THE STAR DRAGON

by holliehughes

Far out at sea, on a small stony outcrop of rock, there lived a very lonely – and very grumpy – dragon.  Each evening, as dusk settled, the dragon would leave the tiny island to stretch his wings and hunt for supper but always, by break of dawn, he would return to sit in silence once more and miserably keep watch over the endless sea and the huge waves smashing and crashing against his gloomy grey rock.

One day, when the sea was calm and the sun was high, the dragon was startled to see a small wooden coracle boat approaching the island.  As it drew closer, he was surprised to see that the tiny skipper on board was actually a very young boy.  The dragon stared hard at the boy, expecting him to paddle away as fast as his little arms would take him once he saw that the island was already inhabited by such a fearsome beast.  But the boy did not paddle away at all – in fact, he seemed even more determined to reach the island once he saw that the dragon was there.

The dragon was angry.  ‘How dare you come to this island!’ he roared.  ‘Is it not enough that all of the other dragons have long since left this world?  I am the last of my kind – leave me alone to see out the rest of my days in peace.’

‘You are not the last of your kind,’ replied the boy calmly.  ‘You may be sad, and you certainly must be very lonely – all by yourself out at sea on this rock – but you are mistaken if you think that you are the last of your kind.  And – if you will help me – I will prove it to you.’

‘Help you?’ snorted the dragon.  ‘Why would I help a weedy little babe like you?  You know nothing of my kind if you think I would help you.  You are nothing but a puny weakling human child’

The boy did not reply to the dragon.  Instead he very deliberately closed his eyes and then, very slowly, opened them again.  As the boy’s eyes opened, a bright light shone out from them and bathed the dragon all over in a shimmering, luminous glow.  All at once the dragon realised his mistake.  This was not a human child at all – this was a star child, with all the love and might of the infinite universe pouring out through his eyes.  The dragon was humbled, and felt that he would travel the entire length and breadth of all the heavens if it meant that he might give some little help to the star child when needed.

The star child climbed onto the dragon’s back and gently guided him all the way to where help was needed right at the other edge of the world.  In a dark and dingy cave in a faraway land, a magnificent dragon queen had been kept prisoner for many thousands of years.   Her human captors believed that she was the last of her kind and, for a fee, they allowed visitors to view her through a tiny crack in the wall of the cave.  When the humans saw the huge and mighty dragon arrive with the star child on his back, they were frightened.  The star child told the humans that the dragon was a mighty dragon king, and that he had come to beg the dragon queen to share his throne.  He told them that the dragon king had a mighty army of warrior dragons behind him, who would come to rescue their future queen if the humans would not let her go willingly.  The humans had no wish to stand up to even one angry dragon – let alone an entire dragon army – so they quickly agreed to release their captive, in the hope that the mighty dragon king would yet prove to be merciful upon them.

When the dragon queen was released, she was grateful to both the star child and to the dragon.  ‘I can never thank you enough,’ she said.  ‘For rescuing me.’

The dragon did not answer at once (being already awestruck with love for the magnificent dragon queen) but, when he finally did find himself able to speak, he said: ‘It is I who should be grateful to you, and it is you who have rescued me.  I thought I was alone and last, but now I know that I was not last but only lost.  I was lost, but now I am found.’

The dragon and his queen at once joined wings, and flew together all the way across the oceans until they finally came to rest at the tiny rock of an island where the dragon had lived alone so miserably for all those years.  There they did indeed live happily ever after as king and queen of their very own small and stony realm – but this is not yet quite where the story ends . . .

One quiet day, some many years later -when the sea was once again calm and the sun high in the sky – the star child returned once more.  This time though, he did not come empty handed.  He brought with him an egg – an egg that the dragons were to watch over very carefully indeed.  As carefully even as if it contained their very own baby dragon . . .

And it did!  One hundred years later, the egg slowly creaked open and out from it emerged a perfectly handsome tiny baby dragon.  It is a well-known fact, of course, that a baby dragon is a very special type of beast indeed – and this is even truer for dragon parents who had thought that they were the very last of their kind in the entire world.  However, there was something even more amazing about this particular dragon baby – for, when the baby opened its eyes for the first time, they shone with the exact same glow of love and might that had shimmered from the star child’s eyes all those years ago.  Though the dragons would never again come to see the star child after the day he brought them their egg, still they would remember to think of him with gratitude each and every day – each and every time that they gazed adoringly into their own dearest star dragon’s eyes.

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