Dragon

I thought I saw a dragon today. He was huge, and towered over me like a lion to a mouse. 

His head poked silently from the trees, the green of his scaly skin making him almost invisible. I only saw him because his eyes were the color of copper in the sun, and when I stepped sideways I saw the legendary profile of his jaws against the sky.

My movement startled him, either because he hadn't seen me or because he hadn't expected me to move, and his great head cocked slightly in my direction, like a cat curious about a bird. We stayed that way for a moment, quietly balancing each other.

Then, before I could say a word or twitch a muscle, he pulled his head back into the trees. I blinked, certain that when I opened my eyes, he would either still be there or the certainty that I had seen him would not be. I found myself staring at simple trees and a blank skyline when a sudden noise from the bushes made me jump.

Out slithered the dragon's head, the bottom of his chin scraping the soft grass. His great snout paused about a foot from where I was standing, hot breath pouring over my face and arms. Those great copper eyes fixed on me, studying me closer than from the tree tops. 

Although he made a low rumbling sound from deep within his chest, it did not make me tremble. It did not sound like the hungry, threatened growl of a predator. Instead it sounded like the curious chirp of an intelligent explorer. 

Slowly, gently, I stretched my hand out before me. When he made no move or sound to protest, I cautiously took one step forward. Then another.

The second my trembling fingers touched that green pebbled skin, a heavy sigh rushed from his lungs, making a hollow rushing sound through his snout. It was almost as if he had been afraid I could, or even would, hurt him. 

My hand found anchorage, and I slowly ran my palm against the great side of his muzzle. Up close I realized his skin wasn't scaly at all, but smooth and leathery, and it glistened in the sunlight with tones of purple, gold, orange and blue. Like dragonfly's wings, I thought, or bubbles. 

My feet slowly followed the path of my hand, and I walked alongside his great head in awe, barely noticing that I was inches away from teeth that were the size of my leg. When my hand reached the space under his eye, it stopped. That great circle of copper fixed on me, and I could see my reflection in it. 

Although no words were spoken, for I now know full well dragons don't speak the language of men, I felt somehow connected with him. He was just as scared of me as I was of him, for he knows that magic comes in all sizes. I felt a great sense of relief, I suspect from knowing I was not malicious, along with the pang of grief of surviving so many, and the pride of being a magical creature. 

And more interesting than what I could feel from him, I could sense that he was receiving the same experience from me. I didn't need to tell him I meant no harm, because I know he knew. He could sense the disbelief, the doubt, and the unguarded wonder racing through my mind. And he blinked slowly, attempting to put my questions to rest. And perhaps, I sensed, in gratitude and in farewell.

Because before I had time to register the emotional exchange between us, he gently pulled his head back and disappeared back into the trees. He left just as silently as he had come, leaving me to wonder if I had really seen him at all. 

And now, as I sit in the sill of my bedroom window looking over the back lawn, I realize that I share a great secret. Can a secret really be a secret if the other person who knows it might not exist? There is a possibility I imagined it...after all, I only thought I saw a dragon. But the more I remembered the encounter, the more I began to question what makes reality real. Thought is essential in order to imagine, and imagination is critical in order to identify reality from make-believe. So I guess, in a way, I did see a dragon today.

But only because I thought so. 



Comments:
 
VRGunslinger   VRGunslinger wrote
on 7/7/2009 11:45:46 PM
This was awesome. Great write!

Ve   Ve wrote
on 7/7/2009 5:11:27 AM
I thought I saw a Dragon once too. I like your description of him, it is very difficult to describe a fictional creature but with your words it was painted out beautifully. Very nice work, lass, keep up the good work. Any chance you saw a Unicorn once?

MaHensley8706
Short Story
Fantasy
writing MaHensley8706
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