BIG-HANDS AND NOBBLY
" Well," said Mister Stick, thinking hard, " you might take a piece of rope and make a loop in it, Nobbly. Then, if Big-Hands does come again and scares you by sticking up his great hands at the end of the bed, you just throw the loop of rope round them, draw it tight—and you'll have got him prisoner all ready for me to march off! "
" Ooh, that's igood idea! " said Nobbly, very pleased. He went home and got a piece of rope. He carefully made a loop in it and put it beside his bed, ready for the night. When his bed time came he undressed, got into bed, and put the loop of rope under his pillow. Aha, Mister Big-Hands, just wait!
He fell asleep—and woke again with a jump just after midnight. And dear me, bless us all, there were his great bony feet sticking up again in the moonlight, looking like enormous hands!
" Oh, it's you, Big-Hands, again, is it! " cried Nobbly, and he fished under the pillow for his loop of rope. In a trice he had it out and threw it neatly over what he thought were the hands at the foot of the bed—but of course they were his own feet! He pulled the loop tight, and then gave a scream.
" Oh, oh, let go my feet, Big-Hands! Oh you wicked gnome, you've got my feet! "
As the rope pulled tightly and bound his feet together poor Nobbly rolled about in the bed. He thought he had got hold of Big-Hands with the rope, so he pulled and pulled—and the more he pulled the more tightly the rope cut into his nobbly feet!
"Ow! Ow! Help! Help!" yelled the goblin, and rolled or!the bed with a bump. He tried to get up, but of course his feet were tied together, and he fell over each time he tried. He was really dreadfully frightened.
" Mister Stick, Mister Stick, come and help me! " he called. " Big-Hands has got me by the feet and won't let go! "
Now Mister Stick had been hiding in the garden, as he promised— but he had fallen asleep. He woke up in a hurry when he heard such a yelling and shouting going on. He jumped up—and at the same moment Big-Hands who had been awakened by the dreadful yells and shouts from Nobbly, rushed out of his cottage.
" What's the matter, what's the matter ? " called Big-Hands, running up the path and bumping into Mister Stick the policeman, who was most