Table of Contents
Part One: Lumpy the Dragon
Part Two: Lumpy and the Little Boy
Part Three: Lumpy Saves the Day
(Note: These links only work if you’re reading the full blog post.)
I told this story to Benji yesterday, and it came out coherent enough that I thought it worth writing down. It’s about 4200 words long, so get comfy if you’re going to sit through the whole thing. I’m glad I took the time, too, because in the end, I rather like Lumpy.
Part One: Lumpy the Dragon
Once upon a time, there was a dragon named Lump. He was a purple dragon with green and yellow spots, and he had big wings and long, clever claws. Lumpy lived in the forest with the other dragons, all of whom were named things like Vicious and Killer and Firey because they were all like that.
The other dragons all had sharp, pokey spikes along their backs and tails, and they were colors like black and red, except for some that were camouflage color to blend in with the woods, or ones that were blue like the sky on their bellies to be camouflaged while flying. They all breathed fire, of course, and had huge razor-sharp teeth and claws.
When Lumpy tried to breathe fire, all that came out was smoke that smelled like cinnamon. And Lumpy never grew spikes; instead, he just had little lumpy knobs on his back, which is how he came to be named Lumpy.
The other dragons liked to eat people and cows alive, and they all liked hoarding gold and treasure. They didn’t care about pretty flowers, butterflies, nice smells, or fish, nuts, and honey, all of which Lumpy preferred. While the other dragons were out pillaging villages, or stealing princesses, or toasting knights with their flames, Lumpy went for walks in the woods, admiring beautiful flowers, or listening to the burble of creeks, or finding especially delicious honeycomb. He even learned to understand honey-bee dance language, because he was so observant.
So, you see, Lumpy was quite different from the other dragons. Unfortunately, the other dragons made fun of him because he was so different. They mocked him when he came home wearing a tiara of wildflowers, or when he brought back some especially luscious honeycomb, or told them about tickling fish in a river. They especially mocked him for not collecting any gold or kidnapping any princesses or eating any knights. No girl dragons would even look at Lumpy, let alone make dragonets with him. Even Lumpy’s family was rather mean to him, and his parents told him what a disappointment he was as a dragon.
This all made Lumpy very sad and hurt his feelings. But because Lumpy had a generally sunny disposition, he didn’t let the other dragons’ mockery hurt his feelings. Instead, he just went for long walks in the woods by himself, finding and appreciating the beauty of the forest. He knew that he was who he was, no matter what the other dragons thought, and he wasn’t going to change what he liked just to make them happy.
One day, when he was a young dragonet, Lumpy was watching the honey-bees talking (by dancing; sadly, Lumpy couldn’t communicate very well with them, since he couldn’t waggle quite the way they did, but he was able to say polite things like, “Excuse me, may I have some honey?” and “Thank you for the delicious honey.” He found the bees to be quite polite) when he oversaw a surprising conversation.
A honey-bee from far away had come to visit Lumpy’s favorite hive, and this strange honey-bee said, “Where we live, we have a terrible time with giants. Giants love honey more than anything else — even more than little boys — but they get very sick from just a few bee-stings! And an entire hive of stings will kill that great big giant! Can you believe it?” The other bees commiserated with having to sting giants to keep them away from the hard-won honey, but all agreed it was worth it to protect their golden hoard.
Lumpy found that interesting, but as years went by, he forgot about it. Dragons live for hundreds of years, after all, and once two or three hundred years had passed, Lumpy had seen many other more interesting things. Besides, giants never came to his forest; all remained serene and beautiful.
At least, it was serene and beautiful for dragons, up there at the top of the food chain. It was a little harder on humans, who were one rung down and always getting raided by those huge, voracious dragons. Humans had learned, however, that dragons only liked to eat live prey, and would leave a limp, stationary body alone in preference for moving food (often the person’s horse, cow, pig, or sheep, none of which were smart enough to play dead. Dogs did better, having a natural predilection for laying around).
That is why all parents in the woods taught their children to play dead whenever a dragon was nearby. Usually the dragon, which had a fairly short attention span, would be distracted by some poor other panicking creature running away and would leave the prone human alone.
Continue reading “Lumpy the Dragon Saves the Day”