2018 Quick-Shot: Dragons

 

Ok, it’s been 2019 for somethin’ like five days now.  Happy 2019!  But there was a whole lotta 2018 I never wrote about, cuz I didn’t have time, or things got too crazy busy, or my ‘puter was busted, or a tank ran over my camera…

Yeah.  The camera really did get busted.  Cooper tried awful hard to get photos off, but I hadda get a new one, so I lost a bunch of pictures an’ stuff.  I’ll get to that, though.

DRAGONS

There was a dragon onna roof of the big white house.  It scared everybody outta their minds.  Cooper an’ me chased after it to make it go away.

We tracked it through the forest, walkin’ days an’ nights an’ followin’ its flight or findin’ places where it’d landed.  There’d be these big circles of burn, with smokin’ trees an’ half-eaten things an’ burnt grass, an’ we knew we were onna right path.  Cooper hadda monster book, an’ he kept lookin’ through for ways to fight off dragons.  We knew it’d be tough, but we couldn’t let the dragon come back to hurt our friends.

While we were walkin’, I kept tellin’ Cooper I thought I heard somethin’ followin’ us.  He wasn’t so sure what it might be, an’ I gotta say I didn’ have a clue either.  But I didn’t like the thought it might sneak up behind us an’ do somethin’ not so nice.  So we went an’ hid one day an’ waited for whatever it was to catch up to us.

I could hear it crashin’ through the bush, gettin’ closer an’ closer.  It was sorta quiet, but sorta not, like an animal that maybe hadda bum leg or wasn’t worried bout bein’ super quiet or wasn’t used to movin’ through forests.  But we stayed quiet, an’ it came closer.  I held my sword so tight, my hand hurt. Then I saw somethin’ bright red pop up, an’ it was sorta kinda familiar…

Hey!  It was the witch!  What was she doin’ here?  Cooper looked at me, an’ I looked at Cooper.  Then she was standin’ right there with us, even though I swear she was a buncha bits away just a moment afore.

“Whatcha doin’ here?” I asked.

“Did you see it?” she asked.  “I sensed that you were following it, but I didn’t know if you had laid eyes on it or not.”

Wait…what?

Cooper’n’me must’ve looked dumb, cuz she rolled her eyes an’ sighed deep.  “The dragon.  Big flying lizard. Has scales. Breathes fire.”

My tongue came loose.  “We saw it onna roof.  I don’t wanna let it hurt our friends. We’re gonna go kill it.”

The witch started shaking her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no.  You can’t kill it.”

“But we gotta.  It might eat us.”  What was the witch thinking?  “My book says they don’t like cold.  If we could throw loads of ice cubes at it first, it might get super weak, an’ then we can take it out.”

She sighed again.  “You will not kill a dragon with ice cubes.  You will not kill a dragon at all with the weapons you have.  You will die trying. I have a much better idea for how to solve the problem while keeping you alive.”

I looked at my sword.  It was awful small compared to the dragon.  “What do you think we outta do?”

“I believe we may have an advantage, but I need to know what the dragon looked like.”

Uh…  “It was big. An’ silver. It had two wings an’ four legs an’ some super sharp claws.  There were some horns round its head an’ … uh … sharp teeth.”

The witch looked thoughtful.  “What color were its eyes?”

“They were blue, with these gold stripes.”

She rubbed her thumb along her chin and started walkin’ back and forth, talkin’ kinda to herself an’ kinda to Cooper’n’me.  “There is a possibility that we are dealing with a female dragon that has recently laid a clutch of eggs.  If she’s out and about, they may have hatched.  This would create an ideal situation.”  She stopped and looked at us.  “Don’t you see?”

I shook my head.  Hatched eggs just sounded like more dragons.  More dragons would be a bigger problem.  How could more dragons be good?  Even Cooper didn’t seem to get it.  “I think I fail to see how newly-hatched dragons would benefit our situation…” he told the witch.

