BACK IN THE OLD TIMES, goblins were thought to live in the mountains of Epirus in Greece. The villagers had come up with a lot of tales about them, never to encounter one, however, as they used to hide deep in earth and only left their hideout on Christmas' eve.
One day an elder woodcutter walked to mountains to get wood for his fireplace. After loading his cart, he took a moment to rest and breathe fresh air, only to fall asleep at the sound of a river's gurgling water nearby. When the goblins that lurked beneath the river's spring saw him, they climbed to the surface and drew him to their hideout.
When he woke up, he found himself in a huge cavern with columns and tiles made of pure gold. Their hideout was a splendid palace in which the sun never shone, leaving its inhabitants to work with no rest. The goblins welcomed him in their caverns, and showed him around their luxurious rooms and luscious gardens. Then they held a feast for him and danced around him non stop, until at some point he felt his eyelids closing once more. "Please don't share our secret with anyone...!", they whispered to his ear.
As soon as he was asleep, they grabbed him and took him to the exact same spot they had found him in the first place. When he woke up, he thought it must have been some sort of dream, but as soon as he looked into this bag, he noticed he could barely lift it: the goblins had put as many golden coins in it as they could fit.
With much effort, he lifted his bag and placed it on the cart, then went straight back home.
As soon as his wife saw him, she asked him: "Why didn't you sell the firewood?". He then showed her the bag that was full of coins to justify himself. "Where did you find them?", she asked again, yet he wouldn't reply.
Curious as all women are, that night she tossed and turned in her bed, unable to fall asleep. She kept asking him until he finally had enough: he told her the full story, mentioning the goblins and their hideout with every detail, so he would let him sleep. He then stored the coins in a crate which he placed below his bed.
When he woke up the next day, he thought of going to the marketplace. As soon as he opened the crate, he was amazed to see that instead of the golden coins he had placed in it the previous night, seashells of little value were to be found.