Furze the Fixer

Published in the Kiwi Bites series, this quirky tale tells what happens when a Scottish boggart (a kind of hobgoblin) falls asleep in Scotland and wakes up in New Zealand. Dougal is angry about being forced to tidy up his Nan's house. While clearing out the cupboard under the stairs he discovers an old suitcase. Inside the suitcase is a small bundle of tartan cloth - which moves! Much to Dougal's amazement the cloth falls open to reveal a hairy wee man who calls himself Furze. The boggart is furious to discover he's been asleep for well over a century - and is now living in New Zealand.

Canny Dougal doesn't take long to realise he can use the boggart's magical powers to make some serious money. And also get one up on his older sister, who drives him crazy because she's so strong and athletic. But in return he falsely promises to arrange for Furze to go home to Scotland.

What will happen when the boggart realises he's been double-crossed? In Furze's own words: "Don't ever go back on your word to a boggart. If you cross me, I'll make your life nae worth living."

Author's Comment

The only fairytale characters belonging to New Zealand are Maori ones. I wanted to write a story where an ancient European fairytale character is transported from his original country to a different one. What would happen? I was determined that the boggart would end up settling here, but I had to work hard on the plot to make that happen.

There are lots of different ideas about what boggarts are like and how they behave. Sometimes boggarts are described as nasty, vicious creatures (eg. in the Harry Potter books) but I preferred to create a boggart who is bad-tempered but generally helpful.

Reader's Activity

Research boggarts (also known as bogles) and note down all the different ideas about what they do.

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