The old man ordered us to fly after the fugitives who were escaping the underworld. The young couple were crossing a great plain and we could see them clearly, running hand in hand with a red light flashing round them.
Suddenly though, we couldn’t see them. They disappeared. We scoured the area but there was nothing there, only a brook. We returned home and told our master we had found nothing but a brook with a fish swimming in it.
“Idiots!” he screamed. “That was them!”
He sent us back to our stall in the stable and ordered another stall of goblins to go out, drink the water of the brook, and catch the fish. The goblins jumped up and flew out like the wind.
Goblin Pursuers in The Grateful Prince, Violet Fairy Book. Picture by Arthur Rackham.