| Night runners (a French-Canadian tale)

Posted by admin at 2005, November 1, 3:45 AM
More of this topic in Fairy tale

Once upon a time, Jean-Luc and Marie lived in a cottage near the edge of a forest, and life was good for them for many years. Then Jean-Luc decided he would no longer attend church.
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"You must," Marie begged, "or you will surely be punished."

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Jean-Luc just laughed. ōWWW.faIRy-talE.InfOムìシ낱πヲ

Years passed with no punishment. Then one late October night Jean-Luc sat upon the front porch staring out into the night. υWwW.FaIrY-TalE。INfoFゥ|O◎У

"What are you looking at, Jean-Luc?" Marie asked.

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When he turned to her, his eyes looked strange somehow. "I'm watching the jack-o'-lanterns, " he said solemnly. Jean-Luc stood up and began to walk toward the dancing light he saw.

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"Come back," Marie called, but Jean-Luc walked on as if hypnotized, following the light he saw. www。faIRY-taLE.InfO

Jean-Luc walked into the forest and transformed. Hair sprouted from his arms, legs, chest and chin; claws replaced fingernails; teeth turned to fangs.

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Jean-Luc cried for his wife, but his voice had become a trembling growl. In the next moment he was running through the forest with other wolves.

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Back at home, Marie called for her husband. After a while, she gave up and went to sleep.

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In the morning when Marie walked into the kitchen, there was Jean-Luc, sitting at the table. "Where did you go last night?" she asked. He looked up and scowled. "Do not ask me questions," he snarled. Marie gave a little gasp. Each night Jean-Luc vanished and each morning he was home again.

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On the fifth night, after Jean-Luc had disappeared, Marie needed to get some kindling for the dying fire. ˊ5zwWW.FaIrY-TaLe。INfoネē

Marie walked into the fields, knotting her shawl around her neck to serve as a carrying bag. As she walked she collected twigs and small branches.

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Suddenly Marie heard noises behind her. Marie realized it was wolves. トЙКWWW.FaIRY-TaLE。info~NmヒこAЯ

Clutching her shawl to her chest, holding the wood she had carefully gathered, she ran as fast as she could.

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The pack of wolves was gaining on her. She tripped on a branch but caught herself and ran faster, and when she spied her house in the distance, she gave up on her wood, letting it fall from the shawl to the ground to lighten her load. The shawl streamed out behind her as she dashed for the house. σǚャㄚWWW。faIry-TaLE.iNfojЯ≌ヵo

Gasping and panting, Marie had almost reached the yard when all of a sudden the pack veered off in another direction.

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Marie stopped to catch her breath. She turned to see that one wolf was still following her. That's when she remembered that the only way to free a wolf from his spell is to spill his blood while he is running. Surely, she thought, this must be Jean-Luc under a spell, punishment for his misdeeds. If only she could spill his blood tonight, she might save him.

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She turned to face her attacker, and reached to her side to grab the rake she knew was there on the ground. Just as the wolf leaped into the air to attack her, she struck it between its blazing eyes with the rake.

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As she struck, the wolf began to transform, and before it fell to the ground it had turned back into Jean-Luc, with blood streaming from his forehead.

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She knelt beside him. "My husband," she said, "I am so sorry."

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Jean-Luc smiled up at her. "No, my dear, you saved me from the spell. Now let us go to pray a prayer of thanks." ㄟ낱wWW.fAirY-TAle.iNfO◎ǖ5はaㄕЫ

Jean-Luc was saved, and never again did he look at the light of the jack-o'-lanterns.
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