Once upon a time there was a very little boy who loved to watch the flashing flares of lightning dance across the gloomy sky in the front of the deck of his home. He was a unique child, one of rare beauty, pure of heart, and full up to the brim with quirkiness. In those early days the booming drumroll of thunder incited much belly laughter to echo over the valley in front. The young one applauded with childish glee at the loud rumbling, and when it paused too long for his little boy patience he would clasp his hands together prayerlike under his chin and call out to the great beyond:
"More Bob The Builder Fireworks please God!"
Sadly his unadulterated pleasure in the magnificence of storms was lost as he grew older, and his cries were no longer of joy but of fear and terror. Until one amazing day he learnt of another wonder, and he began to believe in the magic of the unknown once more. Little by little, bit by bit.
Eldred was a dragon. Not just any old type of dragon mind you, he was a PRINCE of dragons. Large and handsome, his body shone with precious, silvery scales and inside that strong outer shell beat a huge heart that really and truly belonged to one very special boy, a blessed child known as Boy 1. This youngling had a heart so clean and pure and a smile so enchanting that nobody, not anyone at all who knew him, could resist. Certainly not Eldred, for he loved this boy with all his thorny dragon heart. Eldred was Boy 1's self-appointed protector from evil, determined to defend him to the death if ever needed. Which he hoped it wouldn't be because life was pretty good when you had a friend like Boy 1 and a thorny heart filled with mushy friendship love.
Eldred lived in a giant avocado tree in the boy's humungous mountain garden. Well, he actually only slept there sometimes, and on those nights his metallic coat could be seen flashing slivers of light in the reflection from the moonlight. Other evenings he gallivanted happily and worry free around the world, flying and frollicking with a multitude of guardians of the innocent. A posse of princely, prancing dragons, clumsily cloistering around clusters of clouds. Hidden by the puffy pillows of vapour, they happily gambolled, unseen.
Now obviously he would only do this during the times he was assured his Boy 1 was happy and safe and not in need of a dragon bodyguard. Or timidly calling him close, longing for a dragon ear to listen to childhood fears in the dark of a dim night when the shadows loom tall over little boys' beds. On those nights he stayed close, alert to the smallest whimper, waiting to be called, watching silently with a heart full of tenderness. Those nights, as the rain poured from black clouds and thunder shook the mount after lightning split the sky, he sat dripping dragon dropplets down the avocado tree. Huddled as the leaves of green shake in the wind, twisting and turning to reveal streaks of silver, his solid presence defeating the baddest of dreams.
He knew, see, that Boy 1 had been told a secret. Well, he should know for he was the one who did tell this secret. It was a really secret, secret; one that only those who are pure of heart are told. A dragon secret. A secret that made him feel very, very special, and helped him to realise the storms were not solely responsible for the things that scare little boys.
You see Eldred, though royalty, had a few little... shall we say... issues? Whilst he could usually smoothly fly hidden amongst the rolling clouds, sometimes when he was returning to visit his boy (who by the way lived high on top of a magical mountain in amongst a monstrous rainforest), well, sometimes in his haste he would clip a few of the towering trees, or snap a couple of the big, strong, weaving power lines that ran up the side of the peak. And in his frantic rush to return, sometimes, just sometimes, he flapped those massive silver wings so fast that the winds seemed to be about to lift the boy's house from the top of the mountain. Now, a lot of people may see these problems as not so good (mainly grown-ups with no remaining sense of the outer realms of reality), but Boy 1 actually found the flaws to be re-assuring. After all, nobody is perfect, not even dragons of royalty.
This knowledge allowed him to look back to his early days of innocence when a stormy night meant magic and joy, before he learned to fear and cower. The secret meant he knew it was going to be okay, that sometimes a storm wasn't the only reason lights went out. Now when the thunder roared he could hear Eldred's deep growls in response, for we all know the only time a dragon makes a sound is when it can be hidden by the loud thunder. When the lightning flashed it gave him a chance to look searchingly through the glass windows of his house to where the avocado tree stood, hoping to catch the flickering beauty of a reflection from the majestic silver scales. When gales blew around the outer walls of his home, he knew it was probably his dragon flying as fast as he could to get back to his boy. And on those rare times the power goes out? Well, he lights candles, chuckling at the clumsiness of a hasty dragon trying to get back from frollicking before he is too badly missed.
So next time a storm blasts into your lives, look deeply into the darkness for maybe you will catch a glimpse of a dragon, frantically flying past. Returning to his boy.
For Sonia, next time believe in a little of the magic of the mountain.