Edgar Storyteller, chapter One

The thing that most people don't realize about dragons is that they love to read. They also love to tell stories. I know this might seem strange, seeing as dragons figure as major characters in much of the greatest bed time literature of our human world. Yet it is true. Dragons, down to the last grey gossamer, spend most of their days planning for story time at night. That, in fact, is why they do such tremendous things during the day in the first place. And where do they get their ideas? In books.

Now this particular story you are reading now, its about a dragon. A big blue dopey dragon named Edgar. He loved, in particular, to read novels. Edgar was a great fan of dickens and hardy and

tolstoy, but his greatest favorite of all was a secret to all but his most closest friends. In his dragon lair, or cave, or as Edgar liked to call it: "home", he had a large pile of novels. But hidden in a cupboard beside his treasure pile on which he slept every night, there were his hawthorne novels. Tales of new england.

Now Edgar, being a dragon, and a particularly large dragon, had never, of course, been to New England. He always watched the Pats play during the season and tried to follow the red sox as best he could. But the details of geography and place and sounds and sights, well to Edgar those were all theory. He suspected that many of the photos he had seen must not be *quite* so accurate. After all, outside his cave, though there was one lone building in the distance, there was plenty of room to run and jump and roll and laugh and even occasionally torch a small bush or two. Consequently, Edgar imagined Boston, in particular, at about 1.5 scale. So that the buildings wouldn't all be too small to sometimes block his view, so that the trees would be tall enough to be worth bending down just to watch them snap back up and so on.

Now I bet you are wondering, if you've been paying attention up to this point, whether Edgar ever took any of these musings to heart long enough to *tell* a story about Boston. Well, remember now, Edgar's love of hawthorne was a great secret, to all but a few, and when dragons tell stories at night, well often there are quite large crowds on hand: this being the real reason they live in such very large caves, as are often described in the stories humans like to believe, but for all the wrong reasons.

So, sadly, Edgar rarely told stories about Boston, or New England in general, for fear that his love of the prosaic Nathaniel of Salem might be ridiculed, or worse, yawned heavily at. Edgar's stories were much different. Generally, mountainous, featuring fierce aerial battles involving eagles and ravens and griffons. Sometimes in these stories a human or two, or possibly a demi human band of trolls, would scale the mountains, often in search of some sort of treasure. Now, that all might sound exciting to you. And, in fact, there were many an "ooh" or "ahh" in any Edgar story, but.. well, lets leave the punch line to the end of the story, shall we? At least, if you haven't already guessed!

And speaking of that story, it begins on a sunny bright blue day, in autumn. Imagine Edgar, our bouncy blue behemoth,

bounding through a field, happy as can be, and just about to catch a small deer and tear it to shreds. It was just going to be

a snack, but Edgar needed one, having eaten last over an entire hour before, which, if you didn't know it, is very long for a


Now, I hate to keep adding all this general information about dragons in the middle of everything. Particularly as you were probably just getting ready to hear more about Edgar's glorious deer chase and midafternoon aperitif. But, I feel that as a narrator, it is my duty to set the scene from time to time, draw the background, if you will and, most importantly, to keep you well informed about the real nature of dragons as they exist in the world today.

So, in that spirit, lets spend some time describing Edgar, as he would appear to the average human observing this scene. Edgar is about 5 man lengths in height and 12 in breadth, at the time of our story. He is bright blue over most of his body, with dark eyes crowned by whiteish blue ridges. Giant scales cover most of his body as well, with a single crownlike scale on the very top of his head. His feet are stubby, but strong and a darker blue, from lots of trips through muddy fields. His earsflatten out when he is angry, making pointed wing tips protruding almost to the back of his thick curving solid dragon neck. His nose ends in a pointed beak, menacing when thrust forward offensively, yet playfully tucking the end of upper lip over the top of his mouth when he is quiet. His feet end in claws, but they can retract like a cats when he chooses that they should.His legs, though massive, are dwarfed by the bulk of his bright blue torso, which is covered by massive smooth blue scales.

When his wings expand they reach half as high again over his head, yet can retract almost flat onto his back when he relaxes.

