I ask Rory to step into his pajama bottoms and I say, “What is our bedtime story about tonight?” and he says, “A dragon!” and I say, “Good choice. What color is the dragon?” and Rory says, “Red!” I say, “Wow. And what color are his eyes?” and Rory says, “His eyes are pink,” and I say, “What else do we know about him?” Rory thinks and then says, “He has wings!” I say, “So he can fly. Yeah. I like that.”
Quinn says, “He has little wings!” and I say, “Little tiny wings? On a great big body!? That’s funny!” but Rory says, “NO! BIG WINGS!” and then Quinn says, “YEAH! BIG WINGS!” and I say, “Okay… here we go then…”
I say, “Once Upon a Time… there was a great big Red Dragon and… what was it doing?”
Quinn shouts, “FLYING!”
“Once Upon a Time… there was a great big Red Dragon and it was flying along, soaring through the air. It flew over the countryside and over homes and cottages and villages and castles. It flew over rivers and it went anywhere it wanted to go because it was a dragon. Then, as The Red Dragon was flying over a pasture, it saw a field full of… sheep.
Rory says, “And two elephants.
Quinn says, “And two hippopotamus.”
“GREAT! So The Red Dragon is flying over a pasture and he sees a field full of sheep and two elephants and two hippos and The Red Dragon swoops down and picks up one of the elephants in its great big claws and carries it away back to its mountain cave far above the clouds.
Rory stares at me with his mouth hanging agape. I say, “Do you understand how big that dragon is? It picked up an entire full grown elephant and then flew away.”
Rory says, “Bring my elephant back, DRAGON!” and I say, “We’ll get to that…”
So the next day The Red Dragon is flying above the pasture and he sees the two hippos and he swoops down and he picks one up and he carries it back to his mountain cave far up in the sky above the clouds,” and Quinn says, “That’s my hippo!”
I say, “It sure was! And now it belongs to The Red Dragon! I hope someone rescues them! So… the next day, down in the pasture a couple of people are walking along, tending their sheep. Who is walking along?” and Quinn says, “Miss Brittany!… and Nadia!… and Ben!”
SIDE NOTE: Miss Brittany is a good friend of ours, Nadia is her daughter and Ben is another friend.
I say, “Miss Brittany and Nadia and Ben are out walking in their pasture looking for their missing elephant and hippo–”
“It’s my hippo,” Quinn says.
“Yeah, sorry… Uh… Miss Brittany and Nadia and Ben are walking in their pasture looking for the missing hippo and elephant that respectively belong each to Quinn and Rory… when suddenly… a great big shadow falls over them. What was it?”
Rory whispers, “…..draaaaaagon……”
“Yeah. It was. The Red Dragon was back. He swooped down again and he grabbed one of the sheep and–”
Quinn interrupts me. “No! Not a sheep! A horse!” I say, “But there are no horses on this farm. We’ve already established this. There are a ton of sheep, a couple of elephants and a pair of hippos.” Quinn says, “They are not sheep. They are horses.”
“Fine. We’re replacing all the sheep with various brands of horses. The Red Dragon swoops down and grabs a horse in its claws and lifts it into the air but that horse is Miss Brittany’s favorite horse and so Miss Brittany shouts… what did she shout?”
Rory says, “Give me that horse back, DRAGON!”
I say, “That’s right. And what is the horses name?” and Rory says, “That horse’s name is Maximus!”
“ALRIGHT! Miss Brittany shouts, “Give me that horse back, DRAGON! Give me back Maximus!” and then she quickly gathers Nadia and Ben into one arm and she jumps into the air and she grabbs onto the horse’s tail and she gets carried away as The Red Dragon flies higher and higher and higher and the ground slowly drops away below them. They fly higher and higher and higher–”
Rory takes up the chant, “–and higher and higher and higher and way high UP into the SKY! ABOVE THE CLOUDS!”
“You got it. The Red Dragon is taking them back to his cave high up on the mountain above the clouds. That’s the plan anyway. But Miss Brittany keeps shouting, “Let go, Dragon! Let go, Dragon!” and so finally The Red Dragon does. He opens up his claws and let’s Miss Brittany and Nadia and Ben and Maximus fall. They all plummet through the air, falling faster and faster and faster, head over feet and above them all they can hear is the booming voice of The Red Dragon laughing and laughing and laughing– BUT THEN!”
“Another dragon… Quinn, what color is this dragon?” and Quinn says, “I don’t know…” and I say, “Any color you want,” and she says, “Oh, ok. PURPLE!” and I say, “BUT THEN! A GREAT BIG PURPLE DRAGON SWOOPS IN OUT OF NOWHERE and saves them. He picks them up in his claws and places them on his back and says, “What are you doing here?” and Miss Brittany says, “The Red Dragon stole my friend’s elephant and hippo–”
Quinn says, “Oh yeah! My hippo!”
“–and we’re trying to get them back.” The Purple Dragon says, “I know where The Red Dragon lives and I can take you there,” and so he flies and flies and flies higher and higher and higher into the sky and above the clouds and to the mountain cave where The Red Dragon lived.”
