|Once upon a time there lived a small green dragon in a place called St. Hassell, on a tropical island in the Caribbean.|
The dragon's name was Quazz.
He was a grouchy sort of dragon. He had made up his mind that
he would only be nice on Mondays.
If I'm nice on Monday," he decided, "Then I won't have to worry about being nice to anybody on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday."
Although Quazz liked Mondays, he wasn't a very happy dragon. You see, what Quazz wanted most in the whole wide world, was to be able to breathe smoke and fire, the way the big dragons did. Breathing fire was very important to St. Hassell's dragons, because they weren't just any old dragons, they were coast guarding dragons. They used their fire breathing abilities to light the night sky and keep visiting ships from running aground on the island's coast line.
But Quazz couldn't manage to breathe fire no matter how hard
he tried. And that just made him even grouchier.
He took a deep breath in. Whoooooooooooooooop
And then out. Whuuuuuufffffffffff.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
This is just awful, groaned Quazz.
He tried again. He took a deep breath in. Whoooooooooooooooop
And he exhaled. Whuuuuuufffffffffff. Again and again, Quazz tried and tried, but the fire simply did not come.
Quazz wanted to be able to breathe fire very, very much.
The next morning when Quazz sat up in bed, he looked over
at the calendar and smiled a happy little dragon smile. Today is Monday,
my very favorite day, he said to himself.
He tossed back his blanket, (the one with the pictures of little green dragons all over it), and began to climb out of bed. All of a sudden, something invisible smacked Quazz gently right on top of his nose.
"AAaaaaaaaaahh! yelped Quazz, and he hopped back into his bed.
What in the world was THAT?" Quazz wondered.
He looked around the room. There wasn't a thing in sight. He leaned over and peered under the bed. There wasn't anything there either.
Quazz slid one little dragon foot off the bed and onto the
floor. So far so good. He scooted over and put both feet on the floor.
BONK! something invisible tapped him on the nose again.
"HEY," yelled a cranky Quazz. "Who did that?"
Look up here, replied a very tiny voice.
Startled, Quazz wondered "Up? Up? Up WHERE? He
looked up and around... then he rubbed his eyes in disbelief.
Sure enough, fluttering in the air, right above his nose was a tiny purple fairy.
A very, VERY purple fairy.
You are VERY purple! blurted Quazz.
"And YOU are very impolite, young dragon," said the little purple fairy.
"Excuse me," said Quazz,.".but who are you and what are you doing here?"
My name is Helena FireFairy, and I've come to help
I don't think I like purple fairies," muttered
Quazz. "Today is Monday , my absolutely favorite day. Purple fairies who
appear out of nowhere and smack somebody on the nose could ruin anybody's Monday.
I'm getting out of here right NOW!" a cranky Quazz announced.
And with that, Quazz decided to jump really high into the air so he could get away from Helena FireFairy. But he didn't do a very good job of it. He gave a mighty bounce on the bed all right, but when he did he caught his tail in the blanket, then he tripped, then tail crashed against his dresser, knocking his alarm clock over, and THEN Quazz landed with a mighty THUMP! right on the floor. OOOOF. He was still trying to run but he couldn't, because he was all tangled up in his blanket.
Whoa-a-aaa-aa! Quazz, settle down now," said the
little purple fairy. "There's nothing to be afraid of," she assured
him. "I won't hurt you. Be a nice dragon. I'm actually here to help you.
I can fix it so that you'll be able to breathe fire."
Quazz stopped struggling to get free of the blanket and sat up.
"You CAN?" he asked her in surprise.
"I can indeed," said Helena FireFairy. "But first, you'll have to agree to grant me a wish."
"Phooey, I knew there was a catch," Quazz snorted, I don't feel very much like granting wishes today," he said. "What I'm feeling is cranky. And besides," he said under his breath as he rubbed his bumped head, "I'm positive that I don't like purple fairies."
Helena FireFairy put her little purple hands on her little
purple hips. You DO you want to learn to breathe fire, don't you?"
"Yes," admitted Quazz.
"Well, then," she said. "You'll have to grant my wish, won't you?"
"Oh, double phooey," said Quazz. "Tell me what it is that you want," he grumbled.
"I want you to talk the Mayor into declaring a special holiday called Dragon Wednesday for your island.
"Why do I get the feeling this is not going to be a good idea?" Quazz grumbled to himself. "And what is it that I have to DO on Dragon Wednesdays," he asked.
"Every Wednesday for the rest of your whole entire life, you will have to be a good dragon, Quazz. You must also teach all of the little dragons on St. Hassel to do the same.
Quazz put his claws over his ears. I HATE to be good on Wednesdays! wailed Quazz. I'm already good on Mondays. And I hate to be good ANY day!
Helena FireFairy waited patiently until Quazz was finished
Nevertheless, that's what you have to do," Helena said. "But more importantly, she continued, you must also SHOW me that you are worthy of learning how to breathe fire."
"How am I going to do THAT?" whined Quazz.
Helena FireFairy ignored the whining. "You'll do this by giving a special gift to the people of St. Hassel, she said...something that will shine like the brightest light, to be seen by all.
Quazz sighed as he considered the proposal. He didn't much like the idea of being good on Wednesdays and he hadn't the slightest idea where he was going to find such a gift, but he really wanted to learn how to breathe fire.
