The Nice Ogre
by Austin Owens
Norff loved his house and really loved the village. It was a cute little village; just the kind you’d find in a fairy tale. When Norff first moved into his house, he thought the people of the village could look past his ogre self and see that he was really nice. But they couldn’t see nice. All they saw was ogre.
Norff tried dressing up in a nice suit and tie, so that the people of the village might see that he was really nice. But they couldn’t see nice. All they saw was ogre.
The problem only got worse when a cat and then a dog disappeared. Everyone thought Norff had taken them to eat them, because of course all ogres are mean and love to eat dogs and cats. The people were very angry and started to make plans to make Norff go away forever.
Norff was ready to give up. As much as he loved his house, and as much as he really loved the village, he was sad that he had no friends. Other ogres didn’t want to be around him because he was nice. And the people of the village only saw that he was an ogre. Norff had a decision to make. He went for a walk.
It was a beautiful day in the forest. The pine trees smelled so good, and the birds and rabbits, who had learned to trust Norff, came near. Norff felt happy. Then he heard something! It sounded like there were animals in trouble! Norff followed the sounds and at the end of the path found a large cage. There, trapped in the cage, was a dog and a cat. Norff was surprised and hurried over to help the dog and cat.
At first, both the dog and the cat were very scared. They knew that ogres were mean and that they ate dogs and cats. They thought that Norff would eat them for dinner! But Norff talked to them and helped them to understand that he was there to help. They soon knew that he was a nice ogre.
After Norff freed the dog and cat, he took them home. The dog and cat were very hungry and very thirsty and they didn’t know where their houses were. Norff fed the dog the yummiest, most delicious bone he had ever eaten! Norff had amazing bits of the finest food for the cat, too. Norff also gave both the dog and the cat milk to drink, and water. He let them both take a bath to get clean, then gave them a very soft place to sleep. Norff said good night and promised to find the dog and cat’s house first thing in the morning.
Norff got cleaned up and put himself to bed. He lay awake for most of the night. He felt good about helping the dog and cat, and he felt how important it was to return the dog and cat to their homes. But he was a little worried that when it was time to go into the village that there might be problems. He came up with a plan, then went to sleep.
The animals and Norff woke up as the sun was coming up. Norff gave the dog and the cat a very healthy, good breakfast and packed a few treats and some water for the walk into town, just in case.
When the three came to the outside of town, Norff leaned down and whispered to the dog and cat that they all needed to be very quiet. Norff went behind the buildings as quietly as possible until he and the dog and the cat came to the police station. They all went inside. The police officer in the station, Officer Dave, saw Norff and jumped up, ready to protect himself! Immediately, however, Officer Dave saw that Norff had a dog and a cat with him. This made Officer Dave stop because everyone knows that mean ogres eat dogs and cats, and yet this dog and cat were safe! Norff explained that he had found the dog and the cat in a cage in the forest, and that he had rescued them. The dog told Officer Dave that this was true, and that Norff had given him the most delicious bone to eat and sweet milk to drink. The cat told Officer Dave that this was true, and that Norff had given her a very soft bed to sleep in. Officer Dave realized that Norff was not a mean ogre! He was a nice ogre!
Officer Dave decided that he had to make a change. But how? How could he help the people of the village understand that this ogre was a nice ogre? He came up with a plan.
First, he sent Norff home to get as cleaned up as an ogre can get. Then, he got a comfortable place for the dog and cat. Finally, he made up fliers for the people of the village and posted them all over town.
The poster said, “Come and meet the nicest, most kind hero our village has ever seen!” It told everyone to come the next evening to the park.
Officer Dave set up a stage on the large gazebo. He set up a secret place for the dog and cat. He set up a secret place for Norff. He set up a podium and a microphone, along with speakers so everyone could hear his words. Officer Dave made up a large, very fancy certificate, perfect for a nice, kind hero. Then he went home.
All the next day, Norff clipped his toenails and fingernails. He trimmed his ogre hairs. He scrubbed himself in the bathtub and put on his nice suit and tie. He polished his shoes and then looked at himself in the mirror. Norff felt that he looked as cleaned up as an ogre can get. He was ready.
Soon, there came a knock at his door. It was Officer Dave, who had a disguise for Norff. Norff thought this was a good idea. Norff put on a mask, a wig, and went with Officer Dave to the park. Norff felt excited and nervous all at the same time. What if something bad happened? Norff decided that he could only be himself. He hoped that the people of the village would like him and want to be his friend. He hoped that Officer Dave’s plan would work. He took off the mask and the wig and he waited in his hiding place.
All of the people from the village had come to the park. The sound was like hundreds of bees buzzing, as the people talked to one another about who the hero could be. They were very excited, because they liked heroes and wanted to be friends with heroes.
Officer Dave stepped up to the podium right on time.
“Welcome, people of the village!” he said into the microphone.
The people clapped and cheered. Then they got quiet so they could hear Officer Dave talk.
“You have all come to the park today so that I could show you a hero. He is very nice. He is very kind. He is a true hero and I like him very much. He saved a cat that was trapped in a cage in the forest.”
Officer Dave brought the cat out from the cat’s hiding place. “Mrs. Finn, I believe this cat belongs to you?”
Mrs. Finn ran forward with her two children. They had missed their cat. “Yes, thank you so much!”
The family was happy to have their cat back, and the cat was happy to be back with her family. Everyone cheered for joy!
Officer Dave tapped on the microphone, making a sound that caused the people of the village to quiet.
“He also saved a dog that was trapped in a cage in the forest,” said Officer Dave.
Officer Dave brought the dog out from the dog’s hiding place. “Mr. Guster, I believe this dog belongs to you?”
Mr. Guster was an old man, and he hobbled forward using his cane. Mr. Guster had missed his dog. “Yes, thank you so much!”
Mr. Guster was happy to have his dog back, and the dog was happy to be back with his family. The people of the village clapped even more loudly! They were happy and they wanted to know who the hero of the village was! They wanted to be the hero’s friend!
“There is only one thing left to do,” Officer Dave said. “Would you like to meet our village’s nice, kind hero?”
The people cheered loudly!
“Here he is! He is my new friend. He is nice, he is kind, and he is a hero. I hope you will like him, too!”
Officer Dave looked back at Norff, who slowly walked out into view. Instantly the whole village was quiet. There was not a single sound. But then, Mrs. Finn began to clap. And then Mrs. Finn’s children began to clap. And then Mr. Guster began to clap. Then, the entire village began to clap! They were no longer scared of Norff! They liked Norff! He was a nice, kind hero, and they wanted to be his friend!
That evening, Norff went home. He took off his fine suit and put on his pajamas. He flossed and brushed his teeth with care and thought about the day. It was the happiest day in his whole life! He had new friends, and he could stay in the home that he loved, and he could stay in the village that he loved.
1. Why were the people angry with Norff?
2. What did Norff find in the woods?
3. Why did Officer Dave put up posters?
4. What did the people do when they saw Norff?