The Hob of Hart Hall

A hob is a solitary dwarf-like creature with scraggy hair and hairy feet who lives and works on a farm in secret with no reward. Work is done at night with only a jug of cream accepted as a reward. He prefers to work naked and doesn’t like to be watched.
Hart Hall no longer has its hob. He was discovered and spied upon and suffered the indignity of being presented with a gift. The hob never worked there again.

One late afternoon, the farm workers at Hart Hall were bringing in their final loaded hay wagon. It was fast becoming dark and rain clouds were threatening. On the lane down to the farm one of the wheels on the cart became trapped between ruts. No matter how much the farmer and his hands pushed and shoved the cart it would not budge. Eventually they had to abandon the cart for the night praying that it wouldn’t rain and ruin the hay.

Around midnight the hob set to work. He pushed and freed the cart with his superhuman strength. Hauled it to the barn, stacked the hay and prepared the cart for the next days work. But he was spotted. A farm lad returning after a night out heard noises in the barn and saw the naked wizened hob hard at work. The next day the lad told the story to the other farm hands and they decided to show their appreciation by giving the hob a hessian work-shirt or sark for his efforts. So they clubbed together and purchased a sark along with a leather belt which they left in the barn one evening. What the lads didn’t realise was that farm labourers, as part of their pay were given a set of clothes to wear every new year so giving a sark to the hob was the same as calling him a farm labourer. The hob was so insulted by this gesture he left the farm never to return.

Link to map.

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