Unable to find suitable employment after graduation, a dragon accepted a job at a company of cows…
He was careful, of course, to hide his dragon-ness. He restrained his breath, lest he shoot out a mouthful of fire.
He tried to fit in, yet secretly mocked the slowly plodding ways of his co-workers…
However, in time, he came to admire their stubborn perseverance.
He even joined them occasionally in a group “moo”.
Yes, after a few months, the dragon almost felt at peace with his work situation…
But then one night at home, he tried to light a candle with his breath, as he often did…
…and found he couldn’t even produce a small flame! His fire had been weak for a couple of days, but he’d just shrugged off as a slump.
Our dragon now felt so ashamed. Would he ever breathe fire again? I have been around those cows too long, he thought. Maybe I’ve become one of them!
But no—he knew he could never truly be a cow. On the other hand, how could he be a dragon without his fire?
The dragon tried night after night, yet couldn’t breathe a single flame, no matter how hard he huffed. His lungs felt dead with cold dry ashes.
The end of this stretch found him sitting, in deep rumination, on a city park bench. If I left that cow company, maybe I’d regain my fire, he thought. However, I’d still be a dragon trying to live in a world filled with cows.
As he pondered this dilemma, his dull eyes roamed around the park…
….until they caught sight of a little fellow struggling to climb a tall tree.
The child reached for a branch but slipped, swung upside down, then lost his grip and fell…
…landing hard on the hard ground. He lay motionless, unconscious.
Without another thought, the dragon man rushed up and knelt down beside the poor child. Taking a deep breath, he forced a fiery gust down into the boy’s empty lungs. Again and again, he pushed his own breath into the youth, determined to bring him back.
Finally, the scrawny chest began to heave with life. The young one blinked his eyes open and smiled up at the dragon.
Our dragon could feel the ragged heat of his fire swirling inside him again. By drawing down deep into himself, he’d reignited!
Then, as the child parted his lips to whisper “thanks”—lo and behold!—a wisp of flame appeared for just an instant.
The dragon realized his revived fire had stirred new fire to life. Since the young one had fire, he too must be a dragon.
The dragon man felt two imperatives then:
To do all he could to keep his own fire alive….
…and to do what he could to help this tyro grow his fire. If the little fellow was to become a proper dragon, he must be trained properly…
…he must be guided toward his true nature…and steered past potential pitfalls.
The youth had to learn how to fit in with non-dragons. When to use his flame and when to keep it hidden.
At this point, our dragon saw the obvious obstacle:
He still hadn’t learned how to do that which he needed to teach. He didn’t know because he’d never been properly trained.
His resolve then became even more resolute: he must give the dragon child what no one had given him!
But to do that, he had to learn how to be around cows and still keep his flame.
Thus, he decided to remain at the cow company a little while longer.
Yes, the place presented a potential pitfall…
…but by staying, he’d help both himself and the dragon-in-training.
© 2018, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry