Page 7

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A couple of days passed by. Andrew was totally lost in the forest. He did not see the rabbit anymore. He wandered around in the forest, trying to get out of it some how. By then he had given up his hope of finding the castle, teaching the witch a lesson, turning Claudia back into a woman and marrying her. He just wanted to go back to his own palace and be with his parents.

One day an exhausted Andrew, while walking in the dark forest, saw sunlight ahead of him through the thick foliage. He proceeded in that direction and found a clearing in the forest. When he arrived at the clearing he discovered that it was the same clearing he visited twice before. That made him very nervous for this clearly indicated that he was totally trapped in this magical forest. However hard he tried to cross the forest, he was coming back to the same place again and again.

In the next moment, what he saw on the far side of the clearing took his breath away.

Artist painting crazily

A crazy artist, wearing a pair of green pants, a red shirt, and a maroon cap was painting a picture on his canvas set up on an easel. The comical way in which the artist was making the strokes with his paint brush on the canvas amused Andrew. He could not control his laughter.

But from where did the artist come in this dangerous forest? The answer came to Andrew's mind in a flash. "This is not a real artist, this is the magician," he thought. "Hey Mister...Sir, Sir..." Andrew called out as he began running towards the artist.

Green frog dancing As soon as Andrew came near the artist, the artist and his equipment vanished. Andrew looked down and saw a green frog wearing a top hat and holding a black cane in his right hand, smiling and winking at him.

Andrew, like lightning, dove down and caught the frog with his right hand. The frog tried his very best to free himself from Andrew's grip but his effort was in vain. Andrew kept assuring the frog that he would not do any harm to him if he listened to him. At last the frog agreed.

Andrew said: "Listen, I know you are the magician who can do miracles. I am begging you, please help me. I am a prince. I was on my way to help out a princess who has been turned into a fish by an evil witch. But I became lost in this dense forest. Under the circumstances, I can help the princess and marry her but only if you help me. I shall give you anything you want. Please help...Ouch!!"

The magician pulling out a rabbit from his hat The frog had bitten Andrew's finger. As Andrew loosened his fist in pain, the frog escaped and turned himself into a man! Andrew saw the magician standing in front of him in flesh and blood. The magician calmly said: "Okay, first give me that pearl you are carrying in your backpack." An astonished Andrew said: "How do you know I am carrying a pearl in my backpack?" The magician said: "I know everything. The witch you are looking for died three days ago. You cannot teach her a lesson. She came to this forest to collect firewood. A T-rex ate her up."

Andrew took out from his backpack the pearl he had collected from the mollusk in the sea and gave it to the magician. The magician immediately swallowed it, belched loudly, pretended to vomit, then pulled out a green frog from his mouth and threw it away. In three long leaps the frog disappeared into the forest.

The magician said: "Prince, you are not only very brave, you are honest, and very handsome. You deserve to marry Princess Claudia. But my magic will not work outside of this forest. I cannot take you to the castle because that is outside the forest. I'll give you something which you'll find very useful. It is up to you to figure out how to use it."

The magician then took off his hat. From it he first pulled out a rabbit and let it go. The rabbit ran like an arrow and disappeared into the forest. He then pulled out an old brass lamp from his hat, gave it to Andrew and said: "Don't let go of it." The moment Andrew took the lamp from him, the magician disappeared.

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