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Chapter One

Beginnings


A long time ago, in a town beside a river, there lived a young boy named Jeremy, and he had red hair. Not like a carrot or an orange, but really the reddest you ever saw. . . red as apple peelings or rose petals, red as cherries in May. Now this might not have mattered much, after all, except for what came of it later, which I am just about to tell you.


On the day it all began, Jeremy would never have guessed that anything unusual was coming. He’d taken the cows down to drink from the river, as he usually did every evening when the sun had gone down a bit. It was a dull job most of the time. Now and then he had to prod one of the cows with a long stick to nudge her back onto the path, but that was all.

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