Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Never chase a Dragyn ... by Annabelle, aged 11

Music roared around the tavern, everyone yelling at the top of their voices. But in one quiet corner sat a boy who was staring at the moonlit forest, oblivious to the racket around him. 

The barman stared around the room. In the corner was someone who looked like he needed cheering up. Abandoning the glass he was polishing, the barman wove around the many tables between him and the boy.

The barman stood still for a moment, admiring the view. "Do yer want to hear a story?" he said finally. The boy grunted affirmation.

"Well, a few days ago I was runnin' the tavern like now, when I looked out of the window." He gestured towards the trees.

"And guess what I saw? A great darn dragyn*! Yer shoulda seen me eyeballs. Wide as plates. I'm sure yer know what they do to buildings, burnin' em an' all, so to stop me tavern goin' up in flames I grabbed me crossbow, picked up some arrows, donned me boots and set out on a hunt."

"When I reached the forest the dragyn was gone, but its tracks showed clearly in the snow so I followed them. Several times I saw the dragyn in the distance, but never up close. It led me through some difficult terrain and me boots were soon covered in mud. Some time around midnight the dragyn tried to fly away. It landed sharpish when I put an arrow through one of its wings. Crossbows sure come in handy! I lost it at the edge of a small village, so I went to tell a policeman about the threat. When I got into a police station though, a policeman was talking to a young girl with black hair and blue eyes. She reminded me of the dragyn. I stood there for a minute, watching a caged monkey being lifted into a van that said ZOO."

"Finally the policeman turned to me and asked me, in a grave voice, if I really had been chasing the little girl through the forest with a crossbow. I told him I had been chasing a dragyn through the forest, not a girl, but he just gave me a look that said, 'I don't believe you.' So I left and trudged back 'ere before he could gimme a fine."

The boy gave him a round of applause and the barman grinned happily and bowed. "You should write a book about that!" smiled the boy.

"I'm pleased you think so. Me friends have always said I was bad at storytelling, but I thought otherwise. Now I know I was right!"

The boy looked out of the window again, thinking how strange it was that just a few days ago a dragyn was hiding in those shadows. He could almost imagine its blue eyes glowing and its wings spreading... Hang on! There was a dragyn there! And it did not look happy.

The boy nudged the barman and pointed. The barman raised one hand to his mouth, the other hand grasping an ornamental crossbow hanging on the wall.

The dragyn grinned. "Too late" it mouthed. The jet of fire sped towards the tavern.


Richard stared at the ashes sadly. A driftwood sign saying 'Drinks Counter' in bold calligraphy was still legible. He had arrived too late, and people had been incinerated.

Why couldn't dragyns stop holding grudges? The people who chased them had no idea what they were getting into.

He sighed, and Fleck chattered something. Richard subconsciously stroked the golden-brown fur. A monkey was an excellent companion for a dragyn hunter, apart from the occasional attempts to put them in zoos. That was unfortunate. Fleck could have warned the man.

A breeze ruffled Richard's hair and made a mini tornado of soot.

The thing about dragyns is they're smart. No trap has yet captured a dragyn and most of the places where traps are designed and made are frequently torched. But if they're so smart, why don't they cover their tracks and stay out of sight?

Nobody knows. Maybe they enjoy killing, or they just test us to see how smart we are.

Richard sighed again. Nobody knows, but one thing is for certain.

Never chase a dragyn.

* Dragon


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