A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, there was a dragon. The dragon used to go out and play all by himself - he would fly far and wide looking for games to play. One day, he found another dragon, who was playing a game he'd never seen. The other dragon did not want to play with the lonely dragon, but he was persuasive, and soon she taught him her game. They played together for a while, but soon had to part, for dragons are solitary creatures. The lonely dragon had a new game now, one no one else knew, and he wanted to share it. So he went back home, to the mountain where lived with a family of wizards, and tried to teach them the game. 'Don't be silly,' they said. 'We have never heard of this game, and we are the wisest of wizards.' The dragon was heartbroken, because the wizards were his oldest and his dearest friends, but their hearts had shriveled and turned cold. And so, hanging his head, tears in his eyes, the dragon left the mountain and his friends, and set out for the last time into the great wild world.

Long and far the dragon flew, until the mountain was a tiny dot in the distance. He flew over the great forest, and over the great sea. And then he saw a tiny island, there in the ocean. The dragon was fascinated by what he saw on the island, so he flew down for a closer look. As he was flying down, he was met on the way up. A phoenix flew up to meet him, burning as bright as his own flame. Below, a hawk circled, with watchful eyes on the island. The dragon and the phoenix flew together, though the hawk did not join in their play, preferring instead to keep his watch. Eventually, though, they all flew down to the island, where the phoenix and the hawk introduced the dragon to their lord, who was a great warrior. The warrior asked the dragon to be a guest on the island, and to share wine and meat with him, as well as the phoenix and the hawk.

But that night, in the warrior's castle, the dragon saw a pale ghost, quiet and sad, standing behind the warrior. He was frightened, and confused when the others did not share his reaction. The others laughed, then, but it was a kind laughter, not the mocking laughter of the wizards. The ghost was friendly, they explained, and as dear to the warrior as the hawk or the phoenix. As dear, the warrior said, as he hoped the dragon would become. And the lonely dragon felt his heart lift, for the first time since leaving his mountain. Because he knew that his loneliness was at an end. He went on to do many more things, but those are stories for another day.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License