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The Battle of the Enchanters

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Juan who wanted to learn magic. So he told his parents to send him to an enchanter who lived far away. This enchanter was a very wise man and he was very well conversant in the art of magic.

The parents loved their son dearly and could not turn down his request. They took him to the enchanter who was very pleased with Juan’s eagerness to learn magic. He took Juan under his tutelage. Juan remained with him for a very long time, until at last his master sent him home, saying that he could teach him nothing more.

But when Juan came back, he found his parents as well as the people of his village in great trouble. An evil sorcerer had come to live in their village and he ordered all the villagers to carry out his instructions, whatever they were. If anyone disobeyed his commands, he tortured them with his powerful enchantments and kept him in his dark prison.

Juan was determined to free everyone from the clutches of this evil sorcerer. He had a plan. He transformed into a horse and told his father to sell him to the evil man for twenty gold coins. He cautioned his father that, as soon as he received the money for the horse, he should drop the halter as if by accident.

The father was hesitant at first but he also felt that something must be done to stop the sorcerer. He adviced his son to take care and sold him to the enchanter. As soon as he recieved the money, he dropped the halter and the horse at once became a bird and flew away.

The sorcerer understood that this was no ordinary horse. He transformed himself into a hawk and followed the bird, who understood that this was going to be a tough fight. The bird dived into the sea and metamorphosed into a fish. But the sorcerer now turned himself into a shark. To escape the deadly shark, Juan leaped out on to the dry ground and took the shape of a crab. But the sorcerer was soon upon his trail, taking the shape of a cat this time.

The crab hid itself in a spring where a princess was bathing. The cat began to look under the stones for the crab, but the crab gave it a slip by changing itself into a ring on the finger of the princess. The cat saw this but there was nothing it could do then. It ran away, thinking what to do next.

And soon the opportunity arrived. It so happened that the King, the father of the princess, was very sick. No one could cure the disease that he suffered from. The enchanter used this chance to introduce himself to the king as a doctor and offered to cure him for the ring on the finger of the princess. The King agreed to this and the sorcerer began his treatment using his magical powers.

Meanwhile, Juan revealed himself to the princess and told her about himself and everything that had happened that forced him to become a ring in her hands. Angry at first, the princess was soon amazed and she promised to help him in anyway she could.

“You have to do only one thing. I hear that the sorcerer is getting successful in curing your father. When he asks for your ring, do not give it to him directly. Let it fall on the floor.”

And so, when the magician asked for the ring, the princess did as Juan had told her. As soon as the ring touched the floor it broke into a shower of rice.

Not to be outsmarted, the enchanter immediately took the form of a cock and industriously pecked at the grains on the floor. At once, the grains changed to a big cat which pounced on the cock and killed it.

Then Juan changed back into his human form, to the amazement of the king. The princess informed her father about everything. The king was much pleased and he gave her daughter’s hand in marriage to Juan. A big ceremony followed and then, Juan, his wife, his parents, the King and the villagers had a merry celebration. All of them lived happily for ever after.

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