A Tale For The Children
Robert A. Boyd
Robert A. Boyd
Everyone knows, of course, of the grand and magestic race of Dragons. Powerful, wise, terrible: the greatest of all living things of the earth. And yet, though they are reknowned in legend and song, how many of you have ever seen an actual real live Dragon? What, then, became of these wonderous beings?
"But why must you leave?" asked the King of Dragons. "Is this world not beautiful? Cannot the Elves stay and aid in its healing?"
"The world belongs to Man now," the Elfin Queen said, sadly. "We have tried and failed. We cannot save them, and our two people cannot live together, so we go in search of a world to call our own."
"Man is evil!" the Dragon King roared.
"No. They are merely ignorant. They think only of power and how all things of the earth may be bent to their will, but they are not evil."
"We shall crush them!" the Dragon King said. "Our firey breath shall burn them! We can yet win the world from them!"
"You could. And you would become as they for doing so." The Dragon King was silent, for there was no answer to her wisdom. "They are a lost people. They do not know of the beauty and purity of nature. There is only one path they may follow to save themselves, and it falls to you and your people to show them the way." And with that, reluctantly, she laid her Power upon the Dragon folk.
The King of Dragons stood silent as the Charm took hold. He knew fully what the Elf intended, and he understood the wisdom of the Elfin folk, but the sacrifice his people were being called upon to make was a fearful one. No more would they be the Lords of Earth and Sky, no more instilling awe and fear in all who beheld them, no longer the stuff of legends. He could not help but shed a tear for what was about to pass into the shadows.
"It is a hard thing we ask of you," the Queen said. "For you must abandon your great power and become the meekest of all things of the earth. Only thus can you show them the path they must follow." But it had to be, for the earth could not long endure unless Man turned aside from his folly.
"You will ever be blessed," the Queen added. "For there are more measures of greatness than power."
The Dragons were changing rapidly now. Gone were their great size and crushing strength...
...gone were their leathery wings and scaley bodies...
...gone were the terrible claws and mighty teeth.
"It is for you to show them the beauty of nature." She held the Dragon King aloft. "I pray you can succeed, for if you cannot lead them from their madness, none will. And this beautiful world will be forever lost."
And the Enchantment was complete. The Dragon kindred fluttered about them, wings of white and orange and gold flashing in the light, furry antenna sensing the world in strange new ways. And perched on her hand, as befits a King, was the greatest of them all: the Monarch...
...the Monarch butterfly.
As a parting Gift, she laid an Enchantment of Serenity on the Dragon King and his folk, that they not regret their past glory.
"Go!" She tossed him to the sky, sending him dancing in the sunlight. "Go forth and conquer!"
And that, my young Lords and Ladies, is what became of the great race of Dragons.