Here's some pictures from our Sea World excursion last week end. Pictured is our newest grandkid, PJ (age six) the son of my newish son-in-law, Paul. It was PJ's first time seeing the dolphins from an underwater vantage point. He was totally absorbed. There is nothing like seeing a place you've been many times before renewed through the kaleidoscope vision of a child. Believe me, it made the trudging through the nearly 100 degree heat and humidity worthwhile.
PJ, a budding photographer, actually took the first picture of a sea dragon on my Nikon. And speaking of dragon's, I am again working on the dragon story. This time, determined to finish it. With four grand children and Danny's little nieces and nephews to hopefully enjoy the book, I have no excuse not to finish! Yes, yes, I know that was a double negative. As Stephen King says, you can break the rules as long as you know them first. Or was that one of Jack Sparrow's lines? Nope, he said, 'hide the rum.' But, I digress.
It's too darn hot here and I am about to jump into the pool for a cool off. Before I go, here is a bit of the revised (again) story.
A long time ago, in a land now unknown
in an underground cave, lived a dragon half grown.
He was twenty feet long from his tail to his head.
His eyes in the darkness glowed fiery red.
The spikes on his tail were cerulean blue.
His wings were bright yellow, a beautiful hue.
The scales on his back were deep purple and green.
Though he looked very fearsome, he wasn’t so mean.
But dragons you know have a terrible 'rep'.
When they get around people they must watch their step,
For humans, through history, have proven to be
the dragons,implacable, dread enemy.
This fledgling dragon grew up on his own
as the name of his sire he never had known
and his mother was murdered, t'is sad to relate,
by a renegade knight who’s heart burned with hate.
A fierce dragon had eaten his cattle and sheep
torched his house and his family while they lay asleep
so he vowed he'd hunt dragons and kill every one
whether ice, sea, or fire, ancient or young.
The wee dragon's mother went flying one day
when knight was out hunting and glanced up her way.
Though she'd not done him harm he tracked her to lair
and in front of her hatch ling he slaughtered her there.
He'd have killed her child too but with her final breath
she burned up his sword, melted mail from his chest.
He ran shrieking away and he never came back
so the poor orphaned dragon survived the attack.
Through gloomy old chambers, he roamed all alone
reading sagas and histories and dragony tomes.
There were volumes on magic. He studied these too,
and the years kept on passing as the dragon child grew.
Here's another rough draft I wrote yesterday just before dinner that may or may not make it into the book. This is totally unedited, so give me a break on this one.
Even before The Beginning
He soared skyward towards the setting sun, amber wings flapping as the breeze caressed his iridescent emerald and purple scales with delicate fingers. He banked then rolled on the thermals, coasting towards the distant mountain peaks of Hibernia crowned in bluish-green haze.
“Yo ho yo ho,” he sang in a surprisingly tenor tone, “It's a dragon's life for me. Give me a sheep, a cow from the keep, and a summons from over the sea.Accounts of my demise are falsehoods and lies, told by humbugs, and tinkers and thieves.Its a dragons life, tho its one of strife, its a dragons life for me.”
Far below him on the edge of the darkening wood, a lone rider looked up in surprise at the sound, shielding his eyes from the glare with a mailed arm. Quickly, he reached down to pull a crossbow already loaded with a lethal looking barbed arrow from some sort of odd looking gear strapped to his mount.
As the dragon swooped lower, the man raised his bow and fired the arrow which whizzed through the air just to the left of the dragon's scaly right cheek.
“Whoops,” said the beast in perfect English, plucking the arrow from the air with a curved claw. He tossed it aside where it sank towards the earth below. “Missed me. Big mistake.” He sucked in a mighty gulp of already overheated summer air, turned his muzzle downward and blew it out accompanied by a flame.
“Yikes,” screamed the man as his horse bolted into the woods.
The dragon laughed as he torched a tree on the edge of the forest. He circled back toward the direction in which the rider had fled, cocking his head at the sound of shod hooves breaking bracken and fallen limbs as the man and rider galloped deeper into the wood. “Yo ho yo ho,” he sang, Its a dragon's life for me. Give me a horse keboob, a roasted knight, and a merrily burning tree.”
Hovering just above the treeline, he heard the sound of the horse's hooves growing fainter. “Missed you, you bugger” he sighed. “fair enough I suppose though, since you missed me.” He gulped a growing fireball back into his throat and burped smoke as he turned to resume his flight to the mountains. “Your pardon,” he said to no one in particular. Very rude burping without even a good meal to account for it.”
Somewhere, faintly, he could hear a sound that reminded him of someone knocking on a wooden door. He looked below. “No house there,” he mused. Not even a woodcutters cottage. Thus no doors. No knocking. No people. No danger. Probably just a woodpecker. On a rotten tree. Therefore, I shall resume my journey.” Flapping a wing, he began to hum again.
“Yo ho, yo ho, a dragon's life is fun. Give me a fight, mighty roar, a light and the silly men will run.” There was a ping, and a whoosh, and the dragon lurched to the left. “Ouch,” he said turning to look at an arrow sticking from his side. Another ping brought another another arrow this one in the wing, and he began to fall. “Oh no, he said, “there was more than one hunter. I should have remembered, Mother always said to look both ways before flying.”As the earth reached up to break his fall, he heard again the sound of someone knocking somewhere below.