loved to take those toys and hide them deep in the woods.

If the little hobgoblin still had time before the sun came up, he would dance onto people’s doorsteps and porches. Again and again, he would ring the doorbells and pound on the doors, then — fast as a wink — would run out of sight. Sleepy and confused, the people would search and search, but no one could be seen. Just when they returned to their cozy, warm beds, the little hobgoblin would knock again! Naughty little hobgoblin!

After many nights like this, the villagers, the farmers, and all their children gathered together. They had had enough of these naughty tricks! But what could be done about it? Many ideas were shared, but none could be agreed upon. Finally, a small voice said, “I know what to do! Each of us must go out and bring back the biggest vegetable you can find!” Each person went to the fields and went to their homes. Carrots were too small and so was corn. This was the season, though, when beautiful orange squash were growing, so, after much deliberation, each person brought back a pumpkin.

The little voice spoke again, saying, “Let me show you what we shall do!” A little girl stepped forward and carefully cut into the top of the pumpkin. She took off the top, with the stem looking like a hat. Then, she scooped out the insides, saving the pulp and seeds to cook later. Finally, she carved two eyes, a nose, and a broad, cheeky smile into the pumpkin’s side. “We must all make Jack-o-lanterns!” she announced. “When it gets dark, light a candle inside and place it outside your house, facing the streets or fields. We’ll fool that silly hobgoblin!” The people did just as she said.

As daylight faded and the bright moon rose that evening, the little hobgoblin crept once again from his rocky home. He went over the rocks, through the woods and into the village. He was just about to slip into the cow’s stall when — oh my!— he saw a glowing, golden face staring right at him and smiling. Alarmed, he said to himself, “Someone sees me! I’ll leave the cows and go straight to the henhouse!” But at the henhouse it was just the same. Once again, a glowing, golden face smiled out at him. Alarmed, he said to himself, “Someone sees me! I’ll leave the hens and go straight to the yards!” But, again, a face sat smiling from the doorway. “ Alarmed, he said to himself, “Again, someone sees me! I’ll leave the toys and go straight to another door!” But, what do you know? Even the door had a smiling, golden face watching it.” Alarmed, the naughty hobgoblin had nothing left to say to himself. He simply ran, ran, ran away from the village, through the woods, over the rocks, and back to his home.

From that day on, he stayed away from the village and saved his mischief for the squirrels who live in the deep, dark woods. Haven’t you noticed that squirrels can be skittish and fast-moving? Well, they’re simply on the lookout for the hobgoblin’s latest little tick. They chatter at him and shake their tails, but the little hobgoblin just giggles. What a naughty hobgoblin! The squirrels are very tired of him.