Saturday, 5 November 2016



“Oh, oh,” said Miss Grey. “What have you children made up out of your imagination and now sits there between your desks?”
“You can see him too Miss?” asked Amy
“We told you he was real.” said Michael.

The children started laughing and talking all at once. And “hah, hah, hah,” and “ho, ho, ho,” went a deep grumble voice.

Miss Grey makes a decision.

“I can’t see him properly,” said Miss Grey. “You will have to show me just what he looks like. Jack you get out the paints we were going to use for the school Parent Day candy floss stall. Janice the brushes are in the sink-bench cupboard.”

“But what are we going to paint his picture on?” says Marie in a tearful voice. “He’s awfully big.”

Miss Grey, just for a moment, shuts her eyes and takes a deep breath. Everyone goes quiet and waits.

“Well he is such a wonderful dragon,” she says, “and he is very big – I think we need the whole outside wall of the school hall to paint him on. But…”

No one is moving. But what?

“But the dragon is going to have to help us.
Can he put up a screen so no one can see us while we paint? Can dragons do that?”

And obviously dragons can, even imaginary ones.

Look at his feet, his eyes, his shiny every shade of red striped scales, the happy tail and that long, long fire-engine red tongue with a purple stripe down it. What a magnificent portrait of a dragon is staring out over the school playground.

And there is the Headmaster in front of the painting talking to a crowd of reporters. “I don’t know how it happened. It just appeared. Yes, well I think it can stay because the children seem to be very attached to it.” And the reporters wrote down lots of notes of what the Headmaster said and took some photographs of the dragon on the wall. Then they went away and printed the story of the magic dragon in all their newspapers. The story of the magic dragon even appeared on the television news that night.

The children are not saying anything. Neither is Miss Grey. She has put a large brightly painted chair, right beside hers just for the dragon so he does not take block the classroom aisle. And first thing every morning, before they open their school books, she reads a special story (sometimes they are about dragons) or the class sings a happy dancing song just for their dragon.

“Thank you. Thank you,” replies the dragon in a deep grumble voice. 

Chapter Two
How The Red Dragon Gets His Name.

It is a Tuesday morning and as she promised, before the lessons start, Miss Grey reads the class the second chapter of a story about a boy called Jack and a bean seed. Then it is time for the class attendance roll. She starts with Amy. “Amy?” “Here Miss says Amy. She goes down the list of pupils calling out their names Andrew, Assad, Barry, Ben – she has just got to Jack when she hears a loud sniff, then another.

“Miss, Miss.” Everyone has got their hand up. “Miss, the dragon is crying.”

Miss Grey turns to the chair beside her. “Are you crying Red Dragon?” she asks.

The red dragon gives an even louder snuffle and replies, “I haven’t got a real name. I am just called the red dragon.”

Miss Grey looks at the class. Everyone looks back with a sad face. She thinks that naming a dragon could take all day. “Yes of course. The dragon needs a name. But it has to be a big name, an important name, a grand name, a name that immediately says it is a dragon’s name.”

Suddenly the room is full of excited voices calling out names.
“Shush,” says Miss Grey. A dragon’s name is too special to rush. For your homework tonight you are to think up a special name and tomorrow we will write up the best names on the blackboard and the dragon can choose his favourite one.

to be continued

Copyright:  l.e.hunter

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