No help needed -- today is all about you my friend

"Hmmm," you think, "That crafty Phoenix definitely has some plot in mind. None the less, if Phoenix won't set the course, I will."

"Let's go for a flight then friend," you say, "See what the world stretches before us today."

You spread your huge wings and leap from the cliff-face, feeling the exhilaration of the air that will never grow old. The freedom of flight is a pleasure that creatures of the ground can never understand. It is not fearful for those who live in the sky, but a feeling of comfort, as though the eddy currents of Earth's rising warmth are a dare to go higher, faster with the breeze. Landing becomes an afterthought, a necessary end to an ultimate release, almost a dare to never come back down.

You let the weight of your body pull you, your wings tucked like the flights of an arrow, for just a moment before raising your head up and flapping with one great wooooossshh...

"Ah," you think, "Free again."

You look over your shoulder and see the fiery wings of Phoenix passing through the Sun, following you in indecision.

"Perhaps that's why Phoenix likes my company so much. Can't decide what to do alone. I want to go to the coast... see if there are any of those ships bringing in goods for the village. I know I just ate, but somehow food on an empty stomach only makes for more hunger. And besides, the wind is easier this way. Maybe even go for a little swim when we get there ((never knew dragons liked to swim did you???)) "

You glance down, your massive shoulders slicing through the clouds, exhaling smoke through your nostrils, a film of tears seeping from your eyes against the torrent of air. The world looks round from this height. The horizon races towards you and continues on, endlessly. Many times when you fly you feel it would be best to never come down, save whence your heart stopped beating and your eyes closed for the last time and your frame fell like a star, on fire, to Mother Earth for the last time. But for now Father Sky holds you in his arms and you perceive your first glimpse of the sea in the distance.

"Flap, flap," pulse your wings, as you look back again for the Phoenix, now far behind.

"Phoenix knows me well enough to follow me to the ocean," you think, " We've gone there many times. Phoenix can't swim like dragons can, but they enjoy foraging on the coast for driftwood and feathers. And besides, if I can get us a ship full of barley I'll hear no complaints."

You drop your head and plummet like a stone... one hundred feet, two hundred, three... spread your wings at the last moment and become still, the smell of salt water in your throat, as you seem to hover, reach out your legs and reluctantly take again to the land.

You have always wondered how it was that you came to be dragon, how it was that you were set down atop that huge pile of gold. That same question falls on your mind each time you set down from flight. And now, as you look at the sea, it burns like the fire within you. DO YOU:




Eat the boy for breakfast and continue on your way

The tasty morsel is dispatched and swallowed with lethal efficiency. You really don’t spend a lot of time thinking about food other than finding it and eating it. Once, you tried to speak to a human, but all they did was yell and scream and throw things. Of course you had no great expectations for the conversation to begin with, so you were not disappointed. Conversing with lunch never really seemed necessary.

You would be surprised if you knew that humans would find this odd behavior, but you know less about humans than they know about the sheep they eat. Sometimes humans designate one animal a pet-and that animal is not eaten. You would find THAT odd behavior.
Phoenix arrives as you arrange the stones on the rocky outcrop for your morning nap and sun bath. With breakfast so close by, you decided to enjoy a leisurely morning. Phoenix does not really grasp the concept of leisure and is not easily put off. You sniff and think wistfully of the warm nap that you will not have.

“Are you just now getting up? No matter, we have much to do today. There is a great feast planned for the village, I heard Crow talking about it early this morning. I get up very early you know, but Crow arises even before I do. I don’t know what the feast is for, but I do plan on joining the villager for some tasty tidbits. I forget what month it is. Wouldn’t it be grand if it were the persimmon month? I love those things. Love love love them,” Phoenix says while arranging his wings and smoothing the flight feathers.

You’ve never met Crow and all you know of Crow you know from Phoenix. The one time you asked Phoenix to ask Crow to join the two of you, Phoenix became very flustered and angry. “Of course Crow will not join us,” Phoenix guffawed. “He’s afraid you’d eat him for a snack. Don’t be silly.” So, you never asked again.

Phoenix would occasionally ask for some trinket to take to Crow for information. Crow was able to spend a lot of time around the villagers, who ignored him. He was a great source of news about the comings and goings of the village. But, Crow had a fondness for shiny objects which sometimes put him at odds with the villagers. When the craving, as Crow called it, came upon him, he would with hold information from Phoenix. Often, he would drop a less than subtle hint….such as a cackled “Can’t hang out in the village today, too many shiny things to tempt me at the market. Pity, really, there is so much to listen to…..”