She sighed.  “New-hatched dragons have a very particular diet.  If we can get in there and help to feed them, we will imprint upon them that humans are good, that humans are friends, not food.  They will be easier to manage and less likely to cause chaos.”

“So…they won’t eat us?” I asked.

“They imprint like baby birds?” Cooper asked.  “That will be interesting.  I’ve seen videos of baby geese who imprint on a human.  They’ll follow the human around like puppies.  But how will this benefit us with regards to the mother dragon?”

The witch looked a li’l funny then, like she was hopin’ nobody’d ask that question.  “I have heard from a friend of a wizard I know that the adult dragon will be so grateful for the assistance that she will no longer see us as a threat but as an ally.  Another wizard theorized that she will simply fly away once the babies have been fed.  I am not sure that I believe either of them.  We may have to feed her as well.”

Cooper’n’me just stared at the witch.  Feedin’ baby dragons might be sorta ok.  But feedin’ a great big mama dragon that wasn’t sure if we were there to maybe hurt the babies?  That seemed a whole lot scarier an’ more like a Very Bad Idea.

“What do dragons eat?”  Cooper asked, alla sudden.  He had his eyes closed, like he didn’t really wanna know the answer.

“Stardust, of course,” the witch said, like everybody inna world knew that.  “Moonbeams sometimes, if there’s a full moon, but stardust is easier to harvest.”

“So they don’t wanna eat people?” I asked.  “Or pigs? Or puppies?”

Cooper chuckled.  “Or penguins or pandas or peacocks?  What’s with all the “P” things, Kestrel?”

I hit him inna shoulder, an’ he laughed more.  Brothers.

The witch crossed her arms.  “If you two are done?”  When we quieted down some, she kept on. “Baby dragons grow best on stardust and moonbeams.  Both are difficult for dragons to harvest, so most often the adult will feed the hatchlings blood from killed animals.  But that is not ideal, and it will stunt the hatchlings’ growth.  As adults, dragons also still want to eat stardust and moonbeams, but animals are easier to find.”

“How do we get stardust an’ moonbeams?” I asked.

“There is a process,” the witch said, as she was fumblin’ through a bag she had over her shoulder. “I will show you how to do it when the time is right.  We need both a full moon and a new moon, so timing is particular, and both cannot be harvested at the same time.  Thankfully, I harvest these items all the time and have some here with me.”  She pulled two things out of her bag: a bottle, filled with shimmery, glittery flakes, an’ a smaller closed pouch.  She handed the bottle to Cooper an’ worked on untying the knotted pouch.

Cooper popped the cork outta the bottle an’ shook a few flakes inna his hand.  They were all sparkly an’ sorta glowed like they were fulla light still.  I touched ’em with my finger.  They were a lot softer’n I thought they’d be an’ sorta warm.  Cooper poured ’em back inna bottle an put the cork back in place.

The witch finished with the knot an’ slid the bag back.  Soft light poured outta the bag, an’ she showed us these translucent white glowy bars.  Cooper’n’me both ‘wow’ed atta same time.  She covered ’em back up an’ put them an’ the stardust bottle away in her bag.

“I take it you have not actually found the dragon’s nest yet,” she said as she was closin’ up her bag.  “May I travel with you as you search?  I had seen signs of the dragon, but I confess I am not good at tracking beasts.  I nearly lost you several times, and you did not leave the ground.”

I laughed.  “It’d be nice if we had wings.  Flyin’ up over alla trees might make it easier to see…”  Then I trailed off, thinkin’. I didn’t have wings, but gettin’ high didn’t seem like a bad idea.

Cooper pointed to a nearby tree that had lotsa broken low branches, but it went up awful tall.  “Do you want a boost?” he asked.

“Nah,” I said.  “But maybe hold the sword.  It’ll make it hard to climb.”

It was a good climbin’ tree, with plenty of broken limbs atta bottom an’ lotsa branches higher up.  When I got high enough up so I could look out over the other trees inna forest, I looked round the horizon.  Ahead of us but off to the left, I saw some columns of smoke.  They looked dragon-ish.  I climbed back down.

