By the time the people reached the base of the mountain they discovered food, lumber for shelter and other items as they might require as the dragon understood them to be. “How did this happen? Who could have done this? Is it for us?” Of course the dragon was not so foolish as to come out of hiding and say, “It was ME! Thank you very much.” They looked around and found no notes, letters or tracks for that matter. It’s as if the all this bounty appeared out of the air.
Day after day stretched on until the spring. The dragon managed to assist the people as they themselves grew stronger and more settled. You might ask how the dragon was never spotted. Dragons have a cloak of invisibility! Well we all know about cloaking. Even scientists today can manage a simple example of light bending. Light bends around an object and the object seems not to be there at all. Dragons are born with the skill. They can turn it on or off at will. Really! The dragon made sure the people were cared for and protected. And day after day they attempted to discover their great benefactor, to no avail. The Dragon cared for them as his own not looking for benefit or power. That was the dragon’s nature. It mattered little if the humans knew it was their “local dragon” who out of the kindness of his heart kept them alive in the first rough year.
As it was wont to happen, one day the Dragon, tired after his exertions, let his cloak fall as he rested under a great cedar tree. Where that tree came from in this forest I will never know. It was the biggest tree in the whole forest. There was nothing like it. It was the dragon’s favorite tree. He seemed to feel he some received nourishment from its perfume.
Around the same time the dragon was dozing two children came upon him. They had been wandering through the woods. The two looked at each other and back at the dragon and then to each other again. They smiled. They picked up some tree limbs and acting like soldiers began to attack the dragon. They were really too young t know better but old enough to know this was a good and proper action for the given situation. They were not afraid.
They poked and prodded, banged and yelled all sorts of things. They did a dance around the sleeping dragon. The dragon became aroused as one would by a fly buzzing around while one slept. He opened one eye to see just where this bothersome noise was coming from. He spied the two and let them continue their attacks for a while. Then he realized, “What’s all this! They can see me! How can they see me?” He realized he had dropped his cloak before he dozed off. He awoke fully, quickly and alert!
His head turned around to face his two attackers who were yelling and laughing until the two big dragon eyes bore down on them. The two children stopped immediately. The dragon inquired gently, “Children, just what are the two of you attempting to accomplish here? And more importantly, why?”
“You’re a Dragon,” the smaller of the two replied quickly. “Yes, and we are soldiers and we are supposed to slay you” said the other. Both were nodding in agreement.
The dragon breathed in a deep sad breath and sighed asking. “Why must you slay me? Have I done anything to harm you?”
“NO, you’re a Dragon. It’s the rules,” one of them shouted. They renewed their attack.
“Brave little ones,” he thought. “And who made those rules?” he was heard to ask over the clatter of their wooden tree branch weapons banging harmlessly of the dragons armored body.
The children never had contact with a real Dragon before. They had only heard stories about dragons. They stopped their attack. The two children looked at each other and back at the Dragon and each other. They shrugged their shoulders. “Just because,” said one. “Yes, just because,” said the other in joint agreement.
“Just Because is not a real reason for anything when you think about it, is it?” the Dragon attempted to reason.
The children had no answer and were puzzled. The Dragon gestured for them to sit, which they did with out fear. They sat by his tail and wondered what was to happen to them. But they were not worried. They had seen worse than a sleepy inquisitive dragon.
As if the Dragon could read their minds, “Well first, I’m not going to hurt you, just because.”
“And, I’m not going to hurt you for cause either. How’s that for starters?”
“OK. We like that,” Both of them said while nodding in full agreement. Intuitively they both knew if something bad were going to happen it would have occurred.
“GOOD.” The dragon smiled inwardly. Not that any one could tell from Dragon’s facial expressions anyway.
The dragon was now serious when he inquired, “Now answer me this, how did you two get here? Why aren’t you with your families?”
“That’s easy an one,” quickly said by the smallest. We are all looking for the person or people who gave us the food and supplies. They never show themselves. We think it’s magic. The adults don’t know what to think. They want to thank who ever it may be.”
The dragon thought, “That was a nice gesture but at this point in time I’m not sure anyone would believe me, less these two youngsters here. What to do?”
Instead he said, “Listen you two. I will help you find your benefactor.” ‘That’s a lie,’ he thought. ‘I have no intent of doing that, at least not now.’” He continued, “However you must never mention me or that you met me until I tell you. You may meet me here and I will have some information or some assistance for you, your family and your quest. If they ask simply tell them you found it under this tree. You won’t be lying since I will leave what I find and what you require under it. OK?” The dragon was unsure of this plan considering the fact that these two attacked him and they represented the group think of their kind. “I will chance it,” he thought.
“Yep we will,” they responded to his question.
“See you tomorrow. By the way what do you think the elders could use most?”
“BOOKS, nails, tools, supplies for household activities… and toys,” they added sheepishly.
The Dragon heard books! “BOOKS? What kind of books?”
