I will explain my particular condition in time, but first I would like to explain to you the Gobble-uns mentioned in James Whitcomb Riley's famous poem.

To begin with, they are, in fact, called Gobble-uns. Not Goblins. Goblins are a separate species, though within the same genus. In the poem, Gobble-uns are described (when they actually appear) as big black things. This is also true. Their skin and fur tends toward the darker shades of brown, although, as I will explain below, there are frequent exceptions to this phenotype.

Gobble-uns are, for the most part, in resemblance to a cross between an owl and a beaver. They have luxurious manes, as well, and generally look as if they just escaped from a land shark and then got hit by lightning.

However -- roughly half the population has the ability to shape-shift, meaning that at any given time the Gobble-un population looks like whatever the hell it wants to. (There seems to be  marked preference for sheep these days.) Moreover, the various kingdoms of the gobble-uns have been lately accepting all manner of the Little Folk into their borders, and calling them gobble-uns (whether these immigrants like it or not); therefore, if you come upon a crowd of gobble-uns, the only people certain to be gobble-uns proper are the big black ones that look like beaver-owls just escaped from a land shark and then hit by lightning.

Second, the gobble-uns are quite civilized, thank you very much, and have not "got" anybody within the past hundred thirty years. It was shortly after Riley's poem was published, in fact, that the king of Idaho called a Grand Gobble of all the Gobble-un kings, in order to adress the problem of Getting. It had become clear, by this point, that the slavery of human children was a monstrous evil, something they would better expect of Goblins, and, moreover, investigators were turning up bones that looked suspiciously human. While Idaho's initial effort produced little in the way of emancipation, it set the stage for the eventual banning of the Human trade; in time, Gobble-uns lost their Getting ways. Little Orphant Annie's warning became the relic of a bygone era.

Now, you may ask, why am I setting this to the public record? Why make the Gobble-uns known? Well, I'll tell you.

It's because I'm serving a sentence.

Almost literally, in fact -- the gobble-uns punished me by trapping me in here, so that the only way I can communicate with the outside world is through writing. I'm not sure when I'll get out, or how -- they said that I had to write until I was finished. I'm not sure what that means. But I will continue writing of the Gobble-Uns, and see where it takes me. Stay tuned!

Next: Gobble-uns: the problem of James Whitcomb Riley

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