We headed in the direction of the smoke. It was different travelin’ with the witch.  She sure didn’t know much bout movin’ inna woods, but she did know loads bout alla plants we passed an’ what they outta be used for. I didn’t listen too much, but Cooper did.  He likes stuff like that.  I kept lookin’ for more signs we were trackin’ right:  burned trees, broken limbs, gouged trunks.  An’ no animals.  The woods were quiet.

We kept walkin’ til it was dark.  I wanna keep goin’, cuz I felt like we were close.  I could smell a bad, stinky smell, like rotten eggs, an’ lotsa smoke.  An’ I heard a sound, somethin’ like a wind sneakin’ through a crack inna roof.  Cooper said it’d be better to wait for light, an’ the Witch said she thought it’d be better too if we didn’t go in at night.  I guess they were right.  It’d be scary to face dragons–big or li’l–at night, when you couldn’t see.

It was hard to wait for mornin’. I kept wakin’ up, lookin’ around, an’ wonderin’ what time it was or when the sun was gonna come back up.  That awful sound kept on, too.  Once, I got up an’ started to walk closer to where I thought the dragons were gonna be, but the witch started talkin’ in her sleep, an’ it was weird.  I couldn’t see too far, either, so I stayed there with the others.

But dawn finally came, an’ we set off again.  The forest was black an’ smokin’, an we started hearin’ loud noises ahead.  The burned up forest gave way to lotsa rocks, an’ the noises got louder, so we went creepin’ behind rocks one by one, peekin’ out in case there was somethin’ to hide from.  Then, finally, the land opened up, an’ oh-my-gumdrops…

There was the dragon, all huge an’ hulkin’ an’ scary.  There were dead animal bodies piled around the area, but they weren’t eaten or nothin’. Most of ’em were covered up in flies an’ smellin’ bad bad.  The witch was right, too, cuz there were eggshells an’ some baby dragons!  They were huge too, but not so scary, cuz they were not happy lookin’.  Some of ’em were lyin’ splayed out onna dirt, not movin’.  Some were covered up in flies.  There were two or three crawlin’ about, cryin’.  That cryin’ sound was what we heard inna forest.

“What’re they doin’?” I asked.

“Starving,” the witch said.  She kept her voice quiet.  “The mother dragon must be young.  She doesn’t know how to feed them.”

I looked at the babies again.  They were thin an’ slow-movin’.  Their scales were dull.  “We gotta help them,” I said.  “What’s gonna help faster? Moonbeams or starlight?”

The witch shook her head and shrugged.  She couldn’t take her eyes off the mother.

“Gimme both.  I gotta try somethin’.”

Then the witch looked at me.  “Hold on, girl.  If you just go rushing in, the mother dragon will think you’re attacking her babies. She will kill you without realizing you’re only there to help them.”

I frowned, looking back out at the babies.  “Ok.  So what should we do?”  The silver dragon kept staring at the crawling babies.

Cooper spoke up.  “It’s like chess.  We need to distract the mother while we make our move.  Can we get her attention off in the other direction?  Maybe make her think there’s a threat over there while we move in to help the babies?”

“That might work,” the witch said thoughtfully.

“I’ll do it,” I said, startin’ to hop up.

The witch pulled me back down.  “No.  You should let me take care of the mother dragon.  You are smart, clever, and quick, but you are no match for an actual dragon.  I have spells that will assist me.  I’ll distract her, and you two move in to feed the babies.  Start with the stardust.  I think it will be all right after.”  She took the stardust an’ moonbeams outta her bag an’ gave ’em to us.  She put two moonbeam bars back inna bag.  Then she whispered some words I didn’t know, an’ alla sudden, she vanished.

Cooper’n’me peeked out from behind our rock.  The baby dragons weren’t movin’ any more, except to breathe a li’l bit.  The silver dragon kept watchin’ ’em.  The mornin’ was all sortsa quiet now.  While we waited, Cooper split half of the stardust into two piles an’ wrapped ’em up inna bandanas.