Edgar's smile is broad and his frown in very sharp and thin, like that of an eagle disturbed from his roost. Yet, in Edgar's mind he is most proud of his tail. his tail begins as a seeming extension of his lower body, massive and solid enough for him to balance his crushing weight entirely on the tail, if in dire need to turn on a dime. Yet, fairly quickly after the tail starts it begins to taper off into a thin, yet strong and powerful whiplike line, with only one natural broad curving circle, into which he often lies down at night.

His demeanor is bright, but, to human eyes, most likely quite formidable to behold. He has a direct deep stare, and a shine in his cheek when he turns towards the sun. Most of the girl dragons consider him to be a handsome young dragon indeed, though some consider him much too self absorbed and boisterous to consider serious for mating season. As yet, again at this time in our story, he himself feels too young to settle down, though, again, lets let the story tell itself, for those of you who really aren't that good at guessing!

And so, back to our chase. Edgar flies through the forest, dodging trees and stumps and monkeys hanging upside down by

their tails. The deer flies faster, but only just enough to keep running, panting and sweating, he looks to begin to tire. Then

under a fallen branch. Edgar pulls up just in time and soars above the trees. He can no longer see the hart. But, his monstrous ears are at work. They suck in so much sound that he can hear a twig branch break at the footsteps of a bunny and the quiet trill of a songbird. He breathes, slowly in and out.

And then, a slow movement in the branches. The hart is adventuring back into the underbrush. Edgar waits. His wings

beat ever so slightly and slowly and he hovers gently in the air.

The hart has seen him! Its darting to the south. Edgar turns on a dime and swoops back to ground level. At this point, just a whiff of fire could reach the hart, but that would ruin his repast. So Edgar follows as close as possible. And the deer

says, "Ok, Edgar thats enough for today".

So Edgar, slowing down, hovers to a halt and lands next to to deer. "Got your exercise, ok?" he says with a large, slightly smoky, dragon smile.

"A little more than I meant! I think I'm starting to get old", said his friend.

So they sat for awhile, by a brook and watched the sunbeams chase the waves. All the while they snacked on almonds and

apples and pears. Dragons love pears.

A little later that day, Edgar ran into his dragon friend Dennis. Dennis was a medium sized gray dragon, of a sleek

build, and with a strange birthmark on his left side. Because of this, most of his friends called him "spot".

"Hows it going spot?", asked the ever cheerful Edgar.

"Hot", said spot.


"Yes, Hot. I spent the morning laying down a new wall outside my cave and the noontime tearing it back down. I entirely

forgot to fill my water basin yesterday and I'm parched and hot and tired".

"Well, thats no good, my friend", said Edgar. "I've been running all day, but I've been sure to take a break or two.

Also, I ate the most marvelous piles of apples at lunch time. I feel great."

Spot looked weary. It was up to Edgar to remember that uncomfortable dragons are no exception the general rule: One

dragon's fortune does not make up for the misfortune of others. Particularly industrious hard working others like spot who have

only forgotten to bring along water on a hot summers day. Also, its impolite to change the subject. As related as Edgar's

comment might seem to Edgar, it was sort of off topic for poor parched and sticky spot.

But what to do? Edgar could think of no great water source nearby, having exhausted his own water backpack sometime

that morning, probably even before he started on his exercise run with Berry Bunny. He looked at spot, tired, dejected and

exhausted. He looked above spot a bit, into the trees, so green and and satisfied. It had, after all, been a good year for

trees. Plenty of rain, but not too much, plenty of sun and very little dangerous thunderous lightening to threaten their peace.

Edgar's gaze rose further, past the tips of the trees leaves and beyond a little cloud dancing merrily towards the sun.

The blue of the sky was perfect. Serence and cool, on a warm, no wait, for spot it was hot! on a hot, sultry, wonderful

summer's day. Too bad spot was so sad. Sad like the hill to the right, that was too short to reach the larger hill that lay to

its side, that nestled against the mountain that.. was it!

"Hey spot", said Edgar.

"Hey Edgar", said Spot.

"Race you over the mountain", said Edgar.

"No" said Spot.

"But you love to race", said Edgar.

"Not when I'm hot", said Spot.

"Whats a bit hotter?", this again Edgar.

"Much much too hot", quot Spot.

