Do you lose a lot off stuff? I do. Socks. Cards. Little toys. All sorts of things. My mom gets mad at me, but she loses her stuff, too. Just yesterday she was looking for an earring, and I bet that was much more expensive than my googly-eyed monster sock. I bet you lose stuff, too. Sometimes you find it, sometimes you don’t. Do you want to know why we can’t find our things?
What, you’ve never heard of Kobalds before? Never? Well, don’t feel bad, because I didn’t, either. Not until last week, anyways.
You see, last week I was really upset on account of I couldn’t find my little purple tiger Squish’ems. It was my favorite. I named him Terry. I looked all over my bedroom, and then I looked all over my baby sister’s room, but I didn’t tell mom that because she told me too keep my Squish’ems away from Julia because she could put in her mouth and choke on it, but she puts her feet in her mouth which is about the same size as a Squish’em, and she hasn’t choked on them yet. Anyways, I looked in the bath tub, refrigerator, and couch. No luck, Chuck. But then, I heard that super squeaky Squish’em squeal in the hall closet. I so, so, so quietly tip-toed to the door. I held my breath, and I yanked that door open as fast as I could. I looked down and there was a teensy little man, sitting cross-legged with my purple tiger in his tiny hands.
“Hey! Drop Terry!” I yelled. The little man ran between my legs and straight for the stairs. Then, he hopped up each step until he reached the top. He looked back down at me, gave Terry a squish, and ran towards Mom’s room. I went up the stairs after him. The little man was pushing Terry under my Mom’s door. “Stop,” I yelled, but apparently his ears were too little to listen to me, because he got Terry under there and then slid in right behind him. Too bad for him though, because the little man didn’t know that my mom accidentally shut our cat, Millie, in there. I heard Millie hiss and the little man scream. Before I knew it, he slid back under the door. Before he got up I jumped on him and snatched him.
I’m a pretty good Snatcher. I got lots of practice snatching stuff when we visited the nature center. I snatched three frogs and two fish in the creek. Also, I like say “snatch”. Snatch. Snatch. Snatch.
Anyways, I had that little guy locked up in my hands. He wiggled and kicked like a frog, but he was easier to hold on account of he wasn’t slimy.
“Let me go!” he said.
“No, you thief! You, you, you stealer!” I tried thinking of other words like thief, but I couldn’t.
“I am no thief, and I’m definitely not a stealer!” little guy said. “I’m a Kobald!”
When I asked him what a Kobald was, he gave me this really long and super boring story about some far away country a long time ago and sneaking on some old wooden boats. He went on and on for five minutes. For real. Five whole minutes. I’ll save you some time and give you the good parts. Kobalds are little fairies that live in your house. Every house has one. I know, I know. How come you’ve never seen a Kobald? Well, they’re very good at hiding. When the coast is clear, they sneak out and look around for “treasures”. They like all sorts of stuff. Socks. Keys. Toys. Sunglasses. Forks. I asked him why, and this is what he told me.
He said, “That’s the deal. We get to live here and take little things, and in return we keep you safe.”
My face scrunched up, and I asked, “Safe? From what, tiny dude? Mice? Then you’re doing a pretty bad job. There’s a bunch in the shed.”
He shook his head, “ No, no, no, child. I keep this house safe from the Poygros, the Relenps, the Moorps, and the Durwubs. I even stopped a Mullerd infestation once, and that’s not easy, you know!”
I laughed out loud at all the silly things he had said. “Alright, little guy, that’s enough stories for one day.” I held him as far away from my body as possible and headed to the front door.
“Wait,” he screamed and tried to wiggle free, “what about the Flurps and the Liltilps? Who will keep your house safe from them?”
“Little Guy,” I said as I dropped him on the doormat, “ I have never seen or heard of any of those things before.”
“Exactly! And this is how you thank me?”
I slammed the door in his little stealer face and walked back to get my Squish’em. I put Terry in my pocket and started to look around for more of the Kobald’s nests when I heard it. It was the loudest, screechiest noise I’ve ever heard. I ran to my bed room window and looked down.
