DRAGON7  7' A dragon and a peasant girl fight crime

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far, far away, a
peasant girl named Michaela went out to the woods with a basket
to collect wild mushrooms for dinner. But the weather had been
cold lately, so there weren't many mushrooms to pick. As a
result, she found herself deeper into the woods than normal, so
far, in fact, that she happened upon a river that she had never
seen before. She had only heard of it from her parents.

Thinking that this would be her last opportunity for a long time
to see the river, she sat down and was about to take off her
shoes so she could go wading into the river. But suddenly, she
heard a loud, deep shrieking sound and a flump and a woosh!

Michaela stood up to look up and down the river. And suddenly a
green dragon the size of a horse flew by, inches away from her.
It flew so fast that a strong wind knocked Michaela on her back.
She had never seen a dragon before. She had only heard about
dragons from her parents.

She crawled between the rocks again and looked up river. The
dragon was now landing on a large nest on a cliff over the river
that was the size of a house.

Suddenly, she saw hundreds of arrows flying through the air from
soldiers who sprang into view near the nest. Several of the
arrow struck the dragon. Immediately it fell screeching and
growling into the river.

Hearing that, a much smaller dragon lifted its head from inside
the nest and let out a screech of its own. The baby dragon had
lost its mother.

Immediately, the soldiers aimed their arrows at the baby dragon.
But he was too fast for them. He jumped out of the nest and into
the river, apparently thinking that his mother would save him.
several arrows pierced the water around him, but he was unhurt.
More arrows flew. Still he was unhurt. But Michaela could hear
the baby coughing and wheezing. Within a few seconds, he floated
past Michaela. So, she held onto a rock with one hand and
reached out with the other to grab the baby dragon by his stubby
little wing and pull him up out of the river.

When his feet touched the land, he coughed some more to clear
the river water from his lungs. But then he opened his eyes and
saw Michaela. Immediately, he spread his feet wide and let out a
little growl as if he was ready for battle.

But Michaela was more afraid of the soldiers than this little
dragon, so she stood and ran toward home. When the baby dragon
heard the crunching of twigs and the rustling of leaves under
the feet of the oncoming soldiers, he followed the little girl
into the woods.

As Michaela ran through the woods toward her home, the closer
she got to home the better she knew the woods. She found her
favorite hiding spot and dived into it. A couple of seconds
later, the baby dragon dived in after her.

Now they were face-to-face with each other and both of them were
scared to death. Michaela, hearing the crunching of twigs and
the rustling of leaves, put her finger to her lips while with
the other hand she grabbed the dragons mouth and held it closed
until long after the sounds of the soldiers was gone.

When she let go of the dragon's mouth, he backed away. When he
realized that his rump was now outside of the hiding place, he
quickly crawled back in. Nose to nose with Michaela, he was
shaking with fear.

"It's okay," whispered Michaela gently, "Those bad men are gone.
We can go now."

But the dragon didn't move. So, Michaela slowly crawled past him
repeating, "It's okay, those bad men are gone. We can go now."
And Michaela started walking home. After a minute, she
remembered that in her hurry, she left her mushroom basket back
at the river. So, she turned around. There, just inches in front
of her was the dragon. Immediately, he sat down and lowered his
head, hoping she couldn't see him in the grass.

"Were you following me?" asked Michaela. "Yes, you were
following me, weren't you? Without your mother, you need someone
to love you, don't you?"

So, Michaela and the baby dragon became close friends. And
within a few months, he grew to be as big as his mother.

Meanwhile, a few miles away in the city, the sheriff grew sicker
and sicker until he couldn't do his job anymore. When the
naughty people in the town found out that the sheriff wasn't
able to stop them from being naughty anymore, they began to do
naughty things.

Michaela heard about the sick sheriff and the naughty people
while she was in town at church on Sunday.

The next day, an older, bigger boy was beating up a younger,
weaker boy, when suddenly a green blur came out of the sky with
a whoosh and flump. The younger boy was suddenly alone. A few
seconds later the parents of the big bully found him face down
in the mud in the middle of their pig sty.

Nobody could explain the green blur or how the older mean boy
ended up in the pig sty.

The next day, an old lady was walking from the vegetable market
to her home, when a robber jumped out from between two houses
and snatched her purse from her hands and ran away. But to her
surprise, the old lady's purse was sitting on the front step of
her house when she got home.

A short time later, the sheriff found the robber knocked out and
laying on the front step of the jail. All the ailing sheriff had
to do was lock him up.

When the sheriff asked the old lady what happened, she replied,
"After he stole my purse, I didn't SEE anything. But after the
robber ran around the corner, I HEARD a whoosh and flump."

When the sheriff asked the robber about it, he refused to
answer. But he rubbed the lump on his head and constantly
mumbled to himself about a green horse with wings.

Soon, the news about the sheriff's sickness spread to nearby
cities, where really bad men made their money by robbing banks.
A few days later, three men rode into town on horseback and ran
into the bank wearing masks over their faces. A minute later,
they ran out of the bank with bags full of money. But, to their
surprise, their horses were gone. And they mumbled to themselves
as they looked around for their horses.

Suddenly, a green streak whooshed down from the sky. Before they
knew what happened, two of the robbers didn't have money bags in
their hands anymore. When the third robber saw what happened, he
ran for fear of his life. But before he knew it a green streak
whooshed down from the sky and the money bag in his hand was
gone too.

Within seconds the money bags came flying back into the bank
building through the open window. A few seconds later, a fishing
net disappeared from a boat on the river. The sheriff found the
fishing net wrapped around two of the bank robbers who had been
dropped on his door step. All he had to do was lock them up.

The third robber thought the green streak was a ghost. So he
kept running even after the money bag was snatched from his
hand. But four bails of hay suddenly fell from the sky and
blocked the road. He changed directions and ran between two
houses and crashed into a door that seemed to open by itself. He
too mysteriously ended up on the sheriff's door step. All the
sheriff had to do was lock him up.

Soon, the news about the sheriff's sickness was replaced in
nearby cities with news that the sheriff was being helped by
crime fighting green ghosts. So, the crime stopped and the town
went back to being a really nice place to live.

Only Michaela and her friend the dragon knew who was REALLY
helping the sheriff fight crime.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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