"I'm really really slow, as you know".

"No challenge, no again, another time"

"Aw come on"

"Cut it out now"

"But you like to"

"not now and you know it"

"Ok, I'll race myself" and then swish! Edgar pumped his wings once and was off. He smiled to himself as he flew. For Edgar remembered something about that mountain. Sure, on the other side of the mountain was a vast playground of sand dunes and palm trees and wind and heat, on a summers day like this. But at its base, so close that it was easy to miss, as a dragon floating so effortlessly through the sky, was a brook, a lake and some rocks. Magic rocks, that moved when you sat on them. The "chairs of Dragonia", they were called, because even a dragon could lie down in them just so that the rock felt like softest down. And your feel always rose to just the right level, based on how tired you were or how hard they

had been working.

So, over the mountain and then sharply down. Edgar accelerated by tucking in his wings and his legs and his arms

and then: "splash".

"It does feel nice, even to a moderately warm dragon like myself", thought Edgar.

Moments later, he was back near spot.

"Still hot?"

"Still hot."

"I'm not"

"You weren't"

"I was warm".

"Are you still?"

"Not at all".

"Good for you".

But then, Edgar shook his giant crown of a head and water slid off of it and around.

Finally, spot got the point: "Water", he said.

Soon, Edgar was resting on the his favorite resting stone and Spot was lazily floating in the lake.

"Friend", said spot.

Later, over large gourds of water as the sun drifted lazily overhead, the dragons began to discuss the rest of their

afternoon. Spot was interested in developing some more story material and had been reading a lot recently. He felt it was

time for an adventure. Edgar, on the other hand, would have been content to simply nap away all afternoon and enjoy the sun.

Even in dragonland, summer does not last forever, after all. But his friend had been through a difficult day. Also, Edgar

loved stories and adventure just as much as anyone else.

They spent some time discussing where to go adventuring, what sort of supplies to bring and arguing a bit over whether

the sand desert was just a nice place to build castles. Spot was still quite grumpy and and a bit difficult about the idea of

building castles that would just blow away in the next breeze. Edgar, however, knew better than to expect anything to last all

that long. He was a young dragon still, but he had lived his share of life enough to know more than that.

Finally, if they were going to do any adventuring yet at all today, they needed to start gathering supplies. They flew

east, with Spot taking a detour south after a half hour or so. One after another, fallen branches and tree trunks and twigs

began to pile up on the edge of a small stream. Curious about the activity, shy squirrels and woodchucks began to crowd around

the edge of clearing. At first they whispered to each other, speculating on what horrible fate the dragons planned for the

pile. What sacrifice might they have planned? After the sacrifice, would they burn and pillage and loot? Where they after nuts

or berries? The chatter volume began to rise. Spot smiled, he loved an audience.

Now, as a I mentioned earlier, the way these adventures generally worked, was that dragons read books to given them

ideas. Spot had been reading a lot lately, part of the reason he felt such a need to be active today and he had many ideas for

adventures stored in his brain at this point. Furthermore, he was a bit frustrated with recent adventures. They had been low

impact and the stories he was able to create from them, sadly weak and formulaic. This time he wanted an adventure to remember.

He wanted the critters of the forest to sense his presence almost before he arrived, next time. Thats how major this adventure

would be.

He croaked a bit of a belch in anticipation of this newest adventure. Steam turned momentarily to fire and then smoke

and the crowd scampered noisily in all directions. They naturally assumed, of course, that this part of the forest was about

to be turned to ash. Instead, however, Spot grabbed a tree trunk, propped it on a nearby rock and carefully considered it.

"This trunk is about 100 years old", he told Edgar. "It will be brittle and worn soon, just due to age. Not to mention

that it has been lying on the ground.. oh.. ", he concentrated and small rings of power bounced from his forehead, "4 months."

"But you can fix it", said Edgar.

"So, I can".

Meanwhile, a bird flying high above, felt the whiff of magic on the forest floor below. Cautiously, he began to circle

the clearing. Now birds do a lot of reading as well, much as dragons do. But its a bit different kind of readings than dragons

do. For, at least in dragon land, while dragons are the dreamers, birds are more like accountants. They scour their territory

constantly for opportunities to gather resources, but they are also constantly auditing and sheparding those resources. So,

at night, when they return to their nest, much of their time is spent balancing and calculating and much of the rest of that,

beyond their slow careful feeding of their young, consists of reading about new techniques and procedures that can help them

better organize or forecast future options and risks.

