Boyling and Girlchen were brother and sister, and lived with their mother Annalisa and wicked stepfather Kobold at the edge of the only bamboo forest in pre-industrial Bavaria. One night, as they lay awake in their tiny bed in the other room, unable to sleep for hunger, they heard their parents talking in the kitchen.
“We cannot make enough money cutting and selling bamboo,” said Kobold, who was in fact a goblin that had taken the form of a man. “We are all going to starve to death.”
“I assume you have some plan, or you wouldn’t have brought this up,” said Annalisa sharply. She had come to realize her new husband wasn’t very nice, and had taken to reading the tortuously complex pre-industrial Bavarian divorce laws when he wasn’t around.