Rory says, “Is it a red house?” and I say, “But of course. The Purple Dragon lands on the edge of the cliff where The Red Dragon’s Red House is attached and The Purple Dragon says, “I’m sorry friends, but I can go no further because I am too big to get through the door.” You see, The Purple Dragon was enormous. He was easily two or three times the size of The Red Dragon. I mean, he was crazy big so he tells Miss Brittany and Nadia and Ben that he’ll just stand outside and keep guard while they go in to find their missing elephant and hippo. So, they leave Maximus sitting outside as they turn and enter The Red House. They open the door and you know what they see?”
Quinn says, “I don’t know…” and Rory says, “What?” and I say, “It’s a big cave that stretches on and on and on and gets darker and darker and darker. But far away they can hear their elephant and their hippo. What does an elephant say?”
The kids each make elephant noises. Quinn’s kind of sounds like a crying monkey. Rory’s sounds like a donkey that’s been kicked in the testicles.
“Miss Brittany leads the way into the darkness until…… they can’t see anything anymore….. now, Rory, Quinn… both of you shut your eyes.” Both of the children do so. “Do you see that? That’s what it looks like in the cave. It’s so dark they can’t see anything… so they just follow the noises of their beloved animals on and on and– WAIT! What’s that?”
Quinn says, “WHAT!?” and I say, “THERE! In the distance! A light! They rush onward to the light and it gets bigger and brighter and bigger and brighter and they find…. what is it?”
Quinn says, “Baby Dragons……..”
“Yeah… well, sort of. They find a great big glowing egg that’s as big as our house. A dragon egg! It’s glowing and it looks like a lightbulb but when they touch it they find that it isn’t hot. THERE! Behind the egg! It’s the elephant and the hippo! They found them!”
Quinn says, “YAY!” and Rory is completely asleep now because I think he forgot to open his eyes.
“Miss Brittany hops on the back of the elephant and Nadia and Ben both jump on the back of the hippo and then BOOOOM! The giant glowing egg cracks open and then EGG-SPLODES into a zillion little pieces that fly everywhere and they hit Brittany and Nadia and Ben but they’re okay but out of the giant egg crawls…”
Quinn says, “A baby dragon….”
And I say, “TWO baby dragons. They’re twins. Just like you and Rory. So the Little Girl Baby Dragon chases the elephant and goes chomp-chomp-chomp! And the Little Boy Baby Dragon chases the hippo and goes chomp-chomp-chomp! And Brittany kicks her heels into the sides of her elephant and she shouts, “Let’s ride!” and she disappears into the darkness with the Baby Dragons right after her. Now remember, these are baby dragons but they’re very, very, very big! Their egg was the size of our house so these baby dragons could eat a whole elephant! Miss Brittany rides through the darkness and on her neck she can feel hot breath chasing just behind her and Nadia and Ben ride through the darkness and they can feel hot breath just behind them and everyone can hear the chomp-chomp-chomp getting closer and closer and closer and then in the distance they can see the light! They can see the exit! They race towards it and they burst into the sunlight but The Purple Dragon isn’t there to let them down from the mountain cliff! The Purple Dragon is up in the sky wrestling and fighting with that naughty Red Dragon! The Baby Dragons run out of the cave – chomp-chomp-chomp – and our friends are all trapped! CHOMP-CHOMP-CHOMP!”
Quinn says, “Daddy, stop chomping on my ear,” and I say, “Oh. Sorry. Okay.”
“The Purple Dragon says, “JUMP! JUMP AND I’LL CATCH YOU! TRUST ME!” and so Miss Brittany and her elephant and Nadia and Ben and their hippo and Maximus all run towards the edge of the cliff and they fall and fall and fall and fall and fall and The Purple Dragon tries to break free from the much smaller but still very scrappy Red Dragon but can’t! Our friends continue to fall, end over end, head over feet, over and over and over again. They break through the cloud cover and the ground is getting closer and closer and closer! The houses and the castles and the roofs are getting bigger and bigger and The Purple Dragon is still wrestling with The Red Dragon. The Red Dragon laughs, “HAHAHAH! HAHAHAHAH! AHHAHAHAHAHAH!” and then, with a loud CRASH everyone smashes into the ground and dust and dirt flies everywhere and the earth cracks and there is nothing but silence.”
Quinn stares at me.
“The Purple Dragon and The Red Dragon stop wrestling and they just float in the air and stare downwards and The Red Dragon says, “Did they die?” and The Purple Dragon says, “That was a long fall…” and down on Earth… Brittany’s eyes slowly open… and slowly…. slowly…. everyone stands up. You see, everyone had bits of dragon egg stuck to them from when the egg exploded… and everyone knows that as long as you hang onto a piece of a dragon egg, you can’t die.”
Quinn says, “Ohhhhhhh…”
I conclude, “That night, all of our friends had The Purple Dragon over for dinner and, Quinn, do you know what they ate?”
Quinn says, “They ate eggs.”
And I say, “That’s right.”