Chad reached into his pocket and felt the little figurine he had just taken from the store. He couldn’t believe it, Doug was right, it was easy. He still felt kind of bad, but he figured it would go away soon, since Doug said it would.
When he got to the park, he pulled out the little dragon figurine and started to play with it. He made it fly and pretended to make it shoot fire on the fields below. He began to daydream about what it would be like to ride on the dragon, feeling the air on his face.
Suddenly he realized that he was in the air and the wind was pressing on his face. He looked down to see that he was actually riding the dragon. He ran his hands on its leathery scales and almost leaped for joy as he felt it fly toward the ground.
The dragon landed on a nice soft spot near a stream and got as low to the ground as he could. When he was done, he said, “Chad, you can slide off my back now.”
Chad did what he was told, amazed that this dragon spoke and knew his name. He almost forgot he could speak too, but then thought of a million things he wanted to ask this dragon.
“How did you become so real?” He asked finally.
“I became real to help you see that what you did wasn’t a good thing. You shouldn’t steal, Chad.” The dragon gently said. “By the way, my name is Susej.”
“Wait a minute.” Chad said, “How did you know my name and that I stole you?”
“Chad, I’ve always known you. I’m in all of your dreams and I’m with you everyday.” Susej said, “I know you really didn’t want to steal, so why did you?”
“I…um…well…that is….Oh, you wouldn’t understand. Doug is the only one who understands.” Chad said. “You just wouldn’t know what it is like to not be liked.”
“Chad, I do understand, and I do know what it is to not be liked. I know it isn’t fun, but there is someone who loves you very much, more than your parents.” He paused, letting Chad think about what he just said for a minute. “I know that Doug isn’t showing you very good things and I know that your mom and dad wouldn’t like what you did. Are you sure you want to keep doing what Doug is showing you?”
His voice was so loving and gentle that Chad couldn’t help but feel bad about stealing. He thought about how his mom and dad would feel and he knew he needed to go back to the store and give it back, but he was afraid.
“Susej, I’m afraid to take you back. What if they arrest me or something?” He said, almost in tears. His mind began to think of all of the bad things that could happen. “What if I just keep you and promise never to do it again? Then we can be together and I won’t get in trouble.” Tears began to slowly stream down his little face.
Susej drew closer to Chad and wrapped him in his wing. “I will be with you, Chad. You will be fine. Go to sleep now.”
Chad woke up with the figurine in his hand. He knew what he needed to do so he ran back to the store. He stood there for a few moments trying to get the courage to go in. He could hear Susej tell him he would be with him.
He headed straight for the old man at the counter and asked the man if he could talk to him.
“What would you like, young man?” He asked with a pleasant smile.
Chad swallowed hard then pulled out the figurine and set it on the table.
“I…I stole it, sir. I would like to give it back to you. I’m sorry.” He said, speaking slowly, trying not to cry. “I won’t do it again, I promise. Please don’t arrest me.” He pleaded, hoping this man wouldn’t send him to jail.
“I will take him back. Thank you for your honesty.” The man picked the dragon up lovingly.
“You me Susej, didn’t you?” He asked with a smile on his face.
“Yes sir, have you met him too?” Chad was intrigued.
“Why yes, when I was your age, I believe.” He said and they began to talk about Susej.
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