Thursday, March 25, 2010

George and the Dragon

In honor of the release of "How to Train Your Dragon," about a boy named "Hiccup" and his dragon, I give you a poem I wrote five years ago about a boy and his dragon with the hiccups! Enjoy!

In the days of knights and ladies,

In the lands of Kings and Queens,

(When the fairies still made bargains

And there still were magic beans),

In a house beside the river,

On a bed inside his room,

Sat a lonely little lad

As sad and silent as a tomb.

All day long he'd sit and sigh

With no activity in sight.

"Gentle George," his parents called him,

Wouldn't tumble, wouldn't fight.

Wouldn't venture to the woods

To taunt the trolls and tree-sprites there.

Wouldn't hunt and wouldn't gather,

Didn't bother, didn't care.

Mom worked all day at the bakery,

Dad hammered at the forge.

What a lonely little life

For sitting, sighing, Gentle George.

'Til the day he heard a scrabbling

At the door that led outside,

So George took a break from sighing,

Grabbed the latch and opened wide.

What he saw gave him a shudder

Mixed with wonder, awe, and fright.

On his doorstep stood a dragon

Nearly seven times his height!

Shining scales and tearing talons,

Wicked wings and thrashing tail,

Yet its eyes were slightly watered

And its face was drawn and pale.

What could ever harm a dragon?

Was it injured? Was it ill?

Could the symptoms of a syndrome

Leave it green around the gills?

George looked closely at the dragon

For a clue that he could pick-up,

When at once, from deep inside it

Burst a single flaming hiccup!

Gentle George jumped back and cowered

As the flames just missed his head.

If he hadn’t moved so quickly,

He’d be “Crispy George” instead!

Still, he didn’t slam the door,

Or try to harm this giant beast.

It was sick, and sad, and lonely . . .

George would try to help, at least.

So he took it to the yard,

(For flaming hiccups stay outside),

Where dear George sat down and leaned

Against the dragon’s scaly hide.

“Tell me, dragon,” George inquired,

“How your troubles did arise.”

Then he ducked a blaze and watched

The dragon’s pantomimed replies.

“Oh, I see,” our George responded,

As the jet of flames died down,

“With no way to hold your fire

You’ve been chased from town to town.

If you found a cure for hiccups

You could go back home to France,

But nobody helps a dragon,

So you never get a chance.”

“Well, we’ll see what we can do,”

Said Gentle George to his new friend,

And he led the sheepish dragon

To the river ‘round the bend.

“Stick your head in,” George suggested,

“Drink it deeply, sip it slow,

Water washes out the hiccups . . .

They’ll be gone before you know!”

So the dragon drank the river

‘Til the bed was brown and dry.

Then they waited and they watched

In hopes the hiccups had passed by.

For a moment, nothing happened.

Not a single spewing scorch.

Then, to break the stony silence,

Came a hiccup like a torch!

“Well, the water didn’t work,”

George said, while putting out his hair.

“Maybe I could try to give you

A surprising, shocking scare!

If I jump out from the bushes

And I holler, yell, or scream,

You’ll forget about your hiccups--

They’ll drift outward like a dream.”

So George put his plan in motion,

But the dragon found it fun!

It’s so tough to scare a dragon

Who outweighs you by a ton.

This would never help the dragon,

It would never do the trick.

Gentle George thought long and hard--

Oh, how on Earth to cure a “hic” ?

“Hold your breath?” he offered weakly,

“But be careful not to choke.”

So the dragon held it in

Until his nostrils filled with smoke.

But the hiccups happened anyway,

More heated than before.

Gentle George was out of options,

And he slumped down on the floor.

“Well, we tried out every plan I had

To free you from your fate.

Since you’ve still got flaming hiccups,

We’ll just have to sit and wait.”

So the giant beast and Gentle George

Spent all day on the lawn,

Finding ways to entertain themselves

Until the “hics” were gone.

They played checkers, chess, parcheesi,

And a round of “pick-a-card,”

‘Til the hiccups burnt the board games up

And left the card deck charred.

Then they acted out a play

That Gentle George wrote in his room.

While the dragon played the princess,

Gentle George was “Captain Doom!”

They got cheers and raves and whistles,

And so much applause was heard

That they had to give an encore

For two chipmunks and a bird.

Then George got his mother’s china

And her special flowered pot,

And they joined their fans for tea and scones,

(The dragon kept them hot).

So they talked and laughed and drank and ate

And sang their favorite songs,

‘Til the sun began to settle

In the West where it belongs.

One by one, the little animals

Retired to their lairs,

Where they snuggled in for naptime

With their tiny teddy bears.

In the meantime, Gentle George discovered,

Much to his delight,

That the dragon’s face looked healthy

And its eyes were sparkling bright.

It had been at least an hour

Since the dragon blew a blaze,

And he seemed at last to have moved past

This horrid hiccup phase!

“After all your toil and trouble,

After all that you’ve endured,

You can go,” George told the dragon,

“Home to France. Hooray, you’re cured!”

Well, the dragon wagged his tail

And smiled a smile of utter joy.

Then it gently wrapped its wings

Around the beaming little boy.

As it flew off to the hills of France,

George marvelled at his guest.

Then he cleaned the dirty dishes

And he went inside to rest.

Mom and Dad would soon be home,

And they would peek inside his room,

Where they always used to find him

Sitting, sighing in the gloom.

But tonight, what they’d discover

When the looked inside, instead,

Was their son, sweet and exhausted,

Sleeping, smiling in his bed.

Who knows what he’ll do tomorrow?

He might find a giant’s keys.

He might babysit a pixie,

Or bring blankets to the trees.

He might teach a gloomy gryphon

How to juggle, grin, and dance.

He might even buy a ticket

For a ferry bound for France.

Though George still is calm and gentle,

He’s no longer sad and grim.

Since he wouldn’t seek adventure,

His adventure came to him.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, "the hiccups burnt the board games up"...but no matter, Gentle George helped the dragon AND himself! This is lovely!