posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 06:29 PM
Enthralled, the Baby looked at her mother's blouse and smiled – her first, ever smile.
Her Mother started to smile back but realised, with some disappointment, that the smile wasn't intended for her. It was aimed at the rather large,
red embroidered Dragon on the front of her blouse.
She sighed, every time she wore this blouse the Baby would stare at it, fascinated, for hours if she was allowed to. It was hard to feel resentful
because it did buy a bit of peace and quiet but there was always the pang of regret that the Dragon was garnering more attention from the little one
than the Mother could ever hope for.
The Baby gurgled and the Mother could almost swear that she was communing with the Dragon. Intently, the Mother looked at the Dragon, looking for some
clue as to whether it was, indeed, holding a conversation with her small daughter.
The Dragon moved slightly with her breathing and, for just a moment, looked for all the World as if it was alive and paying close attention to every
gurgle and bubble emitting from the Baby.
The Mother was an imaginative woman but didn't go so far as to give the notion any credence. She snuggled the Baby a bit, hoping for some reciprocal
warmth but the Baby reached out a tiny hand and caressed the Dragon's face. Somewhere, in the depths of her soul, the Baby knew that the Dragon could
offer her more protection throughout her life than her Mother ever would.
And so it proved to be. The Mother became a bitter and neglectful person as her marriage failed and, as her depression set in ever deeper, she failed
to provide the nurturing and guidance that her Child would so greatly have benefited from.
The Child found refuge in books – any that she could get her hands on - and read voraciously. She'd forgotten about the embroidered Dragon and
cocooned herself in her own little World of make-believe. She'd run through the woods and over the hills pretending she was riding a horse, but never
Until, one day... she was reading a book about China. Fascinated, she looked at the many beautiful illustrations of Chinese art: vases, clothing,
screens, a wonderful array. And, most of these items displayed Dragons. How she peered at those Dragons, how the Dragons seemed to peer back at her.
She imagined herself in conversation with them, asking them questions about life and trying to find answers to all the things that puzzled her. Was
it her Childish mind that provided so many answers?
There was one Dragon in particular that she kept coming back to, a beautiful Red Dragon who seemed more kindly than some of the others, who had more
patience with her. He'd been painted onto a large vase and was surely the most noble and impressive of them all. And he found her, a little girl,
fascinating. Or so it seemed.
The Child spent her day immersed in the book and was unusually quiet at tea-time as she ate the sparse meal provided by a Mother who could no longer
even pretend to have any interest in her. After taking her turn at washing the dishes the Child picked up her book about China and settled herself on
the sofa in the living room, quiet for the rest of the evening.
Her Mother was relieved but didn't notice the content of the book and so neglected to feel resentful at the Child's renewed interest in Dragons. The
Mother sank into her own World of despair and barely noticed how early the Child went to bed that night.
The Child climbed the stairs to bed, labouring under the weight of her rather heavy book. She took it to bed with her, intending to read it, but
bedtime was a bit of a ritual. First she had to settle her little bed-mates, Teddy was rather large and had to be put down in the cot, with Panda for
Blue Rabbit always snuggled in close to the Child in bed, along with her favourite doll. A few small others got loaded in too.
Then she had to make a decision as to when to say her prayers, she thought best get it out the way in case she got tired after reading. And so began
the litany, God bless a whole host of stuffed toys and, last of all, God Bless Mummy, who thankfully hadn't found any cause to smack her today.
After racing through her prayers the Child propped herself up and looked at her book, opening it at just the right page to find her Red Dragon. She
gazed at him and he gazed back, she felt a surge of protective force washing over her. It was strong and held a promise – her Dragon would be there
throughout her life to watch over her and all she ever had to do was find him when she needed him.
Sleepily, she thanked the Dragon and hugged the book close. She kissed him Goodnight, being careful not to make marks on his picture. She tucked the
book next to the wall so it wouldn't fall in the night and, with some anticipation and excitement, she went to sleep.
She was rewarded with a Dream, so vivid that it must have been real. She was in a mountainous, stone city riding on the back of her Red Dragon. He
was striding through the streets so proudly with her on his back, inviting all the other Dragon inhabitants of the City to look and admire his prize.
Look the other Dragons did, but their looks were not of admiration. They looked scornful or puzzled, a couple of them rolled their eyes and one
coughed up a small ball of smoke. They surely weren't impressed by the sight of a large Dragon sporting a small girl on his back, however pleased he
looked with himself.
When she woke in the morning the Child realised it was Sunday and Mummy was still asleep. If she wanted her breakfast she'd have to make it herself.
Down the stairs she went, thoughts of Dragons stalking majestically through her head, making her smile and, just once or twice, hug herself.
She rushed through cooking the bacon and eggs, she wanted to please her Mother but she also wanted to tell her about the Dream. Carefully, she put the
breakfast on a tray and tried not to run up the stairs and risk spilling everything.
She walked into her Mother's room, sure that Mummy would be grateful for her breakfast and eager to hear about her Dream. Sadly, Mummy was in no
mood for either her breakfast or idle chit-chat.
What the Child could not understand was that Mummy had been drowning her sorrows the night before and facing a fried breakfast was actually the last
thing she wanted to do. Well, second to last – an excited child banging on about a Dream would have been the very last thing. Irritably, Mummy
thanked the Child for breakfast and told her to go away and eat her own before it got cold.
The Child slunk downstairs, forgetting to collect her book from her bedroom. She felt her day had already been ruined and, as soon as she could, she
went out to play and found solace galloping around on her imaginary horse.
That night she went up to bed and found her book, still in its place on her bed. As last night, she settled down her toys, said her prayers and then
looked at the picture of her Dragon, intending to talk to him. But, tonight, he was quiet. She sensed disapproval. Perhaps he thought she'd been
ungrateful. She said she was sorry and tearfully closed the book. As she went off to sleep it occurred to her that Dragons were easily offended and
might need careful handling. It didn't occur to her that they had a lot in common with her Mother. Or that she ought to have been well-qualified to
deal with one.