Photo by Alexandro David
Everything changed the moment the dragon’s egg Gina had unwittingly sat on hatched! The little dragon turned its face toward her, its big emerald eyes filled with devotion. Its golden-brown muzzle was lined with soft-pointed canines like a puppy’s. Its lace-trimmed tail and swan-curve neck were astonishingly beautiful. No, not beautiful—artistic. Only this masterpiece was alive!
It gave a plaintive cry, half rumble, half mew, and began to shake. Gina had been so overwhelmed with everything that was happening she’d failed to notice the chill until now; it might be summer in Middleton, but it was more like late winter or early spring in Ismara. She was glad she’d worn her big terrycloth robe.
The creature let out a rumbly bleat. It was struggling to get to her, but was having difficulty moving around the remains of the toppled egg. Breaking from her stupor, Gina reached out and pushed the egg away. The little dragon, now shaking violently, dragged itself forward. Its skin had lost its golden glow, and was beginning to blue.
Gina clasped its forelegs. Sliding her back against a smooth-barked lespin tree, she pulled the dragon onto her lap and covered it with her robe. She stroked its soft baby-scaled neck. It relaxed a bit, and then, to her astonishment, licked her; its tongue was wet and, against all expectations, warm.
Gina began to unconsciously “la-la.” Once she realized what she was doing, it was too late to change—the melody was lodged in her brain. It was the Oh-So-Soft Toilet Paper song, the one that featured a chorus of adults pretending to be children, singing, “They’re like heaven for your bottom, so make sure your grocer’s got ‘em!”
Then something absurd and wonderful had happened. Somewhere along the line while she’d been la-la-ing the Oh-So-Soft song, the little dragon had begun to copy her, so faintly that she hadn’t even noticed at first. But she did now. Its “singing” was impossibly sweet, the way a saxophone might sound if it were a living thing. And the melody, as transposed by the little dragon, was impossibly beautiful!
An audible mix of fear and awe arose from the undergrowth. One elderly male pixie captured what the others were clearly thinking: “Oh, Uol! Now she’s done it!”
Gina’s eyes slowly closed as the little dragon’s song—for it had indeed become the dragon’s song—lulled them both to sleep. She’d lost all sense of time: it had been a late afternoon in August when she left Middleton, but here it was the middle of the night in something like March. She shouldn’t have been tired, but after falling into another world, she was suffering from the mother of all jetlags. “Have to find my…brother…first thing in…morning,” she muttered. And then, what remained of her consciousness…
Blew away with the night breeze.
Thoughts: Have you ever altered your plans, even your life, to love an animal? Good.
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