Scone Dragon by Herb Kauderer

Scone Dragon
Herb Kauderer

While wizards sometimes call themselves a brotherhood
they are chaotic brothers full of dirt and broken bones
from fighting amongst themselves.

There is one thing they get along on
and that is the need to maintain
a high reputation for their profession
which is a fancy way of saying
they agree to try to hide their mistakes.

They would have you believe that
the need to distill strong essence was a perfect process
even from the beginning
though it was widely known that there was no way
to predict what characteristics of the essence
would bloom within the creation,
and in what priority they would manifest
for those wyrms
who took more than one characteristic.

The truth is, essences were made strong
because if they were contaminated, there was no telling
which essence would become a dragon.

The first dragon made by accident was the scone dragon.
Gyles Rouland, a name infamous among wizards,
and unknown to the rest of the world,
set out to create a dragon of magic lantern shows
to entertain the queen with whom he hoped
to someday have an affair.
But Rouland was a fat and slovenly wizard
and in his preparations he dropped a scone into the vat
which held the large and potent essence
made from the projectors and their cutout shades.
“One small scone will not be noticed in a large vat,”
was his attitude.

It was only when the dragon burst into existence
that he understood the magnitude of his mistake.
The creature was no entertainer!

He was oatmeal with currants, and appeared to be
glazed with cheese. Rouland knew he had to hide
this abomination. He had it leashed,
and he led the beast into the woods,
where he released it to be eaten by wildlife.

But while he was gone, two of his protégés
were sending news of the disaster to other wizards.
The stories spread like dragon’s breath,
informing other conjurors that the huge investment
of creation could be lost by the smallest accident.

For the humans, the story was finished, but
for the scone dragon, her story had just begun
as her life in the wild was happily spent
making restful shelters for other free wyrms.
She felt that comfort was wasted on clumsy humans
when it was her kin that most deserved
a pot of tea near the fire, and snacks before bed.


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