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YASHPEH
International Folktales Collection

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Story No. 359


The Hobyahs

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More English Fairy Tales

Tradition: England

Once there was an old man and woman and a little girl, and they all lived in a house made of hempstalks. Now the old man had a little dog named Turpie and one night the Hobyahs came and said, 'Hobyah! Hobyah! Hobyah! Tear down the hempstalks, eat up the old man and woman, and carry off the little girl!' But little dog Turpie barked so that the Hobyahs ran off; and the old man said, 'Little dog Turpie barks so that I cannot sleep nor slumber, and if I live till morning I will cut off his tail.' So in the morning the old man cut off little dog Turpie's tail.

The next night the Hobyahs came again, and said, 'Hobyah! Hobyah! Hobyah! Tear down the hempstalks, eat up the old man and woman, and carry off the little girl!' But little dog Turpie barked so that the Hobyahs ran off; and the old man said, 'Little dog Turpie barks so that I cannot sleep nor slumber, and if I live till morning I will cut off one of his legs.' So in the morning the old man cut off one of little dog Turpie's legs.

The next night the Hobyahs came again, and said, 'Hobyah!

Hobyah! Hobyah! Tear down the hempstalks, eat up the old man and woman, and carry off the little girl!' But little dog Turpie barked so that the Hobyahs ran off; and the old man said, 'Little dog Turpie barks so that I cannot sleep nor slumber, and if I live till morning I will cut off another of his legs.' So in the morning the old man cut off another of little dog Turpie's legs.

The next night the Hobyahs came again, and said 'Hobyah! Hobyah! Hobyah! Tear down the hempstalks, eat up the old man and woman, and carry off the little girl!' But little dog Turpie barked so that the Hobyahs ran off; and the old man said, 'Little dog Turpie barks so that I cannot sleep nor slumber, and if I live till morning I will cut off another of his legs.' So in the morning the old man cut off another of little dog Turpie's legs.

The next night the Hobyahs came again, and said 'Hobyah! Hobyah! Hobyah! Tear down the hempstalks, eat up the old man and woman, and carry off the little girl!' But little dog Turpie barked so that the Hobyahs ran off; and the old man said, 'Little dog Turpie barks so that I cannot sleep nor slumber, and if I live till morning I will cut off another of his legs.' So in the morning the old man cut off another of little dog Turpie's legs.

The next night the Hobyahs came again, and said 'Hobyah! Hobyah! Hobyah! Tear down the hempstalks, eat up the old man and woman, and carry off the little girl!' But little dog Turpie barked so that the Hobyahs ran off; and the old man said, 'Little dog Turpie barks so that I cannot sleep nor slumber, and if I live till morning I will cut off little dog Turpie's head.' So in the morning the old man cut off little dog Turpie' s head.

The next night the Hobyahs came again, and said 'Hobyah! Hobyah! Hobyah! Tear down the hempstalks, eat up the old man and woman, and carry off the little girl!' And when the Hobyahs found that little do Turpie's head was off they tore down hempstalks, ate up the woman, and carried the a bag.

And when the Hobyahs came to their home they hung up the bag with the little girl in it, and every Hobyah knocked on the top of the bag and said, 'Look me! look me!' And then they went to sleep until the next night, for the Hobyahs slept in the daytime.

The little girl cried a great deal, and a man with a big dog came that way and heard her crying. When he asked her how she came there and she told him, he put the dog in the bag and took the little girl to his home.

The next night the Hobyahs took down the bag and knocked at the top of it, and said 'Look me, look me!' and when they opened the bag the big dog jumped out and ate them all up; so there are no Hobyahs now.

Comments:

SOURCE American Folk-Lore Journal, iii, 173, contributed by Mr S. V. Proudfit as current in a family deriving from Perth.

REMARKS But for the assurance of the tale itself that Hobyahs are no more, Mr Batten's portraits of them would have convinced me that they were the bogies or spirits of the comma bacillus. Mr Proudfit remarks that the cry 'Look me' was very impressive.

Abstract:

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