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DRAGON9  9' Peasant girl befriends a sea serpent

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far, far away,
Michaela was in the hen house feeding the chickens and
collecting the eggs, when she heard the thundering of several
horses' hoofs. She went outside to investigate.

It was the king's royal coach pulled by four white horses. There
were two knights on black horses in front of the coach and two
knights on black horses behind. They were all galloping at full
speed toward the house. When they saw Michaela coming out of the
hen house, they steered their horses away from the house and
toward Michaela at full speed, then they halted the horses
inches away from her. The footman jumped down from the coach and
opened the door. Out stepped the king himself. Michaela and her
family bowed down.

The king pointed to Michaela and asked, "Is this the child who
has the pet dragon?"

"Yes, your majesty." said her mother.

"Come with me." commanded the king.

Inside the coach Michaela asked, "Your Majesty, did my pet
dragon do something wrong?"

"No, child," replied the king, "Yesterday the fishermen in a
small fishing village awoke to find a dragon's egg in the middle
of their beach. They feared that, if the dragon inside would
hatch, it would destroy their whole village and eat all of them.

"So, three of the fishermen wrapped the egg in a fishing net,
attached ropes to the net and pulled it with their row boats out
to the deepest part of the sea. When they got there, they
stuffed large rocks into the net to weigh it down, then let it
sink to the bottom of the sea.

"Later that day, the three boats belonging to the fishermen
washed up onto the beach. But the fishermen had vanished. I'm
afraid that the fisherman may have angered the dragon who laid
the egg. And now the whole fishing village may be in danger!"

"What can I do?" asked Michaela.

"Well," replied the king, "You seem to have a way with dragons.
I was hoping you could tell us if the fishermen just had an
accident or if the dragon ate them."

When the royal coach arrived at the fishing village, Michaela
examined the beach where the egg was found.

"That's odd!" exclaimed Michaela.

"What's that?" asked the king.

"There aren't any foot prints in the sand. There's no sign that
a dragon laid this egg." explained Michaela.

"What do you make of that?" asked the king.

"I don't know." replied Michaela, "Maybe the dragon laid the egg
somewhere else and it just floated here on the ocean. Maybe it
just washed up on shore."

"What are we going to do?" asked the king.

Michaela replied, "I'd like to go out in a row boat to where
those fishermen sank the egg."

But the other fishermen were so afraid that they refused to take
her. So, she asked them how to get there. They gave her a
compass and told her to go directly east until she couldn't see
land anymore.

She got into a boat and rowed out to sea following the compass
until she could no longer see land. Then she put up the ores and
looked down. The ocean was so deep that it looked black. So, she
bent over the gunwale of the boat and pushed her face under
water. When she opened her eyes, she saw two eyes staring back
at her!

She pulled her head out of the water, and gasped. She'd seen
those eyes before. Those big round eyes looked just like the
eyes of her friend the dragon. She took a breath and sank her
face into the water again. Again, she saw the eyes staring back
at her. But this time, she made the same sound that she always
made to let her friend the dragon know that she loved him. It
was like the cooing of a dove, but much deeper.

The beast down below made the same sound but even deeper. But
immediately, he began swimming up to her. She pulled her head
out of the water and fell back into the boat, thinking that the
dragon in the water was about to eat her. But instead, he stuck
his head out of the water and bent his neck to look into the
boat. Again, he let out the low cooing sound. But this time he
laid his head gently on the gunwale of the boat.

"Maybe you're not going to eat me after all!" said Michaela
softly to herself as she moved slowly toward the dragon. When he
didn't seem to react, she moved closer and closer until she
could reach out and touch him. She petted his face and neck
exactly like she did to her friend at home. He let out another
cooing sound and closed his eyes.

While his eyes were closed, Michaela examined his head and as
much of his neck as she could see. But he was different.
Different horns, different scales, different color. Michaela
wanted to see more, so she dived into the water with her dress
on. The dragon followed just as she'd hoped. She wanted to see
how a flying dragon could use its wings underwater. To her
surprise, this dragon hardly had any wings at all. And its legs
were only half as long as those on her friend the dragon.

"You're different kind of animal altogether, aren't you big
boy?" asked Michaela.

He let out a loud coo that was so loud and so deep that she
could feel it in her body. It felt like an earthquake.

"That must be how you talk to other creatures underwater." said
Michaela, "You are definitely not a dragon! What shall I call
you?"

She noticed that the big animal seemed to swim more like an
alligator, by swishing its huge tail. It slithered through the
water more like a snake.

"I shall call you a sea serpent!" exclaimed Michaela with a
smile.

With that, he dived under her and when he came back up to the
surface again, she was riding on his back between his stubby
little wings. He let out another coo and started toward shore at
high speed, leaving the boat behind.

"Where are you taking me?!" exclaimed Michaela.

But he just cooed and kept swimming. Then, he nodded his head
and dived. He seemed to swim faster underwater. But Michaela
couldn't breathe underwater. And just when she was about to let
go and swim up for a breath, he swam to the surface to take a
breath. As soon as she had enough breath, he nodded his head. By
now Michaela knew that this nod was a sign that he was about to
dive again. So, she took one last breath.

After four of these dives, the sea serpent dived straight down.
He swam into an underwater cave near the shore and came up in an
underground cave. He slid across the sand with his head down so
she could step off of him.

"What is this place?" she asked as she stepped off his back onto
the sand.

Suddenly, Michaela heard the shouts of men. She turned and saw
the three fishermen who had wrapped the dragons egg and sank it
in the ocean. But they were now wrapped up in their own fishing
net and were unable to move.

The sea serpent opened his mouth and growled loudly.

Michaela shouted, "No! No food!"

The sea serpent stopped growling and put his head down on the
sand.

Michaela continued, "No food! These fishermen are my friends! No
food!"

Then Michaela patted the sea serpent on the head and said, "You
brought me here to feed them to me, didn't you, boy? You thought
these poor fishermen were food for me. That was very nice of you
to do. But you wouldn't want me to eat my friends, would you?"

The sea serpent cooed. Michaela unwrapped the fishermen and let
them go. She pointed to the sunlight in the other end of the
cave saying, "You can go now. You're safe now. But don't pick on
the dragons and the sea serpents. They're our friends now."

The men ran as fast as they could toward the light. Michaela got
on the sea serpent's back and said, "Take me home!"

He swam back out of the underwater cave and swam back to the
fishing village so fast that he arrived at the beach before the
fishermen. Everyone gasped as the sea serpent slithered up on
the beach. The king's guards were so startled that they drew
their swords.

"Wait!" commanded the king. "The girl is on his back."

When the sea serpent lowered his head to allow Michaela to step
down, they all could see that Michaela had returned completely
unharmed. So, they all put away their swords.

Just then, the fishermen came running and shouting. "We were
kidnapped by a huge sea creature. He was going to eat us. But
this little girl..."

Just then, the fishermen saw Michaela and the sea serpent. They
pointed and gasped, "That's the creature who was going to eat
us! Aren't you going to kill him?!"

"No!" replied the king. "The dragons have become our friends.
And now these... these... what shall we call them?"

"I call him a sea serpent." replied Michaela.

"Yes, these sea serpents are our friends too." said the king,
"And with them on our side, we will fear no enemy, thanks to our
little friend Michaela."

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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