This particular bird, as well, his name was Nathan by the way, did not trust dragons one bit. Some birds trusted dragons at least to be wasteful, but Nathan had also read the occasional human book, before tearing it up and adding its useful pieces to his nest, so he had more sophisticated ideas than many other birds about the nature of the activities occuring below him on this fine summer afternoon. Thus, when Spot started to fix the old tree trunk with a bit of magic,Nathan's imagination began to transform that trunk into a mighty weapon, aimed right at the heart of his berry foraging

grove. "They will knock it all down and trample it," thought Nathan, " I must tell the others" and with that, a swoop, a light cry, because he didn't want to alarm the dragons, a turn and he was off to find certain friends he hadn't seen in some time.

Now, when a dragon is concentrating, he might just notice such consternation, even in so small a neighbor and even at such a distance, particularly if he used his magic to commune with his surroundings on the first nagging detection of concern. But when a dragon is concentrating too hard on a particular task, such as forming an old tree trunk into a newer and stronger one, sometimes his concentration on other matters grows just a bit weaker. And sometimes his first detection of trouble might just fail to rise up to his consciousness as it should.

So it was this time with Spot. Edgar, in fact, did feel something was somehow just a bit wrong, just for a

moment. Yet he was enjoying the afternoon so much that he decided to ignore the feeling, unless it came back.

Sadly though, deciding is not always the same as doing. While Edgar succeeded in keeping himself from

exploring the cause of the disturbance in his surroundings, the thought continued to nag at him all day. So

he decided to talk a bit more and drown out the sound of his own mind for awhile through conversation.

"Where did you get the idea for this adventure, spot?", he asked.

"From a book of course, Edgar..", spot not wanting to be bothered in the midst of his work, hammering a

wooden nail into a carefully crafted notch joint.

"Hmmm... ", Edgar though about the kinds of books that Spot read. In a way, all this carpentry did fit.

Of course, the battle had not yet begun. The weapons and ammunition were being crafted first. Then organized and placed carefully so as to be ready to be deployed. It would be a quite an impressive battle indeed, like man against nature, but here, of course, it was dragons.

And the enemy, a massive force that had been marching down this valley all day. Swift and powerful, it seemed unlikely that even two dragons would have a chance against all but the smallest part of it. At least in one day. That was one advantage to being dragons though, they would certainly live to fight another day, almost no matter the strength of this particular foe.

And so the sun began to make its slow course from the very tip top of the sky it had inhabited at lunch time, bit by bit, away behind the mountain in the distance, after passing merrily through a high fluffy white cloud, which nevertheless dimmed it hardly it all. The foe was beginning to show his weakness by this time as well. It was from the air! This particular foe was helpless against arial attack. The dragons glided and swooped and hovered and delicately placed the elements that would tame this raging torrent.

Meanwhile the birds slowly and quietly congregated around the clearing, safely on the opposite side of the river, however. Edgars dragonsense again picked up, but now the two were close to completing their afternoons quest and he failed to investigate yet once again, despite the nagging sensation that had bothered him for hours.

"Well, they have done it now", said Nathan, “We are going to have to recount everything.”

A horned owl sat next to Nathan on a high branch, ready to give the order to attack, if the situation seemed warranted and the risks not too high.

Meanwhile. Edgar and Dennis' bridge now spanned the river. The river, unharmed from the afternoon's activity was now less of a harm to those who wanted to cross it.

Dennis was carefully painting a pair of signs to be placed at either end of the bridge. They welcomed pedestrians of all sorts, while tactfully reminding others that the rules for this bridge were that it was to be reserved for those who walked. Vehicle riders could choose to walk their vehicles across, if that would not be damaging to the bridge or unduly block the pedestrian traffic.

At the bottom of the sign, there was a brief acknowledgement and reference to Dennis' book: “Principles of Sound Bridge Design”.

What did you think Dragon's read for inspiration?