The great goblin detective, who solved so many baffling cases and tracked down so many do-gooders,* Dögsthorpe is also a byword in the Labyrinth for his total inability to hold a rational conversation with anybody. Even the most brilliant goblin conversationalists of his day have been unable to get anything out of him beyond the odd whine and the occasional bark.
      Some believe that the part of the Dögsthorpe's brain that is capable of making rational conversation is missing. Others say that it's just because most the brilliant conversationalists of the day are dead boring. To all this, however, his many fans and admirers have a simple reply: "Woof!"

* Do-gooders: Being nice to somebody or doing someone a good turn is, of course, one of the most serious offences under the Prevention of Benevolence Act (1451), which was passed soon after the Great Collapse of Good Governance in the Labyrinth (see pages 18, 62, 64, 66, 76).

Plate 35 Page 90 Dogsthorpe & Bregg the Poet
Brêgg the Poet

Brêgg the poet is greatly admired and loved throughout the Labyrinth. Perhaps he is the single most admired and loved goblin there has ever been, and yet, oddly enough, he is also the most pitied, for he is haunted by a doppelgänger, or familiar, by the name of Fitch. This Fitch is, in itself, perfectly harmless, but it is also given to nibbling the hideously smelling Yeurrrrrrrch! root (fig. 5c). The odour that this vegetable gives off (particularly when nibbled in a special way) is so offensive that no goblin will go within three miles of it. (And one goblin mile is equal to fifty-nine of ours!) And so, since Fitch is never found not nibbling a Yeurrrrrrrch! root, poor Brêgg, though admired and loved, is forever shunned by all the other goblins of the Labyrinth.
      Brêgg's most famous and least shunned* poem is the one addressed to the invisible egg of the Twark (see page 54).

* Even some of Brêgg's poems smell like the evil Yeurrrrrrrch! root.

"Ode to a Twark's Egg"

From the humble Twark you come, or do you?
O, Egg, I seem to see right through you!
You are like a Night-Troll's+ visit.
That is so quite, so brief, so is it?

Do you exist, O Twark's Egg, tell me?
If not, how is it I can smell thee?
Nay! I can taste thee from afar ... Hey!
Just whose corduroy trousers are they?#

As you can see, goblin poetry is not all that good.

+ For Night-Troll, see Septimus, page 112.

# Corduroy trousers - this is the smell of the Twark's egg (see page 54).

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