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.