Monday, August 1, 2016

How to Be A Dragon

      Once upon a time a long time ago a mother dragon laid her eggs deep in the forest in a thick, soft nest she’d built out of pine branches and leaves. Thinking they were safe, she went off in search of food; she knew she would be back soon to guard them. However, while she was gone a hungry fox found the nest and stole one egg, planning to come back for the others later.

      But a huge raptor chased the fox who dropped the egg and ran for his life. The egg popped open and out rolled a baby dragon who had to learn very quickly how to stay alive with no mother to protect him, and to hide from that raptor now eyeballing him. Badly frightened, he looked around and saw an old rotted-out log and ran for it, stumbling because his legs were still pretty weak. He made it to the log, ran inside and curled into a ball in the soft, warm rotted wood and cried as he fell asleep.

      Time passed because that’s what time does and the little lost dragon would occasionally creep out of his log wishing he could see other dragons around him, wishing he had a sister or brother dragon, wishing his mother would come to find him to teach him how to be a dragon. But none of these things ever happened and eventually he learned how to find worms and bugs, snails, salamanders and larvae to eat, and to drink water from streams, and puddles left by rainfalls.

      He knew he was growing too because the soft nest he’d made for himself inside of that big safe log was beginning to feel too small, his arms and legs hung off the sides and he simply could not make his wings fit anywhere. He knew he’d eventually have to locate a new place to sleep, and so the little lost dragon one day ventured out of his log in search of new lodgings.

      He instinctively knew he had to avoid animals who liked to eat dragons so he kept looking around as he walked, but he was not bothered. In fact, he noticed to his surprised confusion and a kind of sadness that some animals looked at him as he walked by and then quickly ran in the opposite direction. “Hmmmmm,” he thought. “Why is that?” And he kept on walking, wishing, wishing he knew how to be a dragon, but there were just no dragons around to teach him.

      And then there she was, standing like a gleaming dragon statue at the edge of the woods ahead of him and she was so beautiful with her shiny dragon scales, her large dark eyes and her big, sleek wings. She shone in the afternoon sun and did not run away from him, no not at all. In fact, she smiled at him and all her dragon teeth flashed brightly as she flapped her wings and stamped her feet rhythmically on the soft earth.

      He walked toward her, his heart oddly hammering in is chest, and the little lost dragon realized he was maybe still lost but was no longer so little because when he got next to her he found himself looking down at her, and she up at him. He knew she was a dragon, but somehow different, and so he spread his great wings, flapping them hard to show off for her, and to his astonishment he was suddenly soaring up into the cool, bright air.

      He looked and saw she was flapping and soaring right next to him and the two dragons laughed together as they flew and skimmed tree-tops, looped and dove in and out of the clouds and the sky. When they landed, the now big but no longer lost dragon threw back his head in enormous joy and was stunned when a great roaring blast of fire came shooting from his throat and mouth, and right then and right there, he knew he had finally learned how to be a dragon. ©2016 LC Van Savage

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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