Alla sudden, the silver dragon’s head snapped up an’ whipped ’round.  Smoke dribbled outta her nose, an’ she let out a roar.  Then she leaped to her feet an’ ran off, movin’ super fast.  I was sorta glad then that I wasn’t out inna forest, tryin’ to distract her.  I think if I’d seen her leap up an’ come chargin’ at me like that, I woulda been frozen stiff.

Cooper grabbed my arm.  “Come on.  This is our chance.”  We both scuttle ran out from behind the rock an’ headed for the baby dragons.  They saw us comin’ an’ tried to rear up an’ fight back, but they were awful weak.  They just made a soft mewling sound an’ their heads weaved back an’ forth a bit.

I knelt down next to the red-gold dragonling, an’ Cooper helped the one that was green-gold.  The baby hissed at me an’ snapped its jaws a li’l, but it couldn’t do nothin’ to actually hurt me.  I untied the bandana with the stardust an’ scooped some inna my hand, then held it toward the baby.

It stopped hissing. Its nostrils got real big as it snuffed in an’ out, tryin’ figure out what I had.  Then its tongue came out, an’ it licked up some of the shiny stardust.  Then it licked again, an’ again, until my hand was empty. An’ wet.  I was covered in baby dragon slobber.  It made me giggle.

The baby dragon Cooper was helpin’ started to make a different sound, sorta like a happy hummin’.  My dragon baby did too, even as I got it another handful of stardust.  Its eyes got brighter, an’ its scales started shinin’ some too.  It was lookin’ loads better.

Neither of us was payin’ any attention to the big silver dragon anymore, but I kinda started to when it came flyin’ straight at us.  It landed inna dirt near the babies, an’ I thought for sure we were gonna be fried toast.  I looked up at it an’ gulped.

But it stretched its big head down an’ nosed the li’l red-gold baby.  It was all pretty an’ shiny now, lookin’ loads healthier’n’ it did afore.  It raised its head up too, an’ they rubbed against each other some, then the silver dragon looked at me an’ Cooper both.  The big silver dragon made that happy hummin’ sound too.

The witch popped up behind us alla sudden.  She hadda moonbeam bar inna hand an’, while we were still feedin’ stardust to the babies, she walked up to the silver dragon again.  It seemed loads friendlier now, but it still drew back a li’l bit when she started walkin’ towards it.  Then it caught the scent of moonbeam, an’ its nose did the big-wide thing like the babies’ did.  It crunched up the moonbeam bar, an’ its blue eyes went bright.

“A long time ago,” the witch said softly, like she was tellin’ bedtime stories to the baby dragons, “dragons and humans got along.  They relied on each other.  Adult dragons couldn’t feed their babies starlight because they couldn’t harvest it.  And humans couldn’t perform magic without dragon scales.  So they worked together, and they thrived.  But history says something went terribly wrong–maybe a wizard tried to enslave a dragon or take too many scales or take a living dragon’s soul, or maybe some bachelor dragons went rogue and attacked a city–and the dragon-human bond was broken.  Without humans to help, the dragon population has fallen dangerously low.  I want to thank you two for your help with making this happen.  I hope that we might be able to re-establish the bonds of old.”

The witch looked really happy.  I kinda felt like she’d used us again, but I didn’t mind so much this time.  Maybe she didn’t know how to explain things good when she started explainin’ things.

“Are we gonna stay an’ feed ’em some longer?” I asked.  I didn’t know how long we outta feed baby dragons, or when they could start eatin’ normal dragon foods.

“I think you and your twin should go make sure your family is safe and that they know they’ll be ok.  There is nothing more to worry about from these dragons.  But yes, I will stay and care for this family, at least until these small ones are better able to care for themselves.  It is a time honored tradition that many wizards and witches have ignored for far too long.  I hope that I can help convince more of them to agree to help the dragons as we did before.”