You'll really help me learn to breathe fire? Quazz
asked, and he slowly took his claws away from his ears.
Wait a minute," he said..."Why should I believe a purple-faced fairy?
Do it, said the fairy, or you will forever be huffing and puffing with absolutely nothing to show for it but hot air!
"Oh...all right." he grumbled. "I'll do it."
So Quazz agreed to convince the Mayor to create a special holiday called Dragon Wednesday, and to be a good dragon, and to teach all the other young dragons to be good too.
Although he didn't realize it, Quazz actually did a very good job of teaching the young dragons to be good. And all of the dragons on St. Hassel turned out to be very happy, especially on Wednesdays.
It was not very easy for Quazz to be good, but Quazz wanted very much to be able to breathe fire.
There were many Dragon Wednesdays. Some Wednesdays, Quazz
forgot to be good. He was cranky instead. Some Wednesdays he was very,
very, VERY cranky.
I may never be worthy of learning how to breathe fire," sighed Quazz, "It's so terribly hard to be good."
Many years passed since Helena FireFairy first visited Quazz,
and he was growing bigger and bigger. Still he could not breathe fire. Soon
it would be his turn to guard his island's coast line and keep the ships from
running aground, but if he couldn't breathe fire for the ships to SEE, somebody
might get hurt.
Quazz thought and thought. Guarding the island was a very important job and Quazz had been looking forward to it his whole life. That's what coast guarding dragons DO, you see. Finally he made a decision and called the people of his island together, telling them he had an announcement to make.
My friends," he said, "I'm a young dragon who can't breathe fire. I can't protect our island unless I can do that. I am saying good-bye to you forever so that you can replace me with a fire breathing dragon who can guard your coastline and keep the ships safe!
Awwwwwwwwwww, said the people of St. Hassel. Cranky or not, everyone had always liked Quazz. He gave his friends a small wave and sadly waddled away, his ears and tail drooping.
Many many months had passed. Quazz was now quite far away
from St. Hassel. He had walked and walked, and then he had paddled in the water,
until finally he had settled upon a new island home.
Quazz made new friends, but he couldn't help but miss his old friends in St. Hassel.
One day, right out of nowhere, Helena the purple-faced fairy popped out of thin air, appearing right in front of Quazz's nose.
"Wow, I hate it when you do that!" yelped
a startled Quazz.
"Cheer up Quazz," she said. "You did a good thing."
Huh? Quazz replied.
Even though you left St. Hassel forever, your friends
there will always remember you as a thoughtful and unselfish dragon. You sacrificed
your own happiness to keep their island safe, and you kept your promise after
all," she said. "You gave a special gift to the people of St. Hassel,
Quazz, something that shines like the brightest light, to be seen by all. Your
concern for their safety truly was your special gift. You left, even though
you knew it would make you sad. Your pure, unselfish heart will shine just as
brightly as a beacon in the night in the memories of all the people of St.Hassel,
"You are indeed a worthy dragon," she told him. "And as a special gift, I have decided to grant you immortality.
Immortality?," inquired Quazz.
"Yes, Quazz," she nodded. "You are a dragon who will now live forever.
"Thank you," Quazz said politely.
"But what use will I be to anybody if I live forever but I still can't breathe fire?" he wondered sadly to himself.
"What makes you think you can't breathe fire?" laughed Helena FireFairy.
Young Quazz just shook his head and gave a great big sigh.
All of a sudden, a stream of smoke and fire escaped his nostrils and encircled his head!
again and again, went the plumes of smoke and fire. "HOOORAY!!!" he
"Look, Helena, look!" he shouted happily. "I can do it, I can DO it! I can really breathe FIRE!
The tiny purple-faced fairy grinned and took a bow.
"Use your gifts well, friend Quazz," she said, and POP!, just like that she was gone again leaving nothing but purple sparkles swirling in the air where she just been.
Quazz took a deep breath in. Whoooooooooooooooop
And he exhaled. KaWhuuuuuuffROOOOAAAARRRRR.
Quazz breathed and breathed. Whoooooooooooooooop
And he exhaled. WhuuuuuuffROOOOAAAARRRRR.
Oh Helena FireFairy," he whispered to the tiny purple
sparkles that were beginning to fade away. "Thank you ever so much for
believing in me. I'll always be a good dragon, promised Quazz.
Quazz grew strong, and so did his fire-breathing abilities. He was eventually able breathe such a bright stream of fire that he could light up the whole night sky and keep ships from running around on the coast line of his new island home.
But the story's not over you see. Because every once in a while, if you happen to be looking out to sea, you might notice a brilliant flash of light on an island far off shore. If you do, chances are, you might have just seen Quazz himself, breathing fire to light the night and keep the ships safe.
And although this story took place a very long time ago, he's still there guarding his island, because Quazz will never grow old, and he will never ever die.
About the Author: Sandra
S. Price is an elementary school teacher who makes her home on the island of
St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Writing has been Sandra's passion since she
was sixteen years old. She has written several poems and short stories.
The dragon? Well, you know how it is. They show up on your doorstep looking all sad and bedraggled, so you set out a bowl of dragon chow. The next thing you know they're guarding your coastline.
Write to Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org