Chicken bones and cranberries

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The ogre and the forest ranger

Eddie the werewolf was thrilled beyond imagination. Making giant leaps, he followed a rabbit into the woods, enjoying his every move. His powerful legs carried him swiftly and gracefully; landing on his large soft paws felt divine. The rabbit, still, ran faster and soon the werewolf lost sight of it. No regret; Eddie was enjoying himself too much in this new body. His senses became very sharp; he could smell a myriad of scents now: some familiar and some completely unknown.
Eddie’s new legs brought him upon a cave entrance. It seemed that the cave was dug in a hill by a human being, or someone similar to that. Eddie could smell something very suspicious in the cave: rotten flesh, old bones, burnt squirrel pelts and a faint smell of a living human. Living, breathing, dirty, smelly, hairy human. The courageous werewolf stepped into the dark and putrid[1] cave; his eyes could see incredibly well, much better than those of a human.
In the filthy cave, filled with nasty things, far to the corner, a creature dark and faint was curled on the ground. It was the forest ranger, the one that disappeared many years ago. The ranger was weak and pale; his beard was long and had too many gray hairs in it. The nails on his hands were long and dirty; dark circles around his eyes. He was abducted by an ogre and chained to a large rock inside the cave. The ogre was the Forest Stomper’s brother, named Zagg. He kept the ranger as a pet, which was a fashionable thing to do among the monsters of the ancient forest. While the Forest Stomper liked humans singing, Zagg was even more of an intellectual – he appreciated a good human story told to him before bedtime. The stories of the forest ranger kept the unlucky man alive for several years, but Eddie’s fortunate stumble upon the cave brought him freedom.
The werewolf, outraged with the scene, ripped the chain out the rock and crushed it. The ranger, amazed, got up in fear and disbelief; the ragged clothes were barely hanging on him.
The moment was unfortunate, for Zagg, who was catching squirrels nearby, heard the noise coming out of his cave and hurried home. Eddie, the brave werewolf, daringly attacked the monster, but the fight was uneven. The ogre picked the werewolf up, swung him in the air so fast, that the chicken bones and cranberries necklace flew off, and threw him on the rocks. Then the terrible monster lifted a large rock and crushed Eddie the werewolf with it.
At this moment of fate, the forest ranger picked up his own rusty ax, and, gathering all of his remaining might, hit the ogre with it on the head. The dreadful creature fell with a crash and died.
The forest ranger looked at Eddie, crushed under a rock, and his eyes filled with bitter tears. He moved the big rock off the dying werewolf, then picked up the chicken bones and cranberries necklace and put it onto Eddie. “This is yours, my courageous friend,” said the forest ranger. Now all he could do was to open his eyes very widely, for what he saw was beyond his imagination. The dying animal suddenly healed; every bit of blood on his fur was gone, Eddie’s eyes were once again curious and jolly. The chicken bones and cranberries necklace had once again healed.

[1] Putrid: very unpleasant, repulsive, stinky.

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