“We’re not sure. We do want to educate everyone. Everyone reads writes, does mathematics and science. We have few books since we left our homes during the wars.”
Hmmm, thought the Dragon. There was the old abandoned city on the other side of the mountain there was a library. Somehow who ever designed it made it so the books and goods inside would remain in stable condition. The books were preserved. As was the town. It was the dragon’s second home especially in very bad weather. The forest was his first home with all the trees and animals.
Little did the Dragon know but his cloaking had an unintended effect on most any human that ventured near. For some unexplained reason the area seemed to be there and not there. No one took particular attention to anything and simply bypassed the whole place as if in a dream. Children were less affected but no one listened to children’s wild tales. So as a result the town just was. Dusty, dirty but preserved and whole.
The Dragon gave some thought to the requests. Basic requirements I can do easily enough. Books are another question for other reasons. He would have to guide someone to the library. That would take some doing and trust. Trust would have to earned from by the dragon and less so by the children.
Over time the dragon supplied the settlers with less and less. He was able to observe they were able to fend for themselves rather well. He also noticed these people were not warlike as the others he had met in the past. He chalked up the initial rude awakening he experienced by the two children to their past experiences and cultural myths. The two children met him every now and then. He was polite but careful knowing quite well what humans were capable of doing especially when they were afraid.
As the children grew older and bolder they asked more specific questions. The Dragon answered as best he could to describe in detail aspects of his existence that no one ever knew.
The Dragon had some questions for them too. For example he wondered how they got away with the level of chores he noticed everyone else doing. And why weren’t they missed on these long excursions from home? So one day he inquired.
“We’re Jews . Some of us in addition to the physical work you have noticed, have a duty to teach. All of us have a trade or business. But as we said we have been chosen to become teachers for our people. Parts of our lessons are to go around and explore our surroundings, discover all there is to discover and uncover. We are trusted and not questioned too much. We have to write stories, relate to our work linking back to the older books and making relevance to our times. We, like all of our people, are given lesson in mathematics, sciences, the arts and other incidentals. To answer directly, we were chosen and we are free to go about as we please.”
The older of the two began, “We must tell you that meeting you, AND your very existence, has altered some of our preconceived ideas which leads us to question the basics from which we take root.”
The Dragon was amazed. “Those are big and wise words for such young children to say nothing of adults. Maybe they are special and have been recognized as such. I can only imagine a world of such minds.” He was more and more inclined to show them the old city and the books. As of this time he had not. As he was deciding upon a correct and safe method for this he asked, “Children are you still searching for books?”
“Of course. Always. We love them and what they bring to light good bad and otherwise.”
“Come sit on me and I will transport you to a place where there are more books then you can ever read in a lifetime. It’s not too far as the dragon flys,” he said with some humor. “Yes, no, maybe another time? It is up to you.”
The older of the two put hands on hips looked up straight into the eyes of the dragon who I have not mentioned was a more content being than ever before he could remember. “YOU are a dragon. And up until now you are the first dragon we have ever met. You are supposed to eat us or enslave us or do something terrible horrible. But you haven’t.”
The younger child said to the dragon, “We questioned the concept of DRAGON with the elders one time. They told us You are not supposed to exist. You are supposed to be an allegory of some kind for the myth structure of the general society according to them.” They continued to explain their logic. They concluded, “that being the case we said no more to them. However here you are! You do exist. Your existence and habits are contrary to our myths. In conclusion, and based upon the contradictions we feel safe. Yes we will go with you.” And off they flew.
They flew high and wide. The Dragon wanted them to see their world from his vaunted position as a sky animal as well as their land perspective. They flew to the abandoned city. He circled around it so they could take its size and direction from their home. They landed in an open old park. The streets were dusty dirty and like any abandoned city except things were intact. Oddly there were no broken windows, though there were rats and cats and bats along with a few dogs. No thing appeared to fear anything else and all the animals seemed to know the dragon. It was almost as if by the very fact that these beings were escorted by the dragon they were safe.
The Dragon led them to the library. They knew what it was immediately and squealed with delight. The library was the dragon’s favorite building. This was his home. He lived here. He read here he loved HERE. The Dragon knew great knowledge. Some he was born with. Other knowledge and wisdom he acquired in his home, here.
The two gasped as he opened the doors. They were huge. The building was one of the larger ones on a strangely designed city grid. It was flanked by two other great buildings with a road leading straight down to yet other impressive structures with dusty monuments. As they walked the halls and stacks they knew the elders had never seen anything like this in their lives. There were stories about places like this. Everyone thought they were just that, stories.
After many hours of pouring through the stacks they had to return home. Not wanting to leave they set up another time to come with the dragon. The Dragon smiled inwardly. He had to fight fear and prejudice to protect and hide his treasure. This was his treasure, the library. And now he had an even greater treasure, someone to share all this with. He did a loop the loop, a barrel roll and finished up with a cobra stall to a controlled glide in, wings wide and a gentle flare. Plop. The children were laughing all the way.