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"What?" Alfred frowned, his fat face wrinkling in consternation. "Did you just call me a frog?"

"Quite. A very repulsive specimen."

"What is wrong with you, man? You're the Vicar. Why are you calling me a frog?" Alfred stood, his chair scraping across the floor.

The Vicar smiled, thin white hair drifting around his narrow face. His smile was peaceful now, satisfied. "Because, my dear parishioner, you are a frog."

Alfred blinked his bulging eyes. His thick lips writhed and flapped as he tried to protest. All that came from his mouth was a decidedly froggy croak. His skin twitched, all over, as if something were crawling beneath. The ruddy pink faded to a blotchy green. The bumps and wrinkles smoothed out. Within moments, Alfred no longer stood on the Vicar's Persian carpet. A massively bloated frog sat in his place. It croaked and flopped towards the door.

The Vicar gave a pleased nod and set his teacup aside. "A fitting fate. Wouldn't you agree?" He stepped carefully around the frog and opened the door. "I always detested you, Alfred. You and your croaking. May you have a short life full of swampy nastiness."

The frog hopped out into the summer afternoon.

"Yoohoo! Vicar!" Mrs. Blenchwithe waved her massive white purse from his garden gate. "I do so hope you don't mind me dropping by but I have information you must know."

The Vicar's smile turned wooden. Mrs. Blenchwithe was a gossip, a mean-spirited one. He detested her as much as he detested Alfred and his blusterings.

"Welcome, Mrs. Blenchwithe," he said smoothly. "My door is always open, as you well know. Would you care for some berry pie?"

A short while later, a goat ran bleating from his house, chin wagging in panic. It jumped the garden fence and trotted into the neighboring fields.

The Vicar's smile grew wider. He hummed as he gathered a basket and his gardening gloves. Most of his parishioners would benefit from a taste of his special berries.

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