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Sleeping Dragon

by Gayle 7 months ago in Fantasy
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Tiny Imagination

The tiny girl walked along the edge of the silent water. It was early, too early for most folks to be up, but Tina was always up before dawn and no matter how hard they tried her parents could not teach her to sleep late. So, they resorted to a tracing device inside her shoes. This vacation Tina slipped out every morning and walked the shoreline of the lake seeking adventure. Every other morning, she had to settle for the small frogs, fish, or occasional turtle to give her something to talk about.

Today as she walked, she trailed her little stick she had dubbed her wand in the edge of the still dark water, and talking to herself, because you see she was her best listener. She had asked for a baby brother or sister to bring along and tell stories to and her parents had presented her with a baby brother three months ago, but he was still much too young to follow her. She sat and told him stories of her adventures as he played in his little house made of net every morning and afternoon. That she promised would change when he learned to walk.

This particular morning little Tina, who is a very good swimmer for a barely five-year-old, began to count the stones along the pebbly shore. She balanced very carefully as she stepped from stone to stone. Anything too small to step on just didn’t count.

“Ow” said a very deep and yet very feminine voice. Tina stood very, very still balancing on the stone she had just stepped upon. “It is not good manners to walk upon the nose of another.” Said the voice. Tina gingerly stepped off the stone she was standing upon, which it turned out not to be a stone at all. It wiggled and blew along with the one beside it.

“I beg your pardon ma’am I did not know.” Tina said in a very small voice. She looked and rubbed her eyes as the two larger stones just a bit out from the one she had tread upon opened and two very green eyes blinked at her. “You are alive!” She exclaimed.

“Yes, it would seem so, though I am really not sure why.” The creature said as she raised her head from the sand where it had been resting. Tiny pebbles rolled off and splashed into the shallow water like rain on a soft spring morning. Tina watched in amazement her soft blue eyes growing wide in excitement as the previously thought to be large rocks farther out in the water shook and rippled as the creature stretched.

“Are you a dragon” Little Tina asked as her little hands clasped together and her golden curls bounced about her shoulders, as the excitement had her whole body wiggling.

Great blue wings almost translucent in the grey mist rose from the water and pointed toward the sky as the dragon continued to stretch. Her body long and sleek covered in scales of many shades of blue now rose above the surface of the lake water. “I have been here before and never have I seen you, though what seemed to be rocks and stones have been here all along.” Tina whispered almost to herself.

But dragons have very sharp hearing in their tiny dragon ears and she smiled a great toothy smile at the little child before her. “Well, you see I have been asleep for quite a long while and never before had I noticed anyone stepping upon my nose.”

“I am very sorry to have mistaken you very lovely nose for a very plain and ordinary stone.” Said little Tina quite chagrined. “Do you have a forked tongue? I have read that dragons do.” Tina asked very timidly.

The long and very red tongue snaked out between the large, and very sharp dragon teeth. It indeed was forked and quite impressive too. “I suppose there is a reason it is made that way, though as long as I have had it, I really haven’t discovered why.” The dragon said as she wiggled the tongue a bit.

“My name is Tina, Tina Bartholomew, what is your name lovely dragon?” Little Tina asked politely.

“That is quite an impressive name for such a tiny child.” The dragon mused. “My name is Matilda, and I only have one name.”

Little Tina grinned and spread her hands out wide, “My father says Bartholomew is a family name and it means we belong together.” She spun a tiny circle spewing little pebbles in the sand.

“Hmm” said Matilda, “I don’t think dragons have families like you, we are all just dragons.” She watched the tiny human mull this over as she wrapped her long red tongue around an unsuspecting trout and sucked it in.

Tina watched fascinated as Matilda licked her dragon lips. “I guess then you should be called Matilda Dragon, because you all belong to the dragon family.” Tina finally decided.

The dragon smiled a toothy smile and decided that it should be so. Then she sighed, “There are not so many dragons anymore you know.” Matilda said sadly.

Tina’s little hands flew to her cheeks in consternation, “Oh my, why?” Tina sputtered.

“You see every time a grown up says they don’t believe another dragon dies and turns to stone.” Matilda said softly.

A tear appeared in little Tina’s eye, “I shall never say I do not believe. You are safe with me.”

Matilda smiled again and puffed little columns of smoke from her nostrils, “Ah my dear one you make me so warm inside.”

“Can you fly?” Tina asked suddenly, “I heard you like to soar the skies and here you are in my vacation lake, and your wings are so, so see through.”

“Ah yes, quite well indeed,” Matilda said as she flexed her wings of almost transparent cobalt blue.

“They have no feathers, and look very much like bat wings, only much prettier. Are they strong?” Tina wanted to know.

“Very strong indeed, I have distant cousins that they call fruit bats. We do not use echo location like our cousins, but we do speak into each other’s mind.” Matilda said as she watched Tina closely.

“Can I mind speak too?” She wanted to know.

“I think you already are my dear, have you seen my mouth move yet during out conversation?” She watched the child’s eyes light up.

“Can you still see her?” The woman asked her husband, as she wrapped a blanket around the baby and placed him in his playpen.

“Yes, my love, she is still down by the shore carrying on a conversation with some imaginary friend she met along the way.” Answered the man as he refilled his coffee cup and sat back down in the deck chair.

Tina’s mother smiled and wrapped the shawl around her shoulders, the sun was coming up, but the air was still chilly. “I best go retrieve our little adventurer.”

“Will you come and visit again? Your mother is coming now, and I must return to my sleep.” Matilda said softly.

“Yes, yes I surely will.” Tina said happily and turned just in time to be gathered in her mother’s arms. “Momma did you see the dragon? Her name is Matilda. She is a very nice dragon.”

“No dear I did not see her. Is that who you have been visiting so early this morning?” Her mother kissed her cheek as Tina wrapped her arms around her mother’s neck. “Say good by to your dragon dear, you can visit another time.”

Tina waved furiously at Matilda. Her mother turned just in time to see a heart-shaped tail disappear beneath the surface of the blue lake waters, still waving gently at the tiny friend she had just made. Tina’s mother shook her head and turned back towards the cabin in wonder.


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