Have you ever intended one thing, and had another pleasantly surprise you? I sat down to write individual descriptions for the above items. Not surprisingly they were having none of it. They decided to tell their own tale.
Without further ado....
Once upon a time in a land far, far away.
There lived a Dragon.
But you see he was no ordinary dragon; he thought himself quite extraordinary. He was the fiercest being in the land. He would always protect that which his heart held most dear. With his thick hide, dagger claws and incinerating fire, he was a warrior's dream made flesh.
The dragon loved a maid. She was as gentle as she was kind.
Most assuredly she was lovely, just as he was scaled. She was a warm glow of ever-burning light. Not the brightest burning star in the sky, but the most steadfast. She was all the things a woman ought to be, with none of the “ought nots”.
The Dragon and Maid were constant companions. With his fiercely protective wings and gaping maw, none but the most daring—or daringly stupid—dare approach her.
And as the days passed into night, summer into fall, while the trees shed their leaves,
the dragon noticed a change.
His evening star appeared to dim, not so much that her light had gone out, but that she didn’t warm him as she used to. “This won’t do at all,” thought the dragon, “I cannot be bereft my most prized love, I must do something”.
Being the wise and kind dragon that he was, during the small hours of the night he set about to do just that. Because everyone knows the dark holds our secrets best. Spoken in the light of day secrets may take flight and land on unkind ears. The Dragon asked the Maid, “Dear Maid, why are you sad?”
The Maid responded that she was not sad, that she was tired. Tired? Dragons don’t get tired. They rest when needed and eat when hungry. How could she be tired? But you see that was the trouble; the maid wasn’t a dragon. You see and she loved him best—even above herself. She would save the best berries for him. Even though winter was lean and the berries wouldn’t fill a dragon, they were his favorite. She would cover his paw with the corner of her blanket, even though it allowed the heat to escape. A thousand kindnesses she paid him never asking for one. And each time he thought, “Well it’s only as I am due,” her light would dim a little more.
You see the maid loved the dragon best, of that there was no doubt. But she loved him better then herself. And as days faded to night, seasons into years, she lost her light. She was dying a death of a thousand cuts, made by a knife sharpened with indifference and selfishness. For not everyone had loved the dragon, and their unkind words had left scars upon his flesh. He used her light to mend himself. Her love was the balm for his wounds.
For each time she gave with no thought of herself, her light would leak out through a tiny cut.
She was dying a slow death of neglect and loneliness.
And so it happened, the dragon lost his most prized love. Because he loved her best, but he took what was freely offered, even when he ought not. And so as the last of her light winked out, the dragon changed. He shed his scales and lost his claws, he was robbed of flight.
And during the small hours of the morning when unspoken secrets lay heavy in the air, he spoke three words: “I am human.”