Once there was a gallant knight,
Who said, to a Dragon, “Beware, foul wight!
For I have come to slay your kind,
And steal what treasure I might find.”
The Dragon said, “You lack acumen;
A ‘wight’ is a ghost, or unlucky human,”
…but the Knight continued, as if he’d not heard:
“I heed not thy trickish word!”
“Note you this sword!” he did continue;
“It slices through the toughest sinew!”
The Dragon said, “Thy sword, I hail;
But I’d note I’m covered with armour’d scale.”
The Knight went on, “I have come hence!
And I’ve brought my own audience.”
And, indeed, in looking down,
The Dragon noted half the town.
They’d come out to see his end;
And to his funeral attend.
They cheered the Knight, and his actions spurred,
And they called the Dragon unkind words.
“You see!” the Knight, in triumph, cried,
“I now have many on my side.
We’re here to dispense righteousness
(And also, to loot thy treasure chests.)”
The Dragon then a sigh did heave.
“Are you sure you all don’t want to leave?
I don’t enjoy your smug disdain,
But I’d hate to see all of you slain.”
The crowd did boo. The crowd did laugh.
“Why, he’s a proud one, by a half!”
Said one wag, to loud applause;
The Dragon sighed, and clicked his jaws.
“I know our species are not friends
But must we work towards crosswise ends?
Leave me to my cave, and you to your lives
Everyone goes; everyone survives.”
The Knight then struck a Knightly pose
“Foul beast, too late – for everyone knows:
Dragons are sickly things, and weak
They’re scarcely smart enough to speak.
They do not fly. They breath no flame.
They’re easier than dogs to tame.
These things, our Bards have taught us well.
We know you’ve neither strength, nor spell.”
The Dragon shrugged and did let fly
A blast of flame more than twelve feet high.
The crowd, in turn, all eyes did roll.
“That’s just a trick,” the Knight did scold.
The Dragon said, “What do you believe?
What you’ve actually seen? – or the words you receive
From Bards, who (if I might remind)
Are not all truthfully inclined.”
The Knight cried out, “Now, that’s enough!
Speak thy no more of this lying stuff!
We know what’s true, we know what’s real
Because what we’ve been told matches what we feel.
If a truth’s displeasing, then – forsooth!
That alone proves its untruth.
The World is easily understood:
Those we like tell the truth, and are good.
Those we dislike, lie, and all of those
We’ll someday hang by their big toes.
And so, weird lizard, thy words do grate!
And thusly shalt thou meet thy fate!”
So saying, the Knight’s great sword did slash
The Dragon’s belly, where it made…no gash.
Instead, it bounced – in fact, it bent,
A thing the Knight didn’t live to resent.
For the Dragon sighed, and took one inhale,
And swishing, a tad, his giant tail,
Breathed forth a flame so vast and huge
It was like some mighty, fiery deluge.
But it wasn’t rain; it was pure heat.
And it fried six tons of human meat.
The Dragon gave a sigh of consternation;
Now he had problems of refrigeration.
But a local Wizard, for a moderate cost,
Cast, in the back of his cave, a Frost,
and helped him moved the tasty remains
Of a bunch of humans with too-few brains.
So now, the Dragon’s catching up on reading,
And he’s got lots to chew if he needs feeding.
And as for the town, it continued to exist
And none of the mob were very much missed.
Need morals? To start, know that many a Knight
Looks good in armor, but ain’t very bright.
And: some lessons are cruel, and ain’t lenient:
Reality’s real, even when it’s inconvenient.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. I also tweet a lot over @darklordjournal.