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The Ogre's Feather

"Why are you here?" she breathed. "The moment my husband comes home and catches a whiff of a stranger, he will eat you alive!"

The attendant told her about his ailing king, and the three other requests for feathers and advice. She pulled him inside and closed the door. "Quickly!" she said. "You must move someplace where he cannot smell you. Hide under our bed where the goose-feathers blanket and pillows will disguise your scent." She ushered him under the large bed, then returned to the cave's door, opened it, fanned the air to push it outside the door, and went over to her stove where she energetically stirred the dinner in the pot so its fragrance would also mask the trail of human scent. She then returned to the bedroom and whispered to her hideaway, "I'll try to help you, but you must be careful and be very still and quiet. I've been waiting for a chance to escape for a long time. If things go well, we might both escape with our lives. If you reveal yourself, we will surely perish."

In a few minutes, the Ogre returned. At once he loudly announced, "Wife! I smell a man. I will catch the man for my dinner!"

"Oh, husband," said the maiden with a light smile, "what human would come here? You are so hungry you must be imagining things."

"I know the smell of humans!" he insisted, and started sniffing the tables and the corners.

"Dear," she said soothingly, "you must be terribly hungry. Come have dinner." And she placed before him a heaping bowl, which he devoured almost instantly, and guzzled it down with a goblet of wine. "I still smell it," he said, frowning at her suspiciously.

"Oh, husband," she said again. "You must be very tired. You're starting to dream about humans, and you are just thinking that you smell them. Come to bed and rest."

As the Ogre climbed into bed he said, "You must be right, wife. I must be starting to dream because the smell of human seems as strong as if it was right in this room.

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