The Hobyahs – an Australian fairy tale

The Hobyahs is an Australian fairy tale collected by Mrs S V Proudfit in Perth, Western Australia. It was included in More English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs, an Australian folklorist. Some have suggested the tale is acutally from Scotland; either way it’s a charming story.

The Hobyahs

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.

Hobyahs

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.

Hobyahs

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 dog Turpie’s head was off they tore down the hempstalks, ate up the old man and woman, and carried the little girl off in a bag.

Hobyahs

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.

Hobyahs

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.

Hobyahs

The next night the Hobyahs took down the bag and knocked on the top of it, and said “Look me! look me!” and when they opened the bag –

Hobyahs

the big dog jumped out and ate them all up; so there are no Hobyahs now.


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