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DRAGON FIRE (part 2)

"I've got to get rid of that hiccough fast," he thought. "But how?"  He spent the whole morning trying out all the remedies passed down through the
generations: He held his breath until his ears turned plum-blue. He swallowed dryly so many
times his throat felt like lava grinding over a rasp, and he recited every lunch he'd had in the
last four weeks.

"... Haggis… Sir Cunibert… Black pudding… A minstrel (maybe that's why I got sick
in the first place, the way he stuttered)… Tripe… Ah! Now it's gone."

Every method seemed to work for a while but just as a relieved smile began to spread
over his face, that stupid hiccough started again. Eventually, only one remedy was left: Rufus
had to get a fright.

Easier said than done.

Rufus visited all his friends,

the unicorn, the lake-monster and the forest trolls, but
none of them succeeded in making Rufus jump. Not even his cousin Freya, although she
had a reputation for being able to turn jelly into granite with her looks. So, as a last resort,
Rufus decided to visit the swamp witch.

Rufus had never been so far south before. He had to ask for directions. However,
being who he was, most people or animals ran long before he had a chance to say what he
wanted from them. His head felt like hammer and anvil fused into one and he knew his
temperature was rising like a lark in spring.

Just when he was lying down and preparing to slowly melt into the ground, Rufus
heard a voice.

"Gosh! You look terrible."

Rufus raised one heavy eyelid and saw a mouse standing in front of his snout.
(To be continued)