Sam and the Dragon
By Eric B. Thomasma
Edited by A. Reilly
A long time ago, there were a lot of dragons around. But as time passed, there were fewer and fewer until there were hardly any left. Some died of old age. Some were killed by knights in shining armor. And those that didn’t die began to hide away where no one could find them.
Since they had to hide all of the time, they began to change. They became smaller and smaller until they were no bigger than a little boy. A little boy like Sam.
Sam lived in a town where the weather changed with the seasons. Every fall his family would pack up all of their belongings and move way down south where it would be warm in the winter. Sam didn’t like moving south in the fall and back in this spring.
One day while his family was packing, he said to his mother, “I don’t want to move south for the winter. I want to stay home.”
His mother told him, “No, we can’t stay. We would freeze to death.”
But Sam did not believe her because he had never been there when it was really cold out. Sam tried to convince his mother that it would be okay to stay. He said, “It doesn’t get really cold. That’s just a myth like dragons and unicorns.”
His mother asked him, “What makes you think unicorns and dragons are a myth?”
“The old men in the Town Square said it,” Sam replied.
“Well, the men in the Town Square don’t always know what they are talking about. Unicorns and dragons are real, and it gets very cold in the winter,” Sam’s mother said.
Sam decided he would stay home anyway. When the town began its journey South, he hid so no one would notice he wasn’t with them.
But when it started to get cold, Sam was very sorry he didn’t listen to his mother. He became colder and colder and was very close to freezing when he heard the front door open. Thinking that his parents had come back to get him, he rushed into the front room.
In his excitement Sam almost ran right over the little dragon that had come in. Now, Sam had never seen a dragon before so he didn’t realize what it was. Sam demanded, “Who are you and what are you doing in my house?”
The dragon replied, “My name is Ferness. I’m a dragon and I always stay here when the humans go south for the winter. Why didn’t you go south with the rest of the Town?”
Sam said, “I didn’t believe them about winter, so I stayed behind. Now I wish I had listened. I’m cold and miserable and I’m sorry I stayed.”
Well, Ferness felt sorry for Sam so he blew some warm breath on him to help him get warm. This made Sam feel better. He decided to be friends with Furness. The two of them stayed there in the house all winter long and had a very good time together. Sam kept Ferness company and Ferness kept Sam warm.
When spring came Ferness told Sam that he had to leave. He said, “People will be coming back and they just won’t understand about being friends with the dragon. After all, they think dragons are just a myth.”
Well, Sam didn’t want Ferness to leave so he said, “We could build you a little house in the basement and that way no one will know you are here.” Ferness liked the idea of being able to stay with his new friend.
Using some metal and other odds and ends, they build a little house for Ferness in the corner of the basement. They built it out of metal so Ferness wouldn’t accidentally start a fire.
Spring returned and so did Sam’s parents. They were surprised to find that Sam hadn’t frozen to death during the winter. When he explained how he had survived the winter, his parents wanted to meet Ferness. Sam took them down to the basement and showed them the little metal house they had built. Sam’s parents loved the fact Sam had made a new friend to stay safe during the cold months.
The next year’s winter Sam’s whole family wanted to stay home so they asked Ferness to come up and keep them warm. But Ferness didn’t want to leave his nice little house in the basement. He told them, “If you connect big pipes to my house and spread them to each room of your big house, I can keep you all warm all winter. So, they did what he asked, and that kept them cozy and warm all winter long.
The following spring when the rest of the Town had returned, they demanded to know the secret of how to keep warm all winter long. When Sam’s family explained, they each wanted a dragon for their own house. So Ferness sent word to all the other dragons and invited them to come and live in little houses in people’s basements and keep them warm in the winter. Soon all the people in the town had their own dragon.
Before long, word spread of the little town that stayed home in the winter. Shortly thereafter, dragons multiplied and were welcome to live nearly everyone’s home. Still, the men in the town insisted that dragons were a myth. They called the little dragon houses furnaces so they wouldn’t have to admit what they really were.
But we know better, don’t we?