• Once upon a time, in a huge thick forest, there lived an old woodcutter. He was thin and kind, but very isolated and quiet. He lived on the edge of the forest, far from any other towns. One day wile he was chopping down an old oak tree, the woodcutter heard a loud cry from form the nearby bushes. Curious, he wandered over to the bushes where the continuous screams sounded. Peering through the branches, the woodcutter spied a large, red, phesant flapping her wings francticly, trying to ward of a huge, white snake. She was pecking at him and doing everything she could to keep the serpent away form a nearby nest full of eggs. The woodcutter wasn't very frond of snakes, but he watched in fear as it hissed and snapped at the freaking out mother phesant, finally, it grabbed a hold of her wing, and slammed her to the ground. Weak, and exahsted, the phesant could only lay there and cry as the snake slithered it's way to her nest. The woodcuter couldn't just stand there and let the snake take the eggs, so he grabbed a large branch, and began swinging it at the serpent.
    "Shoo!" he yelled, trying to stand a good distance away. But the snake only hissed and slithered closer. The phesant gave one more heartbreaking cry, then the woodcutter brought the branch down, knocking the snake on the head. It lay limp and lifeless on the dirt. The woodcutter was awed at what he had done, but he sank with relife as the bird returned to her nest, thanking him with all her heart. The woodcutter knelt next to the mother bird.
    "Are you all right?" he asked. "I hope your babies are okay too."
    From that day on, the woodcutter and the phesant were good friends. She soon had four happy, but hungry mouths to feed, the woodcutter stopped by every day to share his lunch with the fast growing phesants, soon, they had grown big and strong enough to fly away with there mother. The woodcutter watched them go sadly, but he was happy they had been raised so well.
    A few years later, the woodcutter began a journy though a country he had never viseted before. As he was traveling through a dark and lonely wood, he passed a large tempel with a gong. As he passed, he asked a small prayer to speed his trip, then set off once more. Soon, it had grown very dark and cold, the woodcutter was starving, and needed a place to spend the night. As he was looking around for some soft ground to sleep on, he saw a faint light not to far from where he was. Exited he ran up to it. It was a small and cozy looking house. Isolated just like his. The woodcutter knocked on the door. And a young girl answered.
    "Please weary traveler, do come in." She said in a soft voice. The woodcutter thanked her, then entered that small lovely house. The girl served his a meal of fish and vegitables, and rice. He ate happily, but h there was something strange about that girl, something vaugly familier. As she served him a cup of tea, she asked softly;
    "Did you know this house is haunted?" The woodcutter blinked. "Huh?"
    "There is an evil spirit waiting in this room right now. Waiting for a night just like tonight." The woodcutter was suprised, what evil spirit? He looked all over. The girl smiled.
    "Woodcutter, I have been waiting all these years for you!!" With that, she began to laugh wickedly. The woodcutter cried out as she shaped into a giant, pale, ghostlike demon. With a cackle, she grabbed him as he tried to escape. "Surly you remember me now? the spirit of the snake?!?!?!" The woodcutter cried out in shock, and the evil snake spirit grinned. "I have been planning my revenge ever since that day, you remember, the day you killed a snake trying to rob a phesent's nest. Did you think that was just an ordenary snake? well, I am the ghost of the snake you killed."
    The woodcutter began to beg for his life, pleading with the snake spirit. but she had her mind set on carrying out her plan. Then, the woodcutter began to weep, and as he did, the ghost began to feel sorry for him. So she gave him one chance to save himself.
    "If the gong in the old temple, should ring before the sun rises, I will set you free, no harm will come to you." The ghost said. "But woodcutter, you must remain here with me, I will not let you out of my sight for even an instant do you understand?"
    The woodcutter's smile faded, that wasn't a really fair deal, he hadn't seen another soul in the forest, and who would ring the gong in the middle of the night anyway? Soon, the sun began to rise, and his time was up, the evil snake spirit laughed, but just as she was about to grab him, the faint sound of a gong could be heard in the distance. Everything fell quiet.
    "What?! How could this happen?!?!?!" The snake ghost cried. "There's no one else for miles!!" But the woodcutter was just as suprised as she was, he didn't know who had wrung the gong but he was very happy. The snake spirit hissed, promised she would never bother him again, then faded away, along with the house. Leaving the woodcutter sitting on a tree trunk in the middle of the woods.
    Well, the woodcutter decited he would rather go home, so he turned and was on his way back to his home. On the way, he passes the temple with the large gong that had so mysteriously saved him. The woodcutter thought he'd stop and take a look. He climbed up the stairs to the gong, only to stand shocked. The brass bell was smeared with blood. And there on the ground was a large, dead, phesant.