he youth’s eyes grew wide as I
told him I’d once met a dragon who told me a tale older than he, which is saying
a lot, about a creature like himself whose greed was greater than a world of
"Tell me, tell me … please," the youth cried with excitement, adding in the last
bit after receiving a stern look from his mother as he tugged at the sleeve of
"All right," I replied, my tone suggesting that his pleading had broken through
I looked around, exaggerating the movement of each muscle as I slowly leaned
closer, beckoned him with the slightest move, and whispered in a conspiring
"We must be quiet though," I cautioned him, "dragon tales aren’t told to just
His eyes grew wide once again and he nodded silently, leaning closer to hear my
tale. I began as is traditional for any tale-teller of merit.
"Many ages past within a massive hollow mountain lived an ancient golden dragon,
who had begun his life at the beginning of time. Throughout the years he
collected his treasure, taking gold and silver in any form by force or by fear.
Tales of the dragon's greed and mighty trove of treasures spread throughout the
years as he sleep upon his bed of gold during the day and terrorized those
people near him by night.
"It wasn't for many, many years that anyone had attempted approach the dragon's
lair. At that point the greedy golden dragon had amassed enough wealth to feed
the largest kingdom for at least five years. The hungry thief entered, thinking
to grab just a handful of gold so that he might live out his life in comforts.
At once he laid eyes upon the massive dragon, sleeping atop a mountain of gold.
A shaking hand reached out and plucked two coins from the pile.
"As the thief turned to leave, the pile shifted and the dragon awoke from his
slumber, catching the burglar in his golden gaze. The man froze and in that
moment the dragon's head shot forward and the two golden coins fell back into
the pile as they beast devoured the thief.
"Enraged that someone would seek to steal his horded wealth from him, the dragon
opened up his massive mouth and let out a cloud of red flames that engulfed the
At this point I paused, biting down on a red pellet and wire contraption I had
attached to one of my teeth earlier. My head spun for a moment as the cloud of
red smoke released into my mouth. A moment later I opened my mouth and blew out,
the smoke forming a red cloud in the air that made the boy gasp in shock.
Remaining tendrils of smoke streamed from between parted lips as I continued my
"The gold and silver melted together to form one massive monument almost bigger
than the dragon itself. Satisfied that thieves would not be able to steal the
riches he had spent his life acquiring he curled up amongst the odd lumps of
gold and silver, shifting several times to get comfortable. The last attempt
caused him to slip off this throne and onto the stone floor of the cave.
"Aggravated, he pushed the now worthless lump towards the mouth of his cave. He
struggled for the better part of the day, but in the end he was able to expel
the monstrosity from his home.
"The Gods had been watching the dragon throughout the years, and as punishment
for his greed they turned the mountain of treasure that had been welded together
by the dragon's flames back into individual pieces. All the gold and silver
coins, cutlery, and trinkets fell into the sea as the dragon watched in
"But what happened to the gold and silver?" the youth asked.
I grinned as I heard the question that was sure to be asked. Little children
always loved the treasure most.
"The currents of the sea carried it off to all corners of the world," I told
him. "And that is why the sea sparkles."
"You shouldn't tell children such lies," scolded the mother, who had worked as a
sailor for most of her life.
I looked up at the woman with a confident grin on my face.
"Ah, but how then do you suppose it happened?" I asked innocently, not waiting
for an answer before continuing. "The seas were created long before you and I
walked this land and the shimmering waters have always been so. If not by the
means of a dragon's greed then pray tell what other spectacular event could
cause such a sight.
"While I do not doubt your knowledge and wisdom," I went on, rather smugly, "I
do doubt you have had the pleasure of conversing with dragons."
The last phrase accompanied by the last tendrils of red smoke that curled around
the words like the knowing grin on my face.