‘Well there’s your smoke and your so-called camp,’ Orion said sarcastically.
‘Yeah,’ Allan said dreamily. He was studying the pale-skinned animal with sheer delight as he was sure now, that
Orion’s wild guess was correct after all. Allan’s father had designed the most amazing dragons when he’d been alive and working with the TV station, but this magnificent reptile surpassed any of the boy’s wildest dreams.
It was beautiful beyond compare. Its scaly skin covered its body from head to toe and when it partially stretched one of its wondrous wings, the translucent skin shone like a web of fine silk along its long length. The creature also had a line of barbs that
travelled the ridge of its spine from nose to the tip of its tail, but they did not detract from the incredible sight in any way. In fact, this picture would normally scare the bejeezus out of most people … but Allan was in love. His eyes sparkled and
gleamed at the sight of the dragon, until the boy realised it was chained by its feet, to large tree stumps.
‘It’s being held captive,’ Allan said angrily, taking a step closer.
‘There could be a really good reason for that,’ Ernest remarked sensibly. He was staying where he was. He wasn’t too keen about getting nearer to the beast. He had this strange feeling, like he wanted to go running off, screaming like a big
soppy girl, in any direction that took him away from it.
Orion was cemented to his side. Silent and rigid!
Allan didn’t care what the other boys felt about the situation. He could see the
dragon was in distress; the life seemed to be draining out of its huge body and its eyes were muted and dull. Its head was slumped on the ground between its front claws.
‘It’s dying,’ Allan cried, taking several
more steps forward.
‘You might be the one to die,’ Orion finally spoke up, ‘especially if you get within biting distance.’
‘Nonsense,’ Allan responded. He wasn’t
feeling quite as fearless as he sounded, but he couldn’t just walk away from the beautiful animal and just let it fade into death.
The dragon lifted its head again and looked at Allan. It seemed to be pleading with him.
Allan moved a little closer … cautiously … but ever nearer. Soon he was close enough to touch the creature. He stretched out his hand and softly stroked its nose.
The dragon snuffled and Allan whipped back his
hand. ‘Sorry,’ he said gently.