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In my own county we have a sprite of a more benign cha-
racter. He bears the homely name of Hob, and resides in Hob-
hole, a natural cavern in Runswick Bay, which is formed, like
the fairy caves near Hartlepool and the recesses near Sunderland,
by the action of the tides. He was supposed to cure the
whooping-cough, so parents would take children suffering from
that complaint into the cave, and in a low voice invoke him
thus : —

Hobhole Hob!
Ma' bairn's gotten 't kink cougli,
Tak't off 1 tak't ofe 1

Another sprite, called Hob Headless, infested the road between
Hurworth and Neasham, but could not cross the Kent, a little
stream flowing into the Tees at the latter place. He has been
exorcised, however, and laid under a large stone formerly on the
roadside, for ninety-nine years and a day. Should any luckless
person sit on that stone, he would be unable to quit it for ever.
There is yet a third Hob at Coniscliffe, near Darlington, but I
have not been able to gain any information about him. Of a
fourth the Vicar of Danby writes: " I have actually unearthed a
Hob. He is localised to a farmhouse in the parish, though not
in the township of Danby, and the old rhyme turns up among
folks that could by no possibility have seen it or heard of it as in
print :
Gin Hob mnn hae nowght but Harding hamp,
He'll come nae mair to berry nor stamp,
A Yorkshire Hob, or Hobthrush, of whom I am informed by
Mr. Robinson, of Hill House, Reeth, seems a very Brownie in
his powers of work and hatred of clothing. He was attached to
the family residing at Sturfit Hall, near Reeth, and used to
churn, make up fires, and so on, till the mistress, pitying his
forlorn condition, provided him with hat and cloak. He ex-
claimed —
Hab a cap and a hood, '

Hob 'll never do mair good !

and has not been seen since.