A Dragon’s Hoard

There are three primary misconceptions about dragons.  The first has to do with a dragon’s hoard.  Despite what has always been believed, a dragon’s hoard didn’t have to be gold.  Oh, it could be, certainly.  On more than one occasion it was.  However, for the most part, this was a rumour, spread by the hunters to gain the help of the greedy.

You see, for a dragon, the hoard had nothing to do with value (as we humans perceive it), but about the collection itself.  I knew of one dragon whose hoard was rocks.  Not even particularly large or colorful rocks.  Simply, rocks, such as you could find anywhere.  Another dragon made a hoard out of waste and refuse, accidentally creating the world’s first garbage dump.  Though the surrounding cities and villages were the cleanest by far, none wanted to live downwind from her lair.  A third dragon had actually made an attempt to hoard water, and was in the midst of diverting a river to his home, before a clever villager showed him the beach (where the dragon happily lived out the remainder of his days).

Another misconception about dragons is that they are violent.  Not so.  Dragons attack under one of two circumstances.  When they (or their family) are threatened or when their hoard is threatened.  I have never seen a dragon go out of its way to willfully harm any living creature, unless that creature attacked it first.  In fact, one enterprising city actually formed a lengthy partnership with a dragon.  In exchange for adding to the dragon’s great hoard (in this case, books), the dragon would protect the city from invaders.  This was a price the dragon paid happily since, from the moment the citizens started adding to her hoard, she perceived them as family.  This story, unfortunately, has a very sorry end (I won’t go into details, as I’m sure you’re already familiar with the tragedy of the Library of Alexandria).

The final misconception about dragons is that they no longer exist.  This, I can assure you, is a complete and utter falsehood.  Oh, there’s far fewer of them, certainly.  They’re also much smaller than they were in days past (imagine, the size of a canine, rather than an elephant).  Their hoards have changed too, and they’re much sneakier about collecting them.  I’m personally acquainted with two dragons, one of whom collects socks, another of whom collects keys (this latter dragon I met when he attempted to make off with my keys!  I was able to retrieve them, most fortunately, by purchasing him a key cutting machine.  Now he only borrows keys, and adds the duplicates to his hoard).

I was a child when I met my first dragon (the first of several, as it would turn out).  He was young, just as I was, and very curious (just as I was).  His collection, I would come to find, was trees, and his hoard was the very forest that attached to my backyard.  I’ve tried, many times, to write this story, but each time I came across one major failing.  I was attempting to write my story, when I should have been writing his.  So, in honor of the Dragon of Alexandria, I commit pen to paper and our story begins.

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