Tag: knight

The Day the Dragon Escaped

Once there was a dragon who woke up to a a terrible crashing sound at the front of his cave. He rushed out of bed to find a princess chopping his furniture to pieces. “What are you doing?” he roared.

“Oh good, there you are. I need this to look convincing, you know?” She chopped his tail-rest in half, and then looked around. “All of this artsy mural stuff on the walls will have to go, too. Maybe I can cover it up with mud.”

“What are you talking about?”

The princess turned and raised her nose in the air. “I am trying to catch the eye of a brave knight, so I need to be rescued from a scary dragon. You aren’t scary enough.”

The dragon rolled his eyes and chased her out of his cave with a broom. Then he looked at his furniture and sighed. There wasn’t enough wood glue in the entire country to fix that mess. Maybe some of it was salvageable?

He ate breakfast in bed, as the bed was still in one piece. The eggs were half raw and half burnt. They tasted terrible. He spilled his orange juice all over the covers when there was another crash in the living room.

The crazy princess was back, and she had knocked down his front door with a battering ram. The dragon was feeling a little alarmed. “Can’t you arrange for the knight to rescue you from something else? There’s a volcano nearby,” the dragon helpfully pointed out.

“Too late,” the princess said. “I already sent the ransom note.”

“I’m being kidnapped?” the dragon squeaked. He cleared his throat. “I’ll have you know that none of my relatives hoard any gold. We’re allergic. Check my cave if you don’t believe me. You won’t get a single gold nugget in ransom.”

The princess scowled unattractively. “You are so stupid. I sent a ransom note from you, so the knight would know where to come to rescue me.”

“But why would I kidnap a princess?”

“Greed, of course. You want half the gold in the kingdom, or some such nonsense. Don’t worry about it. Let the knight chase you away, and it’s all good.”

“But this is my home!”

The princess sighed and shook her head. “My dad owns this kingdom so all the homes in it belong to my family. Now show me your most menacing face. Make it look like I’m really in danger here.”

“Wait a minute. Are you trying to get me hurt?”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine. Hey, did you fix the furniture? Stop it.” The princess stomped her foot.

“That’s it, I’m leaving.” The dragon packed up what he could gather in a hurry and hurried out of the cave before the knight could arrive.

As he flew away, he could hear the princess’s voice yelling, “Get back here! I command you to come back right now!”

He flew all day and all night, stopping only for a moment or two to rest his wings. He passed the volcano and the jungle and the desert and the snowy mountains. Finally, he reached a little island hidden in dense fog and flew to the top of the mountain at the island’s center.

His mother was out digging in the garden. She stood up when he returned, and brushed off her talons on her apron. “Why are you home so soon? I didn’t expect to see you for another century.”

“There was this crazy princesss…”

His mother sighed. “Say no more. We all know how that goes. Did you manage to finish some of your research before you had to leave?”

The dragon patted the briefcase he’d carried away with him. “It’s all here. The last cloaking field was entirely ineffective, but I was really pleased with the two that came before it.”

“Was the last one the one based on chameleon fields?”

The dragon nodded. “I knew it wouldn’t work on such a small scale, but they insisted I add it to the rotation.”

His mother breath-roasted some potatoes and passed them over. “Eat these. You’re all scale and bones. Let’s go over the paperwork inside at the kitchen table.”

Meanwhile, the princess waited for her knight in a muddy, smoky cave. Her trusty horse was wrapped in burlap painted green. The princess frowned and held out a flaming torch. “Just hold this stick in your mouth so I can see how it looks from a distance. Now! I’m commanding you to do it!”

Silverbug and the Big Lizards

Once upon a time, deep in the woods, there was a cozy cave. Inside the cave lived a mama dragon, a papa dragon, and a baby dragon. Every morning they woke up early to flame-roast hazelnuts for breakfast.

