Once upon a time, there lived a young scholar. He had a peculiarly strong passion for reading and was wealthy. He spent most of his fortune on his love for education, and owned hundreds of books. He loved his books so dearly that he protected them with his life, and didn’t dare to even lend them to friends nor to family.
One spring day, he was sitting on a soft silk mat in the center of the pavilion, reading his precious books, yearning for knowledge. He was peacefully sitting on the floor, with glasses of various fresh fruit juices and almonds occasionally brought to him by a meek servant boy. It was a luxurious set up.
Suddenly, the scholar heard two men arguing loudly in the flower field. The scholar got up and was swallowed with fury at being interrupted from his studies. He always had a short temper. And so, he stomped over to the field with a book still clutched in his hand.
“What is this all about?!” He boomed as he got closer to two figures in the distance. The scholar stopped in his tracks, startled, to see that the two men were not actually men, but goblins! “Goblins?! Well, it doesn’t matter nonetheless, as you two have interrupted my studies! What are you bickering of?” Said the scholar hastily. “We are seeing who is the smartest. It is I, certainly.” Croaked one goblin. “No, it is I. You have not ever learned anything.” The other said. “Nor have you!” The first one cried again.
The scholar was disgusted to know that they have never learned anything. “Never learned anything?! How absurd! No matter, you can simply read books.” He said, while eyeing the creatures. “Like that thing in your hand?” One of the goblins rasped out. “Yes, this is a book. My book.” Said the scholar pettishly, while increasing his grip on it.
“Can we use your books? We strongly desire to have wisdom.” The goblins said in nearly perfect unison. The scholar refused, and refused again even when the two goblins begged on their knees and offered gold. The creatures were angered at this point and sure to strike back at the scholar’s selfishness. “If you will not care to share your wisdom, we will steal and demolish your knowledge! We ask you, for the last and final time; will you please share your books with us so we can become wise?” One of the goblins cried in fury and longing. “No. As I have proven, not even your offers of gold and desperate pleas will change my mind. My books are too precious, and they are mine!” The scholar spat out selfishly, finishing his words with a huff.
The scholar turned around and went back to the pavilion, packed his books carefully, and went inside his large mansion. The next morning, he went outside for a walk, with, unsurprisingly, a book in hand. By this point, he thought the matter with the wisdom-thirsty goblins was done and dusted, and that he would never meet the angry creatures again. Although he held much knowledge in his mind, this was a foolish assumption.
Of course, he was wrong. Hiding in bushes near the pavilion, were the two goblins. Their mythical eyes blazed with fury, intent to destroy the scholar’s knowledge. In their scaly green arms, were matchboxes. Though they complained of being dumb and foolish, they were smart to creep along the scholar’s house quietly.