The story of the third gnome and how he met the badger and the fox

By Richard Patrick Washburn



One day, bright and sunny, when all was new and green, the third Gnome was walking along the forest paths,
a good stout walking stick in his hand, when he came upon an injured badger.  In those days, gnomes and all
animals could talk to one another, so he stopped and asked "Badger, who has done this?  Who could so strike
down the strongest of the forest?"  In those days, Badger was well renowned for his strength, new comers,
such as Bear and Tiger would later train long and hard to surpass him, but such is the way of the beast kingdoms.

"Goblin has done this to me," Badger gasped.  "He has with him the shining steel claw he took from Dwarf."
 Now the third Gnome knew of Goblin and its children, since it was Goblin that tangled the second Gnome, and
so we wear hats.  Goblin the ravager and thief.  "You are too tired to walk, good friend Badger, and so I will carry
you."  With that he put Badger atop his walking stick and moved on.

In time, he and Badger came upon Fox, also injured.  "Fox," they cried as one, "who has done this to you,
craftiest of all beasts?"  Fox replied in a voice weak and unsteady, "It was Goblin, with the shining steel claw he
took from dwarf."  The third Gnome looked down as Fox and said, "You are too tired to walk, good friend Fox,
so I will carry you."  He put Fox on the other end of his walking stick and made of it a yoke to set across his

The three walked together for a time until they came upon Goblin.  He was twisted of limb, with tiny gleaming
eyes that were pinpoints to the dark realms of the Abyss.  And he held the shining steel claw he had stolen from
Dwarf.  "Ho-ho," Goblin said, "a gnome, and one that looks tasty.  I shall carve you up and salt you for winter!"
 Burdened as he was his animal friend, the Gnome could not fight back.  He thought of the tricks his brothers had
taught him, but to no avail.

Finally, just when all seemed lost, Badger said "Swing me at it and I shall smite it!"  Not to be outdone, Fox said
"Swing me at it and I shall bite it!"  And so the three worked together to fight Goblin.  Badger would smite while
Goblin tried to fend off the snapping teeth of Fox, when Goblin tried to fend off Badger, Fox would bite and tear at it.

Finally they drove off Goblin, and all three went home together.