Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Wish-Granting Goblins

A goblin popped out of Theodore's new wicker vase.

"What are you?" Theodore asked. He watched the small, lumpy creature pull similarly small and lumpy items out of its nostrils and wipe them on the front of Theodore's television.

"A goblin. And you've found me. You get three wishes," the goblin replied, wiping his toes on the fringe of Theodore's couch.

"Three wishes, eh?"

"That's the rule."

"I wish for immense riches!"

"Okay," the goblin said.

All of the closets in Theodore's house broke open. Gold coins spilled onto the floors.

"Hooray!" Theodore shouted.

The goblin blew his nose on the drapes.

"Two more wishes?"


"I wish to live to a hundred and fifty, but stay young until the day that I die!"

"Done," the goblin said. He wandered out of the room. Theodore followed him. The goblin pulled the toilet brush out from behind its excremental cradle, and began swabbing the insides of his ears.

Theodore saw himself in the bathroom mirror. Wrinkles had melted off of his face and left him looking youthful. His cheeks glowed with vigor.

"Outstanding! On more wish?"

"Yep," the goblin said.

"I wish for a thousand more wishes!" Theodore said.

The goblin paused. He stared into Theodore's eyes while he pulled the toilet brush out of his ears, and opened his mouth as if to speak. Instead, the brush plunged into his mouth. It went to work on his teeth.

"Bune," the goblin said around the brush.

"Hooray!" Theodore yelled. "That never works in fairytales!"

"Heh," the goblin said, politely.

Theodore turned to leave the bathroom, and tripped over a goblin. Trying to steady himself, he grabbed a goblin that sat upon the banister.

"Watch it!" the banister goblin said, sneezing vigorously onto the newel post.

"What's all this?" Theodore asked. Goblins covered every available surface in his home. They draped themselves across his bed and over his doorframes. They sat upon his piles of gold, fouling the bright coins. A drawer in his dresser shot open and a dozen goblins fell out, waving his underwear like flags.

The original gobling walked out of the bathroom.

"You asked for a thousand more wishes. Each goblin can perform three wishes. Therefore, here is three hundred and thirty-four goblins. The extra two wishes are a bonus."

"I didn't wish for my house to be invaded by goblins!"

The goblins all shrugged together.

"I wish for my wishes without all of you goblins."

"I don't think that you'll enjoy that," a goblin said.

"I wish to not be second-guessed by goblins!"

The goblin didn't speak. All of the goblins turned to look at one another, then shrugged in unison. They disappeared.

"That's better," Theodore said.

Nobody responded. Nobody sneezed, nobody wiped anything against any of Theodore's things.

"Ahh, excellent," Theodore said. "I wish to be in the living room."

His wish was granted. He appeared in the living room, standing next to a great, hideous beast. Its fangs dripped with venom, and it had to slouch to fit on his couch, which had shattered beneath its enormous girth.

"I am the Groo," the monster said. "I am capable of granting precisely one thousand wishes."

"I wish for you to go away," Theodore said.

"That's usually the first wish," the Groo said. He went outside.

Five minutes later, a mob gathered on Theodore's lawn and demanded that the monster go back inside or else they were going to frame Theodore for tax evasion.

The monster came back inside.

"I wish that I had never met you!"

"Sorry, can't do time travel," the Groo replied.

"How do I get rid of you?"

"You have to use up all of your wishes."

The Moral: giant bees, a suit of platemail and oceans of liquid fudge are a hazardous combination.

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