There weren't always dragons in the valley where I lived--their appearance came spontaneously and was an unbelievable sight to behold. Why they had shown themselves at this time and in this location was anybody's guess.
One moment, they would magically appear, revealing themselves in all their beauty and glory. The next moment, they may not show up at all, instead preferring to hide behind a tree, or leap into the heavy brush of the forest.
Dragons are fickle like that. They would materialize from a poof of smoke and, when they were done doing what they do, poof, just like that they would disappear into thin air.
"How is this possible," I wondered aloud.
I then realized that wondering aloud is only helpful when someone is near enough to hear me. At that moment, my question had fallen on deaf ears. No one had heard me speak.
We heard their thunderous footsteps before we actually saw them. None of us had ever heard such a commotion before. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked in the direction of the noise.
The noise was frightening, although somewhat muted. It sounded as though it came from a far off distance and rumbled toward us like thunder through the clouds. And, just like thunder, the closer it came to us, the louder it got.
My neighbor, Lucy, was the first to notice them.
"Look," she exclaimed! "Over there, by the Knobs" she pointed. "What is that?"
Far off in the distance, we could barely make out two silhouettes moving slowly, but methodically toward us. As their shadows grew, they became clearer and more gargantuan.
The area where they first appeared is known in these parts as Floyds Knobs, a series of inundating, rolling hills that stretch across two counties. The dragons must have dug out a cave for themselves, to hibernate in and to protect them from the wintertime.
How long they have been there and where they came from, no one knows for sure. Now, as they grew closer to us and became quite large, these questions were moot because we had to decide how to react to them.
Should we scream and shout and run away, or was there any need to be afraid at all? What was their purpose and intent? They seemed lively and animated, giving rise to a hope of friendliness within them, but that remained to be seen.
They were nearly upon us now, and they were magnificent in both looks and stature. They hadn't displayed any sense of animosity toward us, at least, no so far. They just clomped slowly and methodically forward.
Each of them were about twenty feet tall. They had huge, powerfully-built legs and feet, and their arms were rather muscular, too. Their skin resembled a set of dark, royal green, glistenting scales--much like those of a fish--that shimmered and changed colors, almost chameleon-like.
Perhaps that helps them hide from the outside world. Who knows, anyway? This is the first time they had been seen in public and they left me speechless. It was all I could do to simply stare at them, much less know what to say by trying to talk with them.
Thankfully, they broke my spell when one of them called out to us.
"Hello, hello, hello there. Please don't be alarmed or scared. We mean you no harm. In fact, our Maker has put us here to protect you," said the one on the left.
They were hard to tell apart, as each of them looked almost exactly like the other one. The only difference I could see was the one on the right had more of a yellowish tint around its mouth, while the other's mouth was more pinkish.
I looked to see if I could tell if they were boys or girls, but it turns out dragons don't have any visible signs that help to tell them apart. Their words didn't offer any clues either.
So many questions were swirling around inside me besides just those. Where did they come from? How old were they? What did they mean when they said they were sent to protect us? Protect us from what? What kind of food do they eat and do they drink water? My mind couldn't stop asking these kind of questions.
Lucy and the rest of my neighbors were standing in their yards, gazing at the immensity of these huge creatures.
Knowing we each had more questions than answers, Lucy stepped forward tentatively and asked, "How do we know you aren't here to destroy our houses and our neighborhood?" She wasn't the least bit shy about it, but made the question pleasant enough to not be confrontational.
"Oh, that is the farthest thing from our minds. We love humans! We love protecting them, too. We know you must have tons of questions, so ask away and we'll be glad to answer them as best as we can." The one on the left was still doing all the talking for the two of them.
With that, Pandora's box had been opened and questions flew everywhere and we all started asking questions at the same time. The first question out of my mouth was predictable:
"Why were you sent here to protect us and from what?" I was itching to know.
All of our questions and all of their answers would be revealed in full detail a bit later. For now, they urged us to get back inside our homes to seek shelter. The skies were turning an ominous dark gray and the wind was howling something terrible.
We took the dragons' advice and hid back inside our homes, hopefully safe from whatever calamity was heading our way.
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