“All right, then,” Cooper said.  He tugged on my arm.  “If you need anything else from us, or if we can help again, you know where we’ll be.”

“Thank you,” she said.

As we walked back inna woods, I was happy.  We hadda great adventure.  The Flock was safe.  Dolli Lane was safe.  I gotta feed a baby dragon!!  It was a super good day.

~Kestrel

Bump onna roof: Dragon

I couldn’t let the dragon stay, even though all my friends were safe now. Safer. A dragon inna area was bad news. So Cooper’n’me loaded up with stuff an’ went back. We kept eyein’ the sky, in case it was flyin’ over. But we found it still sittin’ onna roof where we’d left it. So we snuck back inna house, hopin’ for some cover while we figured out how to make a dragon go away.

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Cooper sat down an’ opened the Monster Cryptology book from Pip. It had a bit bout dragons, so we were lookin’ for ideas (like maybe they didn’t like mistletoe or somethin’).

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While he read, I checked my weapons. My sword was sharp, but the dragon was up so high, it probably wouldn’t be much help. Bow an’ arrows would be loads more useful. They were sharp too. Good.

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But I wasn’t sure if I could shoot it high enough. I mean, houses are awful tall. Maybe I could climb onna roof, though. I wished I hadda big net or chain or somethin’, someway I could keep it grounded.

While I was thinkin’ bout roofs, Cooper sighed.

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“I am not sure whether your weapons will suffice to defeat a dragon. This book seems to suggest that the only weapons that will defeat dragons are magical in nature.”

”Magic?” I echoed. “ I don’t got none. Where do you get a magic weapon?”

He looked down atta book an’ ran a finger along the page. “ You might find one while on a quest to a magic location. Fairies have some. A strong magician can make one, or might have one in his collection. They sound rare.”

I sighed too. “So we don’t gotta chance?”

“Well…perhaps not to kill it. But your weapons should be enough to engage it and perhaps to drive it away for a time.”

Long enough, maybe, to figure out a real fix. That’d have to be good enough for now.

But it also meant I needed to get closer. Lots closer. Rooftop closer. The windows didn’t open big enough for climbin’ out. There wasn’t no attic. I was gonna hafta climb. But carefully. Vale’d taught  me a li’l bout climbin’ careful, an’ she’d given me some rope an’ harness an’ that thing you throw up with a rope attached. I forgot it’s name, but I could use it ok. It was easier to throw far cuz it was heavy-ish. Easier’n lobbin’ an arrow up onna roof, at least (weird, how it was hard to throw a light thing very far, but easier to throw somethin’ heavy…but not too heavy).

I fetched the stuff an’ had Cooper help me with alla buckles an’ things. He was right good at gettin’ ‘em tight so I wouldn’t slip. Once I was strapped in, I picked up alla weapons an’ hung ‘em on myself. Fingers crossed I didn’t drop nothin’. Then it was time for goin’ up!

Climbin’ a house sure is tough. There’s sorta handholds, if you count stuff like doortops an’ window ledges an’ all, but then there’s great big flat places too where the only way up was to grab onna rope, plant feet against the wall, an’ walk, hopin’ the rope was caught good on whatever was up top so I wasn’t gonna go fallin’ back down. Cooper was onna ground, watchin’, but I think, if somethin’ had given loose, alla good he woulda done was get hurt too.

Thankfully, the rope held.

After lotsa lotsa pullin’, I grabbed onna roof edge an’ pulled up.  An’ then…oh my gumdrops, but it was big!

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It didn’t see me or hear me at first, which was good.  I dunno how it didn’t hear me.  I sure was breathin’ hard, an’ I’m pretty sure my heart was poundin’ loud enough to wake some dead things.  But it didn’t seem to notice me.  So I pulled one leg up over the roof edge an’ slipped the other up, tryin’ get my feet somewhere stable.  Roofs are an awful lot steeper’n’ they look from onna ground.  Gettin’ stable was hard!  I decided I wanna stay by the roof edge an’ use the bow.  Goin’ in with a sword swingin’ sure didn’t seem like a good idea from up here.

