Tall Tales: The Time I Rode a Dragon

Yesