Once she raised two eggs on a cliff on the moor.
Word spread the Dragon had not been seen.
Was she gone?
Had she taken ill?
Who would protect them!
Armed bandits were the first to plan their raid on the nearby villagers. First they sent out a search party.
As they neared, they saw she was in her lair.
"Why are you here? I should ask you," the Dragon said. "I am the dragon but I fly no more. I fly no more yet am the dragon still."
They thought she said, "I cannot fly now."
They reported she was roosting eggs. That she did not fly.
"Were they golden?"
"How do you know?"
"Is it true they have magic power?"
On they talked until they believed it must be worth the risk.
Now the Captain was a pious pirate, the best of the lot. He had risen as chief of them having some schooling in him before he ran from home and lettered, he added arithmetic, and map reading, and had made himself useful until he knew several of the seven seas. He was said to be so pious that once a year, though no one knew to whom, he confessed. He prayed the rigging would not snap beneath even the most loathesome of his sailors. He calmed the fears of the crew when storm rose high the seas like anvils. He sung a lullaby once. And for the sick, he ordered increased ration. He covenanted with several owners while aways off ship, contracting for them some gains to be had by interrupting the trades of competitors, and in this way was himself and crewsmen with him spared the nefarious sin of conducting the slave trade. As it was, he had at this time a gout that made him sick to think his life would be a waste if he could not settle the whole business and return to land. When hearing of the tale of the dragon's eggs, from the first of it to the last, he seized upon it as the kind of plot that which few in their mind would take heed unless so avaricious as to be witless. He had in his crew a few such spades, and he sent them off, expecting never to see them again.
The dragon had not been long away from her lair. She rarely left. She had grown weak after labor and then months coiled about her eggs. When she thought they were about to hatch she crawled out from the cave and down the hill to a moist rubbish dump at the edge of a garden where she was sure to dig up worms.
How enraged she was to find her nest empty! She spat out the worms and roared! Still she could fly and fly she did. Great long wings she unfurled, roaring, stretching, beating against the air, gaining wind beneath her great body at last rising.
But she sank to the ground, tired, and now the pirates were already off in their boat and turning from sight beyond the lagoon.
However, as soon as she could, she hurled herself up again. Spiraling upward on a shore current up and up, while the boat made had long since reunited with the ship and it was leagues away, so many in fact that it did not see her rise into the air.
Now the eyesight of all but the most young dragons is poor. However they have such a powerful taste for air currents as they are creatures of wind and fire that soon a powerful scent reached her, the odor of the eggs trailed from the pirates ship rising like a rope. And very strongly now, flapping her immense wings, she pulled them toward her.
What foul smelling eggs they were, for the animals nesting among the dragon's lair, the bats, rodents, all left their dung in the cave upon the eggs. Hadn't the sailors said they would wash the egg--but it were their downfall already. Forever they might have lived to regret it, but the moment high in the sky the great dragon caught wind of her young she quickly sped, volumes of wind which like cyclones sped from wingtip propelling her faster until at once, nearing she all but sank the ship.
So confident of their victory and so celebrated had they quickly become bickering amongst themselves they did not notice in the sail a shadow beginning to loom.
She would have in a fireball let her fury consume the vessel.
The Captain, realizing the situation said--"How will you carry your young? Let us return to the shore--then kill us."
Just then the eggs hatched.
It was impossible. Only the crewsmen beneath deck who rowed or had such lowly jobs as myself could recall the furor of those moments. I like a few others who died eventually from exposure to the cold sea could have told you then, at all accurately. Many the years I have given some remark on the occasion of the twin dragons's birth. The wise say "listen, that you may have life" (Isaiah 55:3).
A Story by C.R. Spicer
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