dragon reading a book

“You, humans, are so fragile! See? If, say, I were to bite your arm or leg off you wouldn’t be able to fight. Whoosh!”

Those words made Ren a tad anxious, so he reached for his sword, just in case.

“Phah!” the dragon threw his paws up. “You have no imagination at all! I was just thinking out loud. Hypothetically. Aren’t you curious about what makes things in the world tick?”

The man spat indignantly, but did sheath his sword. It seemed that the fire lizard was not going to eat him but wanted to talk instead. Very well, talk they will then.

“So, does it mean that if, say, I were to chop off your paws or your tail you wouldn’t feel a thing?” he asked and added sarcastically, “Hypothetically speaking, of course.”

The dragon sniffed at him with contempt.

“Well, at least I wouldn’t die of blood loss on the battlefield! Also… it wouldn’t be pretty, of course, but my lost limbs would grow back in a few years.”
“If you survive the battle, that is!” Ren grinned in a very meaningful way. “Want to test it? Coward!”
“Rude!” the dragon retorted, his nose in the air, his gentle feelings obviously deeply hurt. “The likes of you deserve their head to be bitten off, not their limbs. Yes, the head, along with the dirty mouth.”

Ren burst out laughing. He got it: the huge green monster that had knocked him off the horse not a long time ago was afraid. The fire-breathing dragon towering above the little human with a broken leg - afraid! How funny is that?

Armed with the new knowledge, Ren decided to go onto the offensive. Not with his sword, though, but with his words.

“How do you know we are fragile? Are you some kind of specialist? Have a ton of experience in the field of biting?”
“I am a theoretician,” said the dragon in a very proud, very dignified tone. “I read about it! I am too… sensitive for such experiments.”

By the end of that little speech, Ren had already been roaring with laughter. It took him a huge effort to snap out of it and keep talking.

“Is that so? Does it mean that you swallowed lady Iris whole, my sensitive friend?”
“Whole,” Ren kept playing the fool, “I mean, without biting and chewing.”

The dragon choked on his own smoke and backed away. His delicate nature was so heavily insulted, he couldn’t help imagining biting off all the limbs of that arrogant human. Just imagining, though, in his mind, nothing more.

“I’d ask you, sir,” he nearly shrieked, barely controlling his indignation, “to pick your words more carefully!”
“Or what?”
“Or…” The dragon’s eyes flashed. “Or I will tell everything to lady Iris!”

The utter surprise reflected on Ren’s face looked very much like fear to the dragon. His spirits soared again. Finally, he had shown the little rude human who is the real monster here!

“Ah-ha!” he roared triumphantly. “Now be a good human or I will do that, I swear on my claws!”

Ren, who had just gotten over the shock the happy surprise had given gave him, answered the dragon with a long unprintable curse. Now the poor creature had to other choice but to keep his word.

“Don’t go anywhere!” The dragon wagged a clawed finger on Ren before leaving. He had no reason to worry, though, for now the human wouldn’t go anywhere even if his leg hadn’t been broken.

Like a little boy who calls his mom or grandma for help when some other child takes away his toy, the theoretician was happily gloating beforehand as he watched lady Iris walk toward the rude knight. Oh, how she would shame him, he thought.

The dragon’s jaw dropped as he saw lady Iris embrace the man instead. The next moment she was crying of happiness.

“Ren, my love, I knew you would come!”
“My dear Iris, I thought you were dead. I came here to avenge you…Please, forgive me. I can not get up, or I would’ve carried you home in my arms.”
“Your poor leg… Who hurt you? Was it…”

Iris turned back to the dragon, her gaze angry and scornful. The huge monster immediately lowered his long ears in fear and shame. He would have blushed deeply if he could.

“Ah, it’s okay,” Ren stood up for the monster all of a sudden. “It’s all for the better. I could’ve killed your green pal otherwise and you would’ve been sad then. I’d rather break my leg than see you cry… Tell me, why did he kidnap you?”

Iris gave Ren a smile. And a kiss.

“He wanted to be a real dragon. He read about them a lot. It turned out he was way too gentle and sensitive to follow their example, though. He couldn’t even eat the sheep he stole let alone a girl. He is such a pure soul. Righ, Vinnie?”

Her gaze was so warm and kind now it completely confounded the dragon. Vinnie raised his ears and tilted his head amiably. He would have blushed again if he could.

“He is a very kind and curious dragon and a real bookwyrm,” said Iris. “Yes, it was scary when he kidnapped me but he apologized! We even became good friends.”
“I see…” Ren groaned with pain as he stood up on his good leg trying his best not to disturb the broken one.

A huge, scaly paw carefully held his elbow so he wouldn’t fall.

(December 1, 2010)

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English is not my native language.
If you see an error or a typo, please, tell me. I will fix it.