Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: JAM (02/09/17)
TITLE: Return of the Emerald Dragon
By Holly Westefeld
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Lived some dragons, their home near the swift river's rush.
There they lovingly raised up their young to be strong,
And they taught them to tell what was right, and what wrong.
Many years had passed by since their emerald child
By the Council of Dragons was cruelly exiled.
From a trav'ler, invited to stay overnight,
They heard news of their kin and their terrible plight.
On the mountain, one night, greedy giants had crept,
And they trapped all the dragons in caves as they slept.
Said the grown-up green dragon, "We must go and try
To bring freedom to dragons. Now, come! Let us fly!"
From his siblings and parents great dragon roars rang,
As they followed his shimmering wings they all sang:
"Off to free aunts and uncles and cousins we go,
Though we perish in trying, at least we will know
That we perished in honor while doing what's right,
But we pray for protection, Creator of light."
They surprised all the giants, arriving at dawn,
For the indolent giants had not breathed a yawn,
So before most could have their long giant swords drawn,
They'd been snatched, and then over the cliff they had gone.
But the ones who remained guarded barricades high
That blockaded the mouths of the caves from the sky.
"You will never get through," the great giant king roared,
As he glared at the dragons, while swinging his sword,
"Til the Council of Dragons turns over their hoard,
Or we starve them, then plunder what dragons have stored.
So talk sense to your kin, or return whence you came,
Or we'll slay you with pleasure. This isn't a game."
Then the emerald dragon spoke words brave and bold.
"You would slay fellow creatures to steal their gold!
That is wrong, and it's you who had best leave before
We are forced, though in sorrow, to harm even more."
Then the dragons attacked, not the giants but walls
Made of stone to imprison their kin in their halls.
High above, through a crevice, a young hatchling heard
And he saw what was hap'ning and carried the word
To the Council of Dragons debating below
Which way out of this jam was the best way to go.
They had almost decided some treasure to cede,
An attempt to fool giants they hoped would succeed.
When they fin'ly permitted the hatchling to say
What he'd seen and he'd heard, they sent one right away,
Who confirmed what the hatchling had said was quite true.
So they quickly agreed upon what they would do.
They would pummel the barricades, fight from within,
To break out and give thanks to their rescuing kin.
In the meantime, outside, all the giants fought on,
Though through scales of dragons no blood had they drawn,
Til the king with his sword, a new angle to try,
Drove it deep in the emerald dragon's right eye.
At his scream, all his family turned on the king,
Sent him over the cliff with the whack of a wing.
With the death of their king the last giants soon fled,
But they feared that the emerald dragon was dead.
At that moment the dragons from inside broke free.
They immediately called their best healer to see
If the emerald dragon's young life he could save,
As he lay on the ledge just outside of the cave.
"Well, his eye can't be saved, but his life has been spared."
Before pulling the sword out, a salve he prepared.
He applied it to sooth both the shock and the pain.
Before long, he was conscious, and spoke with much strain.
What he asked was if all of the dragons were free.
"If they are, I'm okay with just one eye to see."
Soon the elderly Chair of the Council drew near.
"We all beg your forgiveness." "That's why we are here."
"We should never have sent you away as a child."
"But you must understand, had I not been exiled
There would not have been dragons to come to your aid.
Of your evil much good the Creator has made."
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