There weren't always dragons in the Valley. They came stealthily, from the echoes of our minds, one by one, and, with them, brought their version of life's stark realities.
Dragons are thought to be mythical creatures, often compared to demons, which isn't always true. There are both good dragons and bad dragons.
Once, when I was much younger, I had a chance meeting with the mother of all the dragons while I was down in the valley removing the weeds from around the beautimous flowers, which were most bountiful in this part of the valley.
These flowers were called beautimous because they were very special and coveted for their aroma, as well as their beauty. They could also be molded into any type of bouquet, which makes them a great tribute, fit for almost any occasion. They smelled like honeysuckle and roses on a fresh spring day, as though they had just been placed there from heaven.
The patch of flowers I was working in was abundant with these beautimous flowers, such that it made it hard to concentrate on weeding around them. I kept being drawn to their aromatic beauty.
My parents had warned me about weeding in this patch out of fear I might become so enamored with their fragrance and looks that I would never return to my own home--they were that powerful.
Hesitant, but determined not to be fixated on just this one patch, I turned to move closer to the foothills to work on a different path when all of a sudden there appeared before me a monstrous figure nearly 20 feet tall, with a girth of 12 to 14 feet, folded wings by its side, which hid its true enormity, for if they were both spread away from its side, the width would surely have been 30 feet or more.
Such was my introduction to Mother Dragon, the queen of the valley. Where she had come from was a mystery to me, as was where she might have been hiding. She appeared from nowhere, leaving me confounded as to how she could sneak up on me so fast.
I was shaken by her sudden arrival, but I soon realized I had nothing to fear. I was awestruck with her enormity while, at the same time, being mesmerized by her astonishing beauty.
Mother Dragon was a magnificent specimen in that her entire being radiated beauty. She wasn't frightening whatsoever. She oozed an aura of pleasure, a bright green halo of sorts resting above and beneath her entire body, totally allaying any fears I may have had that she might be dangerous.
She addressed me as "Sir."
She was the first to speak, "Hello kind sir and welcome to my enchanted garden. Please do not be afraid of me, for I am a very special dragon with magical powers." Her voice seemed melodic and disarming to me.
At first, I didn't reply. I was too busy sizing her up, and the hairs on the back of my neck were now fully erect. The first thing I noticed about her was her serene eyes. They were a greenish-blue hue that were strikingly beautiful and matched many of the beautimous flowers beneath her feet.
Although folded to her sides, her wings were just as impressive as her eyes. It was here that I also noticed her skin. I couldn't tell for certain whether her skin was scales, as one would find on a snake or a fish, or were they feathers, carefully preened and always ready to give her flight? I honestly couldn't tell.
Before going down the remaining length of her body, I managed an awkward response to her salutation.
"Hel... Hello yourself," I stammered. "I am in awe of your immensity, gracious dragon. Please pardon me if I stare, for I have never seen a dragon up close before."
I found myself bowed before her, as if I were genuflecting to royalty. It felt a bit awkward to maintain this stance, so I straightened myself, hesitating momentarily so I wouldn't offend her.
"That's quite all right, sir. Actually, I get that response a lot when I interact with you humans," she replied. "I have revealed myself to you to tell you about my offspring and what their effect on you and your lifestyle might be."
A bazillion questions were swirling around in my head, to the point where I didn't know which question to ask first. I found myself furtively glancing at her beautiful round eyes--they were so kind--then glancing at the ground again.
I decided to start questioning her with, "So, I'm not the first human you've spoken with?" I asked it in a curious tone.
"Not in the least," she answered. "Throughout the millennia I have counseled hundreds of humans like you. They have asked the same questions you're about to ask of me, I guess, to not only confirm my existence and from where I come, but also to grant them three wishes, as if I was some kind of genie or something--which, before you ask, I have no clue how to do."
"Well then, since you have spoken to others before me, what did you tell them? And, if I may, where did you come from, how did you appear here, how old are you, and is the world about to end?" I blurted out to her.
I continued, "I'm sorry, I just have so many questions to ask you and I find it hard to contain myself."
"I understand completely. As I mentioned before, this isn't the first time I've drummed up a conversation with a human. I will reveal all the answers you need in due time, but first, I must ask a favor of you."
"Ask away," I replied.
"When we talk with each other, it is important than we keep open the lines of communication as wide as possible so that we can learn from one another. In other words, keep an open mind when I tell you about my offspring and what they mean for your future. Will you do that for me?"
"I am a fair-minded individual, so it would be a pleasure to hear what you have to say," I told her.
"That's fair enough for me," she said. "Let's begin, I will go first.
I am as old as the dirt on which you stand. From my womb, I have conjured all the good dragons as well as the bad dragons that you see and experience in your life today. My intent is to tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of all these dragons to help you manage them more effectively."
She continued, "Further, it is important to note that it is in your best interests to contain the bad dragons that enter your life, contain them to as few as possible, for their ugly strength can tear families apart, start wars, and bring insanity to your years."
"But what are these bad dragons you are talking about?" I wondered.
"Soon enough you will learn about each of them and their powers, both good and bad. For today though, I must stop. You and I will talk many more times in the future, I assure you... Look, a rainbow!" she exclaimed.
I turned to look at the rainbow and it was brilliant in its color. When I turned back, the dragon was gone. She had disappeared into thin air. I searched the entire surrounding area and there was no sight of her.
Now I was even more confused. When will we talk again, I wonder? What should I ask her next? She didn't say why she had to stop. Where did she have to go, and why so suddenly? My head was spinning with dozens of questions.
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