A Dragon’s Tale

I met a dragon.

It’s one of the dragons

who live in our neighborhood.

I heard him the other

morning breathing

out by the curb. I mistook

the sound for a neighbor shoveling

snow, you know, the rhythmic rasping

a shovel makes on pavement.

“How are you doing?” I asked.

“Not bad,” he replied. “Yourself?”

He looked roughly fifteen feet long

from our tree to the corner, covered

with green metallic scales and a tail

that ended in a flared point like the ace of spades

in a deck of cards.

When he blinked a play of electricity flashed

around his eyes like Christmas lights

in the daytime.

“Mind if I rest here?” he asked.

“Go ahead,” I said. “I can see you’re draggin’.”

He ignored the remark.

Dragons get all kinds.

“Want your walk cleared?” he asked.

“I can handle it,” I said. I pantomimed shoveling snow.

Like I said.

He sighed.

His breath cleared snow and ice all the way to the neighbor’s

drive. “No charge,” he said. “My card.”

It read,

Incendiary Snow Removal, LLC.

I got this idea.

“Ever think of maybe taking on a partner?” I asked.

He gave me a long look.

About fifteen feet long.

“I’m a knight,” I added.

He belched a snort of black smoke.

I detected pessimism and a distinct

whiff of sulphur.

“That’s the point,” I ventured. “It’s unique, a novelty,

a first in the annals of lore and legend. What an angle!

“I’m Dubious,” said the dragon. I held out my hand.

“Glad to meet you, I’m Lance.”

Get it?

“What could go wrong?”

We hit it off.

There’s like zero market

for damsels in distress and snow removal is seasonal,

so Dubious and me set ourselves up as a 501(c)(3)

serving Culture War veterans,

unemployed, disadvantaged and homeless

victims of PTS, Proud Though Subdued syndrome.

Our motto:

Dragons and Knights Unite!

Together Through the Dark Ages.