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The Ogre's Feather

The court attendant hoisted a blanket in which he had wrapped food and provisions over one shoulder, and set out toward the mountaintop he had been shown. By the end of the day, he came to an inn where he rented a room for the night. Sharing stories with the innkeeper, the attendant told the old man the purpose of his mission. "Surely you know the danger of trying to get the Ogre's feather!" the innkeeper cried out. Lowering his voice, he said, "If you are able, would you bring back a feather for me, too? And would you ask the Ogre if he knows anything about the whereabouts of my daughter who has been missing for years? I moved to this inn to still my grief, but I haven't given up looking for her and never will."

The young man nodded sympathetically and agreed to bring the innkeeper a feather from the Ogre and to ask the question about his daughter, if he could.

The next day, the attendant reached the edge of a river. Soon a ferry approached, and the ferryman offered him a ride across the river for a few coins. The young man paid the fee and as they rowed over together the ferryman asked the traveler where he was going. When he told the ferryman of his quest, the ferryman said, "If you are able, would you bring back a feather for me? And would you ask the Ogre why I have been stuck on this ferry for so many years and cannot get off?"

The young man said he would surely get him a feather and ask the question if he could. At the other side of the river, he continued his journey, climbing as the terrain rose, and was heartened to see the distant mountaintop coming into view more clearly than ever. In fact, he could start to make out several separate peaks.

Following a road used by villagers in nearby towns, the attendant came to a crossroads and stopped to eat his lunch. Two noblemen, also at the crossroads, were despairing over how their fortunes had suddenly disappeared. They noticed the stranger and struck up a conversation with him.

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