This took a long time, because they were careful not to burn them. Instead, they carefully breathed fire above the nuts, turning them over in the shallow stone hollow that was their stove until every side was golden brown. Once every nut was toasted to perfection, they went on a walk while breakfast cooled.

One morning, as they walked through the woods in the early dawn, stepping through the sun-dappled shadows, things were different. They just didn’t know it yet. Unfortunately, a knight in shining armor had just found their cozy cave.

The knight looked around at the clean, well-ordered cave, and decided he’d just found his new base of operations. He was delighted to find the nuts, and didn’t once wonder where they came from. He ate every last one, cracking open the shells with his sword, and wished there were more.

Wandering further back in the cave, he found three large tree stumps. He cut up the smallest stump with his sword. Then he pulled out his tinderbox and lit one of the sticks of wood on fire and stashed a few unlit sticks of wood in his pack as he put the tinderbox away.

Holding aloft his torch, the knight ventured further into the cave. He followed the large, winding tunnel feeling especially dashing and brave. He couldn’t wait to tell of his heroics when he returned to the castle!

At the end of the tunnel, he found a wide room with three lumpy raised beds covered in soft moss. The torch was growing dim, and he had been walking around all morning. The knight decided he had time for a nap before exploring any further.

He laid on the closest and largest mound. It was too lumpy, and he kept rolling off the bed and falling onto the floor with a clang. This was not a good choice.

He laid on the next bed. It had too much moss for a knight still wearing shining armor. He kept sinking and sinking until he struggled to stand up before he’d sunk too far.

And so the knight laid down on the smallest moss-covered mound. It was just right. The torch went out and the knight fell asleep.

Meanwhile, the unsuspecting dragon family was returning home from their morning walk. As soon as they entered the cave, they knew something was wrong. The floor was covered in mysterious muddy footprints.

There was a pile of hazelnut shells in the middle of the kitchen floor. What animal would dare to enter a dragon cave and steal their breakfast? “Did they eat all of it?” Baby dragon whispered.

“It looks like it.” Papa dragon looked worried. “Stay behind me.”

As they followed him to the living room, mama dragon whispered, “Don’t worry. We’ll find something else to eat once it’s safe.”

They were shocked to find baby dragon’s chair broken into small pieces. Papa dragon sniffed the air. “Smoke.”

Mama dragon glared. Was it another dragon who had come to steal their hoard? How unmannerly. She couldn’t wait to tell them what she thought of their behavior. She nodded at papa dragon. They could be hiding in only one place.

The dragons stalked down the hall, their eyes glowing and lighting all the darkest corners. Baby dragon trailed behind them not sure what was happening, but hoping they’d get breakfast soon. He looked around once they reached the bedroom.

The moss-covered piles of gold had been disturbed. And there, lying on the smallest pile, baby dragon’s bed, was something shiny and largish. “Someone is sleeping on my bed,” baby dragon yelled. “There he is. I bed he was the one who ate breakfast and broke my chair too!”

The silver creature launched itself from the bed, waving a strange stinger in the air and growling incomprehensibly. Baby dragon hid behind mama dragon. He really hated getting stung by little bugs, and this was the biggest bug he’d ever seen.

Mama and papa chased the silverbug away without getting stung. Baby dragon looked around the bedroom and made sure the gold was safe. He sniffed closely. It hadn’t even been touched. Maybe silverbugs didn’t like gold. Maybe it was just hungry and sleepy. Baby dragon could understand that.

Mama and papa returned with fish and berries for breakfast, and all was right in the world. They never saw the silverbug again. They returned to roasting nuts and walking in the mornings, but they rolled large rocks in front of their cave before they left, just in case.

The knight was grateful for his narrow escape. The big lizards could keep their lumpy beds of rocks. The cave wasn’t worth the effort. He would find a new base of operations that wasn’t as dark and unwelcoming.

Just then, he saw a little cottage in the woods. It looked abandoned. He entered at once, and was delighted to find porridge on the table. All that walking had made him a little hungry. He sat down at once and started sampling the bowls to find which was best.

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