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The Dragon Awakes (youngsters:fairy tales, 3142 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: Feb 15 2007Views/Reads: 6869/3206Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The dragon had slept for three hundred years, thrice cursed by three sisters, three witches, who had raised her and loved her and named her Firethorn.

The Dragon Awakes (Another tale from Astrantia) 

© 2006 Ian G. Hobson 

The dragon had slept for three hundred years, thrice cursed by three
sisters, three witches, who had raised her and loved her and named her 
Firethorn.  As their tiny pet, the dragon had brought them joy, and 
each sister had taken turns at holding her and stroking her and feeding 
her, and even as she had grown and begun to breath fire, the sisters 
had still loved her and would hear nothing said against her, despite 
the occasional mishap with singed curtains or tablecloths. 

But as with most dragons, Firethorn was a cruel and selfish creature,
and one day, when the girls father, the great warlock, Delavayi, caught 
the dragon cruelly attacking Verbena, his old and faithful cat, he had 
ordered the dragon out of his cottage and told her never to return.  Of 
course, the three young witches were most upset, but they had no choice 
but to abide by their father's wishes, and so Firethorn was sent away. 

For a time the dragon stayed away.  But, in her mind, the injustice of
being made to leave the only home she had known grew, and with it grew 
her anger, and eventually she returned and set fire to the warlock's 
cottage, and although the warlock managed to get his wife and three 
daughters out safely, when he returned to save his cat, the thatched 
roof collapsed and he was burned alive. 

And thus Firethorn was punished, for though the sisters could not bring
themselves to condemn her to death, they each in turn cursed her to 
sleep for one hundred years.  And sleep she did, though when she woke 
she felt she had slept for a thousand years, as her bones were stiff 
and cold and the fire in her belly was nothing more than a smouldering 
ember.  But gradually, by eating the insects that crawled in the bat 
droppings in the cave where she had slept, and eventually eating the 
bats themselves, she revived and made her way out into a world that was 
in many ways the same but also changed, as there were more villages, 
more dwellings, and more people upon whom she could take her revenge. 

And so one night, shunning the daylight after spending so long in the
dark, she took to the air again seeking vengeance on any creature that 
walked on two legs; especially witches. 


It was summertime and the nights were warm, and after Hesperis,
Astrantia's pale pink moon, had risen into the sky, nocturnal creatures 
began to go about their business; including the three garden gnomes who 
had sat all day beside the tiny ornamental pond in the cottage garden 
where the young witch, Luzula, lived with her mother. 

'You've seen what?' said Gromwell, as he slid off his toadstool and set
down his lantern.  Like his three companions, he had a long white beard 
and was dressed in a bright red suit and hat and shiny black boots. 

'I saw a dragon,' replied Sedum.  He lay down his fishing rod and got to
his feet and walked over towards the other two gnomes.  'I saw it in 
the pond.' 

Willowherb got up from the rock he'd been sitting on and adjusted the
pickaxe he carried in his belt.  'In the pond!' he exclaimed 'How could 
there be a dragon in the pond?  You must have been dreaming.  There's 
no such thing as dragons anyway; I've told you that before.' 

'It wasn't in the pond,' said Sedum.  'I saw its reflection as it flew
overhead, and I think I saw flames come from its mouth.' 

'Balderdash!' said Willowherb.  'How would you know what a dragon looks
like anyway?' 

I've heard the children talk of dragons.' Sedum replied.  'And I've
heard that rhyme the older ones sing to frighten the little ones.'  He 
though for a moment and then began to sing: 

For now, she sleeps, we know not where But one day soon she'll leave her
lair Like a great winged serpent in the sky Once more, the dragon, she 
will fly 

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