Then one of the metal clips used to attach onna rope slipped off.  It fell chunk against a shingle an’ dropped down down down to the ground, where dust puffed up round it. Gulp.  I didn’t wanna fall that far!

But that was nothin’ compared to what I saw when I looked up.

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Gulp!

I went all fumble-fingered, tryin’ get my bow un-slung an’ an arrow outta the quiver.  I didn’t wanna look ‘way from the dragon, but I hadda look at the bow cuz the arrow kept slidin’ off.  Finally, I got it up tight an’ raised the bow an’ sighted down the arrow…

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I dunno what happened.  That dragon couldn’t’ve been scared of my one li’l bow, or the arrow I had knocked in place.  I was close enough to hit it, sure, but chances were pretty good the arrow wouldn’t go past its scales.  An’ I was too shook up to aim for the eye or some other soft spot dragons got.

But maybe this dragon didn’t know that.  Maybe this dragon’d had run-ins with people before.  Strong people that had magic weapons an’ things. Or maybe it was young an’ scared.  Whatever happened afore, it took off when it saw me pointin’ my bow.  Let out a big, mighty roar, flapped its huge wings, an’ flew off over the forest. I hadda grab onna roof’s edge so I didn’t go slidin’ off from alla wind it made.

I watched it for a bit, makin’ sure I knew which way it was goin’, then I started climbin’ down.

Onna ground, Cooper helped me take stuff off an’ put it up.  Climbin’ a house was hard work.   I let him know that the dragon was alive still an’ it’d flown off deeper inna forest.  I was pretty sure we had somethin’ more to do bout it too.  We hadda follow the dragon.

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Cooper took a deep deep breath, picked up the bow an’ quiver an’ book, an’ put on his  brave face.

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“Okay then.  Let’s go track a dragon.”

My brother’s the best.

~Kestrel

Bump onna roof…

Recap:
There was a big BUMP (kinda a small BOOM) onna big white house roof while we were recreationing inside.  We all went, “What the gumdrops?”

The story continues…

I grabbed up my sword.  I wanted it nearby in case somethin’ bad was afoot.

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Big bump/booms like that usually mean bad things.  Cooper grabbed up his shovel, too, cuz it’s got a wicked sharp edge (kinda like a saw).  I figured we all got our favorite sorts of weapons.  If a saw-shovel keeps my brother safe, then he’s welcome to it.  He stayed in with everybody else while I went out to check on things.

I stepped out.  I looked up.  GULP.

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I went back inside, fast.  Dragon.  A real, live dragon was perched onna roof.  Oh gumdrops, this sword wasn’t gonna do any good…

My heart was thumpin’ hard.  I tried to remember what I knew. Most dragons wanna eat dollies for snacks.  Loads of ’em breathe fire, too, an’ a wood house mixed up with a dragon’s breath seemed like a bad idea.  My friends were inside.  Double bad.  Buncha dragons breathe acid or frost instead. When Pip an’ Amalynn an’ Smidge an’ Voir an’ alla we were in Arkansas, I met dragon parts, an’ baby dragons, an’ alla them were nice.   But they were babies.  Babies start off nice, with treats an’ all.  Without treats, tho, maybe alla big dragons would be mean. Some dragons are nice. Some dragons are mean. No dragons wear signs sayin’ which one they are.

I needed more information. I needed better weapons. I needed to get my friends out of danger.  Alla sudden, I hadda plan.

I went back upstairs.  I could hear thumpin’ onna roof from the dragon’s feet, an a draggin’ sound from where its tail kept rubbin’ over shingles.  When I came up inna room, everybody started babblin’ at me.  The thumping onna roof stopped, an’ I could just feel that dragon listenin’.  It was like ice down my neck. I put my finger over my lips, an’ everybody went real quiet.  They gathered close round me, an’ I let ’em know there was a dragon onna roof, and we hadda go.  It might be a good dragon, but I didn’t know, an’ I didn’t wanna try an’ find out with everybody here.

Nobody made much noise after that, which was good.  Cooper kept his shovel. I didn’t think it’d do much good against a dragon, but maybe he could scoop dirt over some fires.  Falcon went to Meikiko’s room to get her.  He coulnd’t find her at first.

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But he called her name, real soft, an’ she leaped out from under the blankets, into his arms.  Poor thing.  She was so scared, she didn’t even ask about none of her dollies or toys or nothin’.

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We all grouped up again an’ headed for the door.  I figured it’d be best if we got everyone back home before I tried doin’ research.  The Hittys joined us goin’ out the door. I was proud of ’em for keepin’ quiet, even tho they didn’t really know what alla fuss was about.  At least, I didn’t tell ’em, an’ I should’ve.  I hope Cooper or Lark did. We made up a line so we could watch each other.  Cooper went in front, with the shovel.  Then our friends inna middle.  I brought up the back so I could keep an eye on the dragon, in case it decided it wanted to follow us.

The dragon didn’t pay us any mind, which was good.  It just kept lookin’ out from its perch onna roof.  It was lookin’ forward, though, an’ we all went out the side.  Maybe that’s why it never saw us.  But I didn’t stop watchin’ it til we were far outta range.

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Alla we got home safe.  I let the others know what happened.  Wren got all sortsa worried.  If a dragon was at the big white house, maybe it’d come to our main house too.  An’ it might.  We decided we were gonna keep everyone inside for a bit, even Riley an’ the goose.  I was gonna go back to the big white house with weapons an’ books so I could figure out more.  Cooper said he’d come with me.  Brave brother.  I was glad he said he would, cuz I was straight up scared.  Dragons are no laughin’ matter.

After makin’ the plans, I grabbed my bow, an’ Cooper brought the books an’ a big metal spear we had.

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We both took deep breaths an’ set back out to the big white house.

… to be continued…

~Kestrel

Arkansas, Day 5: Carving’s end

Day 5.  Last day.  Started beautiful an’ clear an’ bright.  Oh my gumdrops! Those clouds are somethin’ else, right?!

We hadda say goodbye to Big Green dragon.  We were all sad, cuz he’s super fun, but his bean left early an’ all. We gave his bean a Nutty Buddy to say thanks for lettin’ Big Green camp on our table!

The wood dragon babies got more carved than they were afore, too.  Heads an’ necks got attached to bodies, an’ legs got jointed inna place.  I don’t think they’re gonna be breathin’ fire for a bit.  That’s good.  We got time to make sure they’re good afore they turn mean or somethin’.  Plus, the li’l tykes got stuck up onna stick!  Maybe it shook alla bad outta ’em already.

But right now, they seem awful cute an’ little an’ nice.  No fire, no clawin’, no death or maimin’ or nothin’.  Stick-shakin’ afore full-born seems to really make ’em inna good critters.  I tested it first, though, tryin’ to make sure they were good babies, not bad babies.  Pip helped.  We fed it some li’l bitty treats (not people!). It seemed like a good dragon.

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After we hadda stop carving, we cleaned up the room, sweepin’ out alla chips an’ carvin’ bits, puttin’ stuff away, an’ gettin’ gear packed away.  The baby dragons are pullin’ themselves together with pegs an’ things, but they still gotta grow their tails an’ wings.  Right now, they just got stubby lil’ ends.  The teachers say they’re pretty sure the rest will grow, but it takes time.

When we got back to the cabin, we (Cooper, Pinkly, Amalynn, Pip, an’ me) were kinda hungry, an’ kinda sad.  We’re gonna all miss hangin’ out together an’ watchin’ baby dragons bein’ born.  I dunno who thought of it, but we got out a cookie that Voir’s bean made an’ shared it.  Snack time!  We were thinkin’ bout ’em an’ wishin’ they could be there with us too.  Sendin’ love to Voir an’ Smidgie an’ Wizzie an’ Mr. Wizzie.

