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A Most Annoying Pest: The Black Hob

A Most Annoying Pest: The Black Hob

I’m afraid I’ve been slow in accomplishing any actual research due to the nasty, impish creature captured above. I collected an unusual egg casing for examination several weeks ago, and while I was at a dinner party two evenings ago, the case hatched and released dozens of black hobs into my laboratory. They remained there only so long as it took them to chew their way through the walls and into the rest of Mrs. Dowd’s boarding home. One was discovered by the other guests at quite a late hour, and Mrs. Dowd sent for me from the party immediately.

A quick examination of my laboratory revealed the nature of the trouble. Hobs are a very primitive form of faery, extremely low of intelligence, and much closer to their insect-like common ancestors. Seen above, quite clearly, that their hand-analogues are actually highly developed antennae (without which, I suspect they could get into considerably less trouble). None of the usual poisons work against hobs. They’ve been around long enough to develop quite a resistance.

All as I begged Mrs. Dowd for her forgiveness, I set about building a series of traps that could be placed throughout the boarding home. I gave my golem, Beta, instructions to herd the brutes into them, as it could slip between the walls and go places that I could not.

The tiny hobs were not so easily persuaded, and after a tussle that left Beta with very unsightly scratches that will cost me a not insignificant sum to have repaired, I determined that live capture was out of the question.

While hobs are immune to most poisons, they are still highly allergic to sea salt like most of the faeries of the Park. I mixed up a concoction of glue and sea salt and coated Beta with the crystals. Next, I prepared a large syringe of highly concentrated salt water. Armed and armored, I sent Beta back into battle, which, oddly, it seemed to almost enjoy.

The scuffling and screeches kept the other tenants awake through the night. I now owe many favors, and I have promised Mrs. Dowd that I won’t allow such an infestation to happen again. If I do, I will soon be looking for another place to live, and that would be difficult to find with my current lack of funds.

Still, there is a positive side to this incident. It has left me with a very nice collection of hob specimens, and I can begin a line of research into their physiology to seek supporting evidence of my theories regarding their place on the faery evolutionary tree.

But that work is for later. Now, I must to catch up on my sleep.

Sincerely, Julius T. Roundbottom

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