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DRAGONF  9' Shipwrecked: a dragon plucks a girl from the ocean

Once upon a time a long time ago on an ocean far, far away a
family was traveling by sailing ship to their new home in a far
away land. Suddenly at midday, dark clouds covered the sun, the
day looked almost like the night. Lightening flashed and thunder
rattled the ship. The main mast of the ship snapped like a twig
and fell to the ocean. A second later the family saw a huge wave
towering over the ship and coming at the ship from the side like
a herd of stampeding cattle. Without the main sail to power the
ship, the captain of the ship had no chance of avoiding the
wave. The wave smashed against the side of the ship with a loud
roar and tore across the deck of the ship, breaking things and
sweeping all passengers overboard.

Michaela, the youngest daughter in the family resurfaced and
inhaled some sea water, sputtered and coughed.

"Mommy!" she shouted between coughs.

"Daddy!" she called after another cough.

Michaela could swim, but after looking around she realized that
there was nothing to swim to. The ship was nowhere in sight. Her
mother and father and her older brother were gone. She was
alone.

Suddenly, another large wave approached her from the rear and
hit her like a charging bull. Inside the wave was a piece of
debris from the ship. It bashed the back of her head. Michaela
saw a flash of light and then fainted.

When she woke up , she was lying face down on a bed of dry twigs
and leaves. The bright sun was overhead.

"Mommy!" she shouted as she tried to raise her head to look
around but a throbbing headache immediately reminded her that
she had been in a shipwreck. So, she laid her head back down.

"Daddy!" she called. But there was no answer.

She slowly moved her head to look in all directions. But there
was nothing surrounding the bed in all directions but blue sky.
No trees, no mountains, not even sea water.

Michaela guessed from the twigs and leaves that she was lying on
that she had somehow ended up in an eagle's nest high on top of
a tall tree. To confirm, she crawled toward the edge of the bed
of twigs she was lying on an looked down. She was right, she was
perched on a huge nest, the nest was on top of a tall tree and
the tree was on the peak of the tallest mountain on a small
island and it was surrounded on all sides by the sea. There were
no other islands in sight in any direction.

"Mommy!" she shouted toward the jungle below.

"Daddy!" she called. But there was no answer.

She was alone.

Suddenly, she heard a deep, deep sound much like a horse
clearing its throat. So, she rolled over onto her back to see
where it was coming from. She shielded her eyes from the sun and
looked straight up. There, circling the sun was a soaring bird.

But the sound it was making didn't sound like any bird she had
ever heard before. Michaela decided that the sound it was making
meant that the bird wanted his nest back.

So, Michaela decided to climb down the tree. But when she got to
the bottom branch, she heard the thumps of footsteps and the
rustling of weeds nearby. When she looked, she saw a black
panther charging toward her.

Hurriedly she climbed back up to the top of the tree and rolled
back inside the nest, coming to rest on her back where she saw
the eagle still circling in the sky above.

"Sorry, Mr Eagle, I can't get out of your nest." she shouted,
"I'll try again in a few minutes. Because I'm really getting
hungry."

Still exhausted from her ordeal at sea, Michaela fell asleep.
When she woke up, she began to crawl toward the edge of the
nest, but noticed two mangoes, to passion fruits and two papayas
lying next to her.

"Where did these come from?" Michaela asked herself.

But she didn't wait for an answer. She ate the fruits. All of
them. Then she laid back and watched the eagle circling the sun
high in the sky.

"Thanks for the food, Mr Eagle."

Then she crawled to the edge of the nest and looked down.

"Now I'm getting thirsty. I wonder if that panther is gone. I
need to go find water." said Michaela to herself.

Suddenly, Michaela felt something grab the collar of her dress
and drag her off the nest into the air. Before she knew what was
happening, she was dangling about 400 feet above the forest
hoping beyond hope that whoever grabbed her wouldn't let go now.

Suddenly, she felt weightless as the bird who was carrying her
dived toward the trees below, then a moment later, just as
suddenly, she changed directions again as the bird leveled off
and soared toward the sandy beach in the distance. Then, without
warning, the bird let go of her collar. Michaela flailed her
arms and legs as she dropped with a scream.

But she was pleasantly surprised that the fall was only about
ten feet. But then terror overtook her again when she realized
that the eagle had dropped her into a river. When she began
swimming, she quickly realized that the water was only
chest-deep. When she stood up in the middle of the creek, her
terror turned into delight.

"Water!" she shouted. "This is what I wanted! A drink of water!"

She plunged her face into the water and sucked up several
mouthfuls, then she straightened and frowned, "Wait a minute. It
COULDN'T have been an eagle who brought me here! I've seen
eagles before. They're half my size. There is no way an eagle
could possibly have carried me up to the nest and down again!
But if it wasn't an eagle,..."

She looked up at the eagle circling the sun high above.

"What was it, then?"

After she drank her fill, Michaela sat on a rock nearby and
pondered, "What kind of animal can lift a half-grown human being
hundreds of feet in the air? No, I have an even better question:
this animal seemed to know when I was hungry and then when I was
thirsty. How did he know?!"

Then Michaela got an idea.

"I think I said I was hungry out loud. Yes, I did. I'm pretty
sure I said I was thirsty. Maybe this animal heard what I said."
she speculated,

Then she shook her head and said, "Wait a minute. That would
mean that he not only heard me, but he understood what I was
saying! What kind of animal understands English?"

Then, Michaela smiled brightly, "I think I know how I can find
out."

With that, she stood up, looked toward the sky and shouted, "I
want to go and see my mama and my papa and my brother now."

Then she waited for a few seconds for the eagle or some other
creature to come down and whisk her home to mama and papa. But
nothing happened. She looked toward the sky again, intending to
repeat her statement. But the eagle was nowhere to be seen.

"Where did he go?!" she exclaimed.

So, she turned her body slowly in all directions until she came
face to face with a strange looking creature that was bigger
than her house. It had a big body and four legs like an
elephant, a long neck like a giraffe, and a head and tail like
an alligator, and huge wings shaped like a bat's wings. All of
its body was covered with large scales and horns.

"Please don't hurt me!" Michaela exclaimed.

"I wouldn't dream of hurting you!" replied a woman's voice. But
the dragon's mouth didn't move.

Michaela turned in all directions, asking, "Who said that?!
Where are you?!"

"It is I, the beast behind you who speaks to you." replied the
female voice.

Michaela turned toward the creature and asked, "What kind of
animal are you and how do you speak without moving your lips?"

"I am a dragon." replied the beast, "And I must speak this way
because my neck is too long to have a voice like yours."

"But there is no sound coming from your mouth! How can I hear
you?" asked Michaela.

"I'm not sure." replied the dragon, "Humans are the only
creatures on earth who can hear dragons speak."

Michaela closed her mouth and looked away, then thought these
words, "Can you hear me now?"

"Yes, I can." replied the dragon.

"That's how you seemed to know that I was hungry almost before I
said it out loud!." thought Michaela.

The dragon nodded.

"What am I thinking now?" thought Michaela.

"You miss your family. You want to know if I can find them for
you." replied the dragon.

"Can you?" thought Michaela.

"I don't know if your family is still alive after the ship
wreck." replied the dragon silently, "But I can help you look
for them. Would you like that?"

"Oh, yes, please!" thought Michaela.

"There are hundreds of islands in this area. The traveling could
be exhausting to you." said the dragon.

"Please!" said Michaela aloud, "I won't complain at all!"

"Very well," replied the dragon, "Hold onto my tooth."

Michaela was unsure of what the dragon meant, but she reached
toward the dragon's mouth and, when the dragon opened its mouth,
Michaela wrapped both hands around one of the dragon's huge
fangs. Immediately, the dragon lifted its head lifting Michaela
off the ground, turned its head and dropped her on his back."

"Hold on tightly." said the dragon as it flapped its huge wings
and lifted off the ground to begin the search for Michaela's
family.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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