DRAGON2  9' An orphan girl befriends a dragon, meets a prince

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far far away, lived
an orphan girl named Mary.

On Mary's sixteenth birthday, the owner of the orphanage said,
"Mary, you are now too old to live in this orphanage."

Mary replied, "You mean, you're sending me away?!"

"Yes." he said.

She replied, "But I don't have a job. I have no way to make a
living. I'll starve to death!"

"That's not my problem." he said.

So, Mary packed what few things she owned in a pillow case, said
goodbye to her friends and left the orphanage. As she stepped
out the door, she heard the loud thundering of horse hoofs.

"Out of the way!" shouted the knight in shining armor on horse
back as he almost ran her over.

Mary stumbled back and fell. As she stood up again and dusted
herself off, she heard the thunder of hoofs going in the other
direction. A small beast ran past and brushed against her. Mary
stumbled back and fell again. As she stood up again and dusted
herself off, she realized that it wasn't a horse that ran by her
this time.

"What on earth was that?!" Mary asked, "It looked like a dog
with a mouth like an alligator! I've never seen anything like

Mary decided to go after the dog that looked like an alligator,
to find out what it was. About a mile down the road, Mary heard
an animal sound. It sounded like the cooing of a dove but it
sounded like a much bigger animal. The sound was coming from the
ditch beside the road. She went over to the edge of the road to
take a look. There, hiding in the ditch was the strange animal
that ran by Mary outside of the orphanage.

"So, you're the one who's making that sound." said Mary.

The animal cooed again. It was bigger than the biggest dog Mary
had ever seen. But it had a long snout and big teeth like an
alligator. But it had large eyes. Mary could see that the animal
was afraid.

Mary smiled, "You're just a baby, aren't you, big boy!? What
kind of animal has a baby that looks like you?"

The animal cooed again. Suddenly, Mary heard the thunder of
horse hoofs coming her way from the town. The animal put its
head down and tried to hide itself in the long grass.

Mary asked, "You think that knight in shining armor is after
you, boy?"

The animal just cooed. Mary didn't understand why the knight was
after such a helpless animal, but she thought she had to do
something to protect him. So, she ran down into the ditch and
covered the animal with leaves, branches and grass. Then she ran
out of the ditch and walked away calmly.

The knight in shining armor came galloping down the road, then
pulled the reigns and stopped the horse next to Mary.

"Have you seen the dragon?" he asked.

"Dragon?! I don't even know what a dragon looks like. Why are
you looking for a dragon?"

"I just killed this dragon's mother. Now I need to kill the baby

Suddenly, Mary realized that the creature in the ditch might be
a baby dragon. But, she thought, she was standing right next to
the little creature and he didn't even growl at her. He was cute
and cuddly. There was no reason to kill such a cute and cuddly
animal. While Mary was thinking about what to say, the knight
grew impatient and galloped away down the road. After the knight
was out of site, Mary returned to the ditch and uncovered the...
whatever it was.

Mary smiled, "I thought dragons were supposed to be big and
fierce looking. You're not big and fierce looking. You're cute
and cuddly. I couldn't let that knight in shining armor hurt

The dragon cooed again. Mary pointed to an apple tree nearby and
asked, "I'm hungry. Are you hungry?"

The dragon cooed again. When Mary walked toward the tree, she
heard the crunching of grass behind her. When she turned, she
saw the dragon following her. The dragon stopped suddenly and
crouched down as if he thought she was going to hurt him.

Mary smiled, "Oh, I'm not going to hurt you, boy! I'm your

Mary picked two apples from the tree and put one of them in
front of the dragon's nose. He sniffed it. Mary took a bite out
of her apple to show the dragon how to eat it.

Mary smiled, "If we're going to be friends, we should call each
other by name. Don't you think?"

Mary returned to the apple tree for more apples, saying, "My
name is Mary. And I think I'll call you a name that's as cute
and cuddly as you are. I think I'll call you Pussycat."

When mary had stuffed her pockets full of apples, she turned
back to the dragon and said, "What do you think... Pussycat?"

But the dragon was gone.

Mary was sad. She said, "Maybe he didn't like the name I gave

She sat down to eat the rest of her apples. A minute later, the
dragon returned with a dead rat in his mouth. He laid it near
Mary's knee and pushed it toward her with his nose.

"Oh!" exclaimed Mary, "You didn't mind the name I gave you. You
just wanted to give me a gift because I gave you a gift. What a
clever dragon you are, Pussycat! But I don't eat dead rats. I
hope I don't insult you. But I tell you what, Pussycat, I'll eat
apples and YOU can eat dead animals. How's that?"

