Ella had not meant to buy a dragon. She’d gone to the pet shop to buy a cat but had found a cat sized black dragon instead, in a cage at the back. The dragon’s green eyes had seemed so sad she’d not had the heart to leave her there. Now as Ella walked home she was followed by a waddling little dragon happily blowing smoke clouds and making contented sounds to herself. It was obvious she was happy to be out of the cage and out in the sun.
As they neared home Ella began to have doubts. The pet shop owner had assured her that the dragon was house trained, would eat anything as long as she had a dose of brimstone sweetened with treacle once a week and came from an affectionate bloodline, but what if that was not true. Just because her mother was the house pet to Lady Aleesha Kingstopper, 17th queen of the Witchphobia coven, did not guarantee good manners in her daughter. And who was her father? A fly-by-night apparently. Ella continued to brood.
Sitting atop the letter box in front of her house was Gregor, her guardian fairy. As Ella and the dragon walked closer they saw he was not in a good mood. Arms firmly crossed and a scowl etched so deep it looked like someone had cut valleys in his forehead.
“What have you done!” he spat through clenched teeth “That is not a cat!!”
“She’s about the same size!” said Ella putting her arm around the suddenly timid dragon.
“I cannot live with this…this…creature!” he pointed dramatically at the dragon on the ground before him. The dragon uttered a small shrill sound and abruptly hid behind Ella, peeking anxiously through her legs.
“Don’t be such a big…uh…little baby! She’s not going to hurt you. Just look at her. She’s more frightened of you.”
They both looked down at the anxious little dragonette who was now preening her scales in order to calm herself down. Gregor relaxed a little.
“She might be alright,” he muttered “As long as she knows who’s boss and can control her emissions. I have no desire to be toast!”
“They said she was house trained at the pet shop!” Ella and Gregor looked at each other a little sceptically.
“Hmmm” the fairy said as he hopped down off the letter box and stood in front of Ella and the dragon. He tentatively put out a hand which the dragon sniffed warily before making a joyous sound and leaping at him to lick his face. Gregor was knocked flat on his back and found himself being licked all over. “Oh it tickles! It tickles” he exclaimed “and her breath smells like hell! I should know, I’ve been there, to visit granny in the holidays.”
He sat up abruptly, shouting “Enough!” The dragon obeyed, sitting back on her haunches. She folded her greeny black wings into her side and smiled at him. “I think we should call her Daphne,” he said.
Ella smiled to herself. “Daphne? Daphne’s a good name.” Ella opened the gate and began to walk down the path “Come on Daphne, and you too Gregor, it’s time for morning tea!”
Copyright November 2016