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We’re talkin’ bout a final sleepover too, just cuz it’ll be fun.

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~Kestrel

Arkansas, Day 4: Dragons an’ More!

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It was a pretty mornin’!  I took a little jump inna leaf pile too.  It smelled all woodsy an’ musky an’ sorta damp.  Loads of fun!  Great way to start a day.  Everybody outta try it some.

When we got inna carving room, we found the green dragon head grew itself inna whole big dragon, with wings an’ everything.  I’ve been watchin’ the head since the class started, but to see it now with legs an’ wings an’ everything…I’m not so sure it’s really safe.

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I mean, it says it’s safe.  But what monster doesn’t say that, if it gets a chance?  Sayin’ that would make it loads easier to eat things like little friends!  If a dragon walks up to you an’ says it’s a nice, safe dragon, an’ you listen to it, it’s gonna be really easy for the dragon to eat you up, cuz you won’t be ready to fight back.

(I’ve thought about this a lot)

But Pip said she really wanted to talk to the dragon, an’ the dragon said it was ok. Again. Ugh!  I hadda think bout it a bit.  So I leaned up close to the dragon an’ he an’ me had  a bit of a talk…

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I told him, real clear, that he better behave an’ be a good dragon an’ not hurt anybody, cuz I had a sharp sword an’ wasn’t afraid to use it.  Then I told him bout the other dragon head that seemed like trouble earlier this week, an’ how I dealt with it…

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But the dragon agreed, sayin’ again it was a good, nice dragon, an’ I relented an’ Pip hopped up onna dragon’s back.  I had a teeny tiny panicky heart attack, but I got over it.  The dragon was very nice, an’ he didn’t snarl or flare or fly or bite or nothin’.  Phew.  Pip was awful cute, though, an’ most brave!  Go Pip go!  (an’ thanks, dragon.  Sorry I didn’t much trust you).

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The day went on with carvin’ an’ things.  Knives came out. Chips were flyin’.  Dragons were bein’ born!  Bit by bit, sorta.  I gotta say, I guess I didn’ know quite how this was gonna happen.  I thought maybe they’d be a bit more like the green dragon:  kinda full-sprung after a li’l bit.  The teachers’ dragon is more whole-ish sometimes.  It pulled itself all together today cuz of the green dragon, I think.  They were cute, goin’ nose to nose like they did.

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The other li’l dragon babies are still comin’ along.  They’re openin’ their eyes an’ blinkin’ bits.  They aren’t born outta eggs, like most dragon babies (my monster books say they’re born outta big eggs, like snakes an’ lizards), but I guess that’s cuz they’re wood dragon babies bein’ born outta blocks?  They’re sorta cute.  Even real dragons are neat an’ cool an’ all.  Just…dangerous, too.

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Pip got in some work today.  She’s been wantin’ to earn a nursin’ degree, like Smidge an’ Voir have, cuz Aunty Glenda sometimes needs lots of doctorin’ help.  So today, when carvers cut themselves an’ bled, Pip hopped up an’ assessed their wounds an’ applied first aid an’ stuff.  Grammy Happy an Aunty Glenda both needed tendin’ to, an she was right there, sayin’ smart stuff like “Apply pressure” an’ “Elevate the wound” an’ “Let’s affix a bandaid” an’ “There, there.  It’s going to be all right.”  She didn’t even get faint at the blood or nothin’!

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After alla carvin’ an’ such, we came back to the cabin.  Pinkly’s been sorta super sad lately, with Smidge gone off with Voir an’ all, an’ lately Cooper’s been tryin’ cheer her up some.  This afternoon, tho…I dunno what was goin’ on.  He got down in front of her chair an’ was sayin’ somethin’ to her.  I couldn’t hear what he was sayin’.  Neither could Amalynn.  But she an’ me sure watched them!

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Who knows what that was all about?

More dragons tomorrow!

~Kestrel