Tark peered through the undergrowth at the cave. All
seemed peaceful and quiet. But appearances could be deceptive,
especially in the Forest.Tark had never taken on a dragon
before. He’d never even seen one. He was just a
common thiever and dragons were well out of his league.
No one below a knight, second class, would attempt such
an encounter. And yet, here he was.
‘Oi!’ Tark shouted as he approached the cave.
‘Dragon! Ya in there?’
‘Bring outs yar gold. I is ’ere ta takes
it from ya.’
A deep rumble came from the cave. Suddenly Tark wasn’t
so sure about what he was doing. A wisp of grey smoke
escaped from the mouth of the cave. Tark quickly drew
his cloak up around himself. A small burst of flame shot
from the mouth of the cave, right at him. Tattered though
it was, his cloak had enough power to protect him from
As Tark peered out from behind the folds of material,
the dragon emerged. It was a lot smaller than he had expected.
Tark had imagined a gargantuan beast with smouldering
eyes, smoking nostrils and enormous bursts of fire spewing
from its mouth.
But this dragon was only about twice Tark’s size,
and Tark was not all that tall. Its eyes were round and
blue; its scales, azure and shimmering; its snout, short
and somewhat squishy-looking. It was hardly what he would
call fierce. ‘Cute’ seemed a more apt descriptor.
‘Wot kind of a dragon is ya?’ asked a puzzled
Tark, lowering his cloak.
‘What kind of a knight are you?’ retorted
the dragon, slowly shuffling along towards Tark.
‘I ain’t no knight. I is a thiever.’
Tark puffed out his chest proudly.
‘Lords of Fire preserve us,’ sighed the dragon,
rolling his eyes and coming to a halt three armslengths
from Tark. ‘What has our little forest realm come
to, when a common cutpurse with delusions of grandeur
comes to steal from a mighty dragon?’
‘Yeah well,’ said Tark, hand taking hold
of the sword’s hilt under his cloak. ‘Ya don’t
looks too mighty from where I is standin’.’