Cassandra's aunt and uncle ate something called Health Foods, which they brought with them in big cardboard boxes from a special Health Food store in Moscow. They had boxes calledBetter Buds, orCereal Zealand all kinds of crazy seeds and several brands of honey and strange juices that tasted like celery syrup and smelled even worse.Cassandra would put their supper on the table and then spread out all those seeds and juice for t
"What do you think is inside the box, Cassandra?" Ruslan asked while Cassandra was washing the dishes after they both had a lunch break."The Hope Diamond, I suppose," she said. The long hours of trails and errors had dulled her sense of wonder and made Cassandra a bit disheartened by the fruitless result so far.
"Okay," Ruslan said. "What does the poem mean?""I have no idea," Cassandra said. "But the owl told me to come back to her after I open the box. Maybe I'll find out what it means.""Are you sure you're going to see this talking owl tonight?"
The owl raised her wings and made a high pitch squeak, which echoed off into the sky. The sound was sharp and strong and as soon as it faded the ground beneath Cassandra's feet began to tremble, but before she could scream earthquake, something else far more astonishing caught her eyes.She saw the glowing light emitting from the ancient mirror. The light seemed to form a ring of symbols much like the runes she saw on the chest and letter. Cassandra gasped as she stared at the strange phenomenon for the first time.
Cassandra didn't know what to make of the frog princess, but Owlyn kept looking at her as if waiting for her to do something. After a long awkward silence, she cleared her throat nervously."Well, um...nice to meet you...er...your highness," she said. "But now that Owlyn has found you, I guess there's nothing more I can do here, so I better go back."Then she turned to leave, but the owl immediately flew over to block her way.<
No one ever moved faster than Vasilisa did getting back up the stairs. Cassandra was huffing and gasping as she followed the sorceress. Entered another chamber, she glanced around as if fearing that the Groundsler would crawl back, but everywhere she looked was silent and empty as ever."Are we safe here?" Cassandra whispered.
Cassandra sighed in despair. Of course, it has to be some deep dark wood, she thought. Every time you need to find a dumb magical thing, there's always a creepy wood for you to go to. It has always been like that in every fairy tale she'd ever read, but she never once thought she would actually be in one.The serpent appeared to have fallen asleep. Vasilisa stood up with a determined look on her face.
Owlyn safely led Cassandra back to Chamber of Mirror. They went through the mirror again, and the last thing the owl said before leaving was, "I'd appreciate it if you washed your face. You look like something a Groundsler dragged in. And remember we are all in a very great deal of trouble if you don't come back."The bird then turned and flew down the length of the ruined hall and plunged straight into the liquid-like mirror. Cassandra looked around to make sure that she was indeed back in the human realm. To her relief, it w