Phoenix takes an extra long time to preen today. This usually indicates he has news or knowledge of great import. You are patient, but if you don’t ask, Phoenix may become grumpy and leave in a huff. So, you ask.

“Persimmons do sound nice. How can I help?”

Phoenix preens one final vagrant bit of fluff, puffs out his chest and says:





This section written by Debra Kay

Ask the boy why he's on your mountain and try and make friends

Were it not for that refreshing sip of water, you could have eaten up the boy. But now your curiosity has the upper hand and your grumbling belly peevishly hides behind your rumbling mind.

"What are you doing here?" you ask the boy in the most furious tone you have ever heard from yourself since the boy doesn't seem in the least frightened when you vehemently block his way as an avalanche.

"To your abode, your Excellency! To offer you a bargain."

A rush of fuming fire is caught entangled in your throat as you stand there torn between two emotions. One, an extreme desire to devour this bold creature who dares to offer you a bargain so cold-bloodedly ; and the other, an extraordinary thirst to know what the bargain is and why this boy is talking to you in such a language as if you are a king of some sort.

You open your mouth and at the same time the rusty lid of the chest of your vocabulary when... Achew! The fiery knot in your throat seizes the opportunity to escape...

"Bless you, your Excellency! I thought you might be interested in giving me half of your treasure for a book called 'The Heart-Burnt Dragon'

It is as if an arrow hits your heel. You nearly lose your balance but pretend that you are just changing your position. You fly to the upper protruding cliff and try your best to hide that you are knocked down by a shower of heavy blows from a bunch of question marks.

Who is this boy? How come he knows about dragons' weak point? Why was he hiding first but now he's standing in front of you so self-assuredly? Is this book he is talking about real? Or is it just a dirty trick to rip you off? Is he alone or an army is waiting in ambush?

"To save you from any doubt, your Excellency", this is his voice bringing your mind back to the surface from drowning in a spinning whirlpool, "I have brought half of the book. I leave it here with you. You can read it at ease. In case you prefer to have the other half, you will blow seven rushes of fire exactly at the time the moon is hiding behind the mountain. Tomorrow I will come with my donkey to take my share of the treasure and to bring the other half. Deal, your Excellency?"

You are in that spinning whirlpool again and your grumbling belly steps forward to overshadow your slender mind with its now ever-growing corpus....

Do you




this section written by Human Being... thanks

Omar's Adventure

There was no way that you could have known the day you had in front of you when your eyes blinked open and caught the first rays of sunlight streaming into your cave. There you lay atop your heap of gold and treasure in that place between sleep and awake where you still remember your dreams. But the grumble in your belly told you it was time to stretch out your wings and decide what to do with the morning. It wasn't as easy being a dragon as everyone thought. They figured it was as simple as picking which village to pillage, which village to burn. All that they saw was the scales and talons, the sleek reptilian shape, the fiery breath. They had no idea that dragons had feelings too.

Since you'd been born you'd actually never seen another dragon. There was just you and your cracked shell sitting on all that gold. You weren't sure how you came to be or who had left your egg. You simply were and that was enough. Your only friend, Phoenix, had offered a bunch of explanations, none of them satisfactory. He suggested that perhaps dragon eggs appeared out of thin air whenever there was a concentration of wealth in one place, or that you had been left by a dragon stork, like how human children were delivered to their families. Phoenix was your friend but some parts of your mind figured that Phoenix was a bit of a lummox. He was your companion and council, being the only creature you'd encountered who wasn't terrified of your size, though some days you had to ask yourself if he wasn't dropped out of the pyre as an infant.

"Oh my," you thought, "What am I going to do for breakfast? I know that there's that flock of sheep off to the north, and there's always lots of fish in the lake near Konigsberg. But I'm sick of eating sheep and fish. Maybe I'll fly out to the coast and see if there's any ships coming in. Those merchants always have barley and wheat. I could sure go for some grain today. Fills me up proper grain does."

You step down off the gold and take a sip of water from the crevice created by the melting snow on the peak of the mountain. A rush of steam pours out of your gills. "Ah, so refreshing."

You yawn a fiery yawn and begin down the tunnel, barely big enough to allow your mass to squeeze through. As you emerge into the open you notice a villager, a young boy, who is trying to hide behind an outcrop of stone, half way up your mountain. "Now what is he doing here?" you think to yourself.

Do you