Chicken bones and cranberries

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The witch's house

The mysterious cabin looked like Eddie imagined, and even better. It was made of wood and stone, green moss grew here and there, a couple of mushrooms were sticking out on a side of it. The excited boy moved carefully, stepping very lightly. He was afraid to reveal himself to those who might be inside the cabin.
The witch was certainly there. She looked at the clock on her wall: the cat was taking much too long to get those wings. “Rochester, if we do not get moving within an hour, we will never be able to get to the idol on time,” said the witch, displeased. “So, what are you waiting for?” asked the bird. “The bat wings,” replied the witch, annoyed. “Just go get them yourself, I will help. The necklace is in the forest, we must hurry,” said Rochester and flew out of the cabin. Unwillingly, the witch followed him.
Eddie saw the two leave; the boy was hiding in the bushes – he was notoriously good at it. As soon as the witch disappeared in the thick woods, he crept up to the cabin.
Oh, the artifact wonderland! Eddie could barely breathe with excitement. His first time in a witch’s house: there was no doubt that this cabin was filled with magic! The boy looked at the broomsticks in the corner, wondering if those were the flying kind. He slowly walked around the cabin, almost in disbelief, looking at strange crockery, a cup full of colorful feathers, a brown snake skin, long and thin as a belt. Suddenly, Eddie heard a dog’s whimper. It was Stella, who desperately called for help. Eddie was delighted to find her and rushed to the cage where Stella was locked. Without the key, there was no way one could open the sturdy cage. Eddie tried lifting the darn thing, but it was mounted onto the floor.
The boy looked around for a tool that he could use to help him lift the cage. His eyes fell on a large book on the table; it was bound in blue leather. Eddie guessed right away – it must have been the witch’s spell book! He opened it, thinking that he can find a useful spell for helping Stella, but what he saw made him forget about the little dog for a while. The shape shifting page. It was simply incredible. In blue and red ink the magical shape shifting spell was written under a large picture of a werewolf. Half-man, half-animal; the wits of a human, the strength of a majestic canine.
The book said: “For one to turn into a wolf, three things are needed. First – a wolf pelt. Second – a copper knife. And the third thing needed for a werewolf transformation is a stump. Preferably, that of a birch tree. You put on the wolf pelt, stick the copper knife into a birch stump, and somersault over it.
Eddie has never been that fascinated. He was very good at somersaults; all he needed now was a copper knife and a wolf pelt. He looked around the cabin and very soon found what was necessary. As any practicing witch would, Priscilla owned a copper athame[1], a very special blade that was needed for ceremonies and transforming magic. It was hanging on the wall above the witch’s black stove. In a large dusty chest filled with the witch’s clothes and rags the adventurous boy found a wolf skin waistcoat. Eddie felt triumphant[2].
“Listen, little dog, I will go outside for a little bit and come back with help,” he said to Stella, and ran outside, holding the athame and the waistcoat.
Eddie had no difficulty finding a stump; there were plenty of them outside the cabin. Hardly believing his luck, the boy stuck the athame into the stump, put on the dusty waistcoat, and took a few steps back. Thrilled, Eddie gave it a little thought, imagining, what it would be like to become a real wolf, then ran up to the stump, and somersaulted over it.
Eddie felt throbbing pain strike his entire body, then he fell with a crash and there was no more pain. When he got up, he had no feet, neither. No arms, no hands. Instead, Eddie now had four strong paws. Believe it or not, my dear: he, who once was a boy, turned into a splendid canine, a strong and handsome wolf.
The magic worked! Now a wolf! Too thrilling to bear. Eddie ran around excitedly, chased his tail, and snapped jaws at little birds and butterflies. His clothing was on the ground; all Eddie had on now was the chicken bones and cranberries necklace. The werewolf ran off into the woods, chasing a rabbit.

[1] Athame: a black-handled ritual knife used in witchcraft.

[2] Triumphant: victorious.

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