There was this big, purple, lizard-looking thing with two heads. While one took a deep breath, the other screamed. They each took a turn breathing and screaming. Before I could do something about it, the house shook. Then it was still. Then it shook again. I went to the other side of my house and looked out the living room window. All I could see was a giant leg that went up, up, up. I ran outside and there was this giant thing just bumping into my house. He’d walk into it like he didn’t see it, take a few steps back, and walk right into it again. I ran outside as fast as a jack rabbit, which is faster than a regular one. I think.
“Hey,” I yelled up to him, “cut that out.” But it ignored me. Just then I heard munching and crunching. I turned to my mom’s flower garden and saw a long legged, long armed... something digging up my mom’s plants and eating them up. I ran over to stop her but then, hundreds of tiny little furry critters came down the street and into my house. I grabbed one by its tail but dropped it on account of it started shooting its fur all over my face. I wiped the fuzz out of my eyes in time to see a long, spotty bug with, like, a gazillion legs climb on my mom’s car and start stomping all of its tiny feet, making little dents everywhere.
Then I heard it. The laughing. I looked at the little plastic pool Mom had filled with water for me and Julia, and there he was, in teensy swim trunks laying back on one of my sister’s floaty toys. He lowered his sunglasses, “Miss me yet, child?”
I pointed to the lizard thing, “You kept that away?”
He splashed a little water on his round bell, “Yup. That would be the Durwub, by the way.”
The giant bumped into my house again and knocked a few bricks off. “That! You kept that thing away?”
He squirted water out of his fists. “He’s a Zuukylt. I didn’t think to mention him. Thought they were extinct. Learn something new everyday.”
“How do I get rid of them? All of them?”
The Kobald stood up, “You don’t.” The water dripped off his shorts like a rain storm. He took off his sunglasses, and looked me straight in the eye. “I do.”
“Then do it!”
He crossed his arms and turned his back to me, “Nope.”
“Please!” I yelled. I could feel tears start pushing their my way up my face towards my eyes. I don’t like to cry, and I definitely didn’t want that little booger to see me cry. “I’m sorry I kicked you out! You can have all my socks back!”
The Kobald shook his head.
“I’ll leave out an extra crayon or two!”
He started to turn around, but he shook his head and turned back.
The giant thing, the Zuukylt, walked into my house again. His knee cracked my bedroom window. “I’ll give you Terry!”
The little man stood straight up like a lightening bolt hit him. He turned around. The Kobald had a smile stretched all the way across his face, “You got yourself a deal, child.”
Of all the crazy things I saw that day, the Kobald going to work was the craziest. He did all sorts of stuff to get those things to leave, and each creature got scared off by something different! He whistled tunes, clapped his hands, wiggled his knees, blew bubbles, turned around in circles, made gurgling sounds, and slapped his cheeks. In about five minutes, my yard and house was back to normal. Well, almost back to normal. There were still dents in my mom’s car, bricks missing from my house, and a big old crack in my bedroom window. I heard Mom walk across the upstairs hallway to Julia’s room, so I shut the front door and bent down to the Kobald.
“Hurry! Fix all the broken stuff!” I whisper-screamed.
He held out his tiny hand, “Nope. Not part of the deal, I’m afraid.”
“What? Use your magic or whatever!”
The Kobald took a step back and got a mean tone, “I do not use magic, child. I am no pixie! Give me my payment, or I’ll quit again!”
“Fine,” I said in an even meaner tone than his. I pulled out Terry, gave him a little kiss because I knew I’d miss him, and gave him to the Kobald. “But you better keep all those things away.”
“I will,” he said with a wink, “and don’t forget about the crayons.”
Mom opened the door. She was holding Julia. They both yawned, and Mom said, “Man, that was quite a storm, huh?” She looked over at the dents on her car. “Must’ve hailed.”
I nodded my head really fast because I didn’t know else to do.
“Who wants pizza for dinner?” Mom said as she walked back inside .
“Pizzy!” Julia yelled.
I looked down to the Kobald, but he was gone. That night as I got ready for bed, I left three crayons on my writing table and a tie-dye sock by my doll house. When I woke up, they were gone, but Terry my purple tiger Squish’em was sitting on my dresser.
Maybe the Kobald wasn’t so bad after all.