Once upon a time, a great Dragon threatened a Kingdom. The Dragon threatened to destroy the land unless someone brought it a Princess of the Blood Royal to eat.
Dragons are larger than ten elephants, each standing atop the other. And unlike a stack of elephants, Dragons seldom have back injuries or inappropriate trunk incidents. The King urged the Knights not to go. The bravest would not listen, and almost universally rode forth, charged, and became tinned beef.
So it goes.
So it was time to meet the Dragon’s very traditional request: To consume the Princess.
But the Vizier to the king, a man who coveted the throne but had no interest in its endless tsurris (headachey is the head which wears the crown) – had an idea.
“What if the Dragon ate me before I finished my idea?” he thought. “Then I wouldn’t have to do any work, and the story would end very suddenly.”
[Sorry. The author’s browser crashed, and he had to come up with an ending on short notice. Here’s what actually happened]:
“Dragons are unbelievably intelligent,” he thought to himself, “and they regard as as incomprehensibly stupid. Which, in and of itself, is pretty decent proof that they’re as smart as they think they are.
“But,” he continued, practicing the monologuing skills which are, ultimately, some of the hallmarks of a really grand Grand Vizier, “Dragons are essentially unaware of human structure. They do not know, and certainly would not care, about the complex (and ofttimes fraudulent) genealogies which create royalty. If I offered the Dragon my OWN daughter, he’d naturally assume that I, myself, was King. And the King wouldn’t want to contradict a Dragon.”
The Dragon and the Grand Vizier’s Daughter both looked at the Grand Vizier. “We’re right here, and you’re thinking out loud,” said the daughter.
“Is that a problem?” ask the Vizier.
“Not if the Dragon doesn’t mind,” said his daughter.
The Dragon yawned, vaporizing the Vizier in an instant. “Nah,” he said, “I really don’t care which humans I eat. We just claim it’s royalty for bragging rights, the same way some members of your kind take inexplicable pride in lying about the size of the seafood they’ve managed to pull out of the ocean.”
“Got it,” said the daughter. “You want to eat me, too, or can I go?”
The Dragon smiled. A delicate claw picked up the Grand Vizier’s helmet, which, being made of the kind of gold and precious gems which are immune to Dragon fire, on the grounds that Dragons spent many millennia making sure they didn’t incinerate their own hoards. “You’ll be needing this,” he said. “I’ll be back in about 20 years. Be sure to have a daughter.”
“Would a bunch of roast chickens stuffed into a really fancy dress do?” asked the Vizier?
“It’s preferable, actually,” said the Dragon. “Humans are every bit as delicious as they are kind, loyal, and friendly.”
And the beast flew off.