Mary pushed the dead rat back toward Pussycat and smiled, "Go
ahead. Eat."

Pussycat cooed, then picked up the dead rat and swallowed it

Mary smiled, "I guess that means we're friends."

Mary and Pussycat traveled together and Pussycat grew every day.
Within two weeks, he was as big as a horse. In three weeks he
was as big as an elephant. Almost overnight, he grew large wings
on his front shoulders.

Every day when Mary sat down to eat her wild fruit, Pussycat
disappeared into the woods and reappeared with larger and larger
wild animals in his mouth. One day he flapped his wings and flew
away. A short time later, he flew back and landed next to Mary
with a goat in his mouth.

"No, no!" exclaimed Mary.

Pussycat looked frightened. He crouched down and hid his face in
the grass.

Mary thought for a moment. The dragon seemed to be very smart.
But he didn't seem to know the difference between wild animals
which he COULD eat and farm animals which he COULDN'T eat.

Mary said, "What I mean is... how do I explain this? Pussycat,
if you keep eating farm animals, the farmers will get mad at you
and they'll try to kill you... You don't understand what I'm
saying to you, do you?"

The dragon cooed.

Mary thought a little more as she ate her fruit, then said, "I
tell you what. Now that you're flying, whenever you go to get
something to eat, I'll fly with you and keep you out of trouble.
But today, we have to pay back the farmer for the goat you ate."

After they ate, Mary climbed up onto Pussycat's neck and the two
went flying over the countryside. When Mary spotted a farm in
the area that had a herd of goats she leaned forward and

"Down there, Pussycat. Down there!" Mary shouted.

As soon as they landed next to the barn, a farmer came out of
the barn pointing a pitchfork at the dragon. Mary quickly jumped
down from Pussycat's neck.

"Please don't hurt him. He's my friend." exclaimed Mary.

The farmer couldn't believe his eyes.

"You were riding on a dragon?!" he shouted.

"Yes." replied Mary.

"Why doesn't he breathe fire upon you?" asked the farmer.

"I saved him when he was a baby. So, I think he thinks I'm his
mother." replied Mary.

The farmer just stared at the dragon.

Mary said, "I'm sorry to bother you, Mr farmer, but I think my
friend the dragon may have accidentally eaten one of your goats.
And I'd like to pay you for your goat. Can you tell me where I
might find some work?... so I can earn some money?.... so I can
pay you back?.... maybe in town? Sir?"

"You were riding on a dragon?!" he shouted.

"Sir?" said Mary.

"Oh, yes, the money... in town. But since the emergency, all the
businesses are closed."

"Emergency? What emergency?" asked Mary.

The farmer answered, "The king of France is invading our country
and his army is coming this way."

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed Mary, "We've got to do something!"

With that, Mary climbed up on Pussycat's neck and shouted,
"Let's fly, Pussycat!"

And they flew toward the invading army. Within a few minutes
they saw the foreign army unloading from the sailing ships and
marching toward the town.

Mary pointed at them and shouted, "Go get them, Pussycat!"

With that, Pussycat swooped down toward the soldiers. He was
flying so fast that they didn't have time to aim their bows and
arrows before Pussycat breathed fire on them. The soldiers who
didn't get scorched with fire turned around and ran back toward
the sailing ships. The enemy army was defeated without either
side firing a shot.

Mary and Pussycat turned back and landed near the kings army.
Those with bows and arrows aimed them at the dragon. But they
didn't fire because they saw the dragon defeat the enemy.

A knight in shining armor stepped forward as Mary climbed down
from the dragon.

"Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" he asked.

Mary replied, "I think I saw you the day you killed this
dragon's mother."

"Oh, yes. I remember now." said the knight. "And since you were
riding him today, I assume you had something to do with our
victory today." said the knight.

"Oh, well, I was just trying to keep him out of trouble." said
Michaela, "He accidentally ate a farmer's goat. So, I have to
pay him back. Can you please tell me where I can get a job?"

"You and your friend, there, are national heroes." replied the
knight. "You won't need a job."

"I won't?!" asked Mary.

"I will pay for the goat." replied the knight.

"You will?!" asked Mary.

"Yes, I will. If you will marry me." replied the knight.

"Marry you?! You want an orphan girl to marry a knight?" asked

"Actually," replied the knight, "I'm a king. Now will you marry

So, King Phillip married the orphan named Mary. And with a
dragon as a pet, their nation lived in peace ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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