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DRAGONG  7' Shipwrecked: the girl searches for her family

"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.

But because of the great distances between the islands
Michaela's excitement soon turned to boredom and her boredom
turned to sleep.

"Wake up, Michaela." said the dragon with its mind.

"Huh?" said Michaela, not realizing that she had fallen asleep.

"Are we there yet?", She asked as she rose up and peered around
the dragon's neck to see what was ahead. There in the distance
was an island that looked a lot like the one she had just come
from.

The dragon thought, "There's a village on the other side. But
I'll drop you off on this side of the island and you can walk to
the village so that people won't be frightened of me."

Later, as Michaela walked into the village, she heard people
shouting and scurrying about, obviously upset about something.
So, Michaela decided not to ask about her family until after
this problem was resolved.

"What's going on?" Michaela asked an old woman who was poking at
the bushes with a long stick.

"A little girl is missing." said the old woman, "We have to find
her before the dragons eat her."

Michaela laughed, "Dragons don't eat people!"

"Of course they do!" replied the woman as she continued to poke
at the bushes and look underneath them.

"No they don't!" replied Michaela, "I have a friend who's a
dragon."

"Don't talk foolishness, girl!" retorted the woman, "Help us
find the little girl."

"Yes, of course." replied Michaela, "My friend the dragon and I
will help you find her."

"Girl!" retorted the woman, "If you think a dragon will do
anything but eat you, you're crazy!"

Michaela thought hard as she pretended to look around the
bushes, "Dragon, can you hear me?"

"Yes," replied the dragon, "I'm already flying. I'll search the
back side of the island for the lost little girl from up here."

"Good!" said Michaela too loudly.

"Did you find her?!" asked the old woman.

"Oh!" replied Michaela, not realizing that she had spoken out
loud, "Uh, ah, I..."

She backed away from the woman saying, "I just had a good idea
where to look for the little girl. What's her name?"

"Emily." replied the woman.

"Okay." said Michaela, "I'll see you later."

Then Michaela hurried to the place where the dragon first
dropped her off. As Michaela arrived, the dragon thought,
"Michaela, I see the little girl. I see emily. She is running
through the jungle."

Michaela closed her eyes so she could see what the dragon saw.
Immediately in her mind appeared a bird's eye view of a girl
running through the underbrush, occasionally disappearing from
view under the leaves of trees.

"Is Emily running toward home?" thought Michaela.

"No," thought the dragon, "She's running AWAY from home."

"But, why?!" thought Michaela.

Just then, the dragon turned its head a bit and Michaela saw the
answer to her question. A leopard was chasing Emily through the
jungle and he was getting closer. Emily was running for her
life.

Michaela watched in her minds eye as the dragon dived toward
Emily and tried to pick her up with its talons, before the
leopard could strike. But Emily turned and saw the dragon and
ducked out of the way and the dragon flew past.

By the time the dragon turned and flew back, Emily had
disappeared.

"I lost her!" thought the dragon.

"Did the leopard get her?" asked Michaela.

The dragon turned its head and saw the leopard pacing back and
forth near the edge of a cliff.

"No," replied the dragon, "The leopard is there and Emily is
nowhere in sight."

The dragon flew out over the cliff and over the canyon below.
Suddenly, Emily came into view on a ledge about twenty feet
below where the leopard was pacing.

"Emily fell over the edge" thought Michaela excitedly.

"Yes, but she's trying to climb back up." thought the dragon.

"We can't let her do that!" thought Michaela, "The leopard will
eat her! Can't you do something?!."

"Yes," said the dragon as it swooped down toward the leopard,
"I'll do a fly-by to put some space between Emily and the
leopard.

The dragon roared at the top of its voice as it flew at full
speed toward the leopard. Sure enough, when the leopard heard
the fierce roar and saw the dragon approaching, he backed away
from the edge of the cliff and disappeared into the jungle.
Emily was also frightened and climbed back down to the safety of
the ledge below.

"Looks like I'll need your help to rescue Emily," said the
dragon as it turned and flew toward Michaela, I'll come and pick
you up.

But as soon as the dragon was out of sight, the leopard came out
from his hiding place and crept cautiously back toward the edge
of the cliff, then began pacing back and forth and licking its
chops hungrily.

Meanwhile, the dragon swooped down and grabbed the collar of
Michaela's dress and lifted her off the ground, then turned and
flew back toward the canyon. Dangling Michaela from one paw, the
dragon swooped down between two trees and snatched a long vine
that was dangling from one of the branches with the other paw.

Because Michaela could understand the dragon's thoughts, she
knew what to do without asking. She grabbed hold of the vine and
slid down toward the end of it while the dragon flew slowly over
the edge of the cliff. As the vine swung close to Emily,
Michaela swung over the ledge where Emily was standing and then
the dragon let go of the vine.

"Don't be afraid," said Michaela as she landed feet first on the
ledge, "We're going to get you out of here."

Then she tied the vine under Emily's armpits, then she coiled up
the free end of the vine and threw it out over the valley just
as the dragon swooped in from the sky and snagged the vine with
its talons and flew up toward the sky again.

Emily gasped when she saw the dragon. She became frightened and
shrank back.

"It's okay!" shouted Michaela as she pulled Emily toward the
edge of the ledge, "The dragon is my friend."

With that the vine tightened, Michaela grabbed onto it and the
dragon lifted both girls off the ledge. As they lifted up over
the top of the cliff, the leopard saw the dragon and it quickly
turned and ran out of sight.

The dragon flew the girls to the top of the hill above the
village, where she lowered Emily and Michaela to the ground,
then flew away.

As the two girls walked into the village, the townspeople all
cheered. Michaela was a hero.

Finally, Michaela explained why she had come to the island, "I'm
looking for my family. The sailing ship we were on was destroyed
in a storm. Have you seen any strangers on this island
recently?"

"No," replied the Mayor, "But the captain of a supply boat said
that there were some people on the next island east of here who
claimed to have been shipwrecked."

With that, the dragon swooped in from the sky, grabbed Michaela
by the collar of her dress and carried her out over the ocean
and disappeared into the distance.

"What was that?!" exclaimed the mayor.

Emily replied, "That was the dragon who saved my life!"

"So it's true then!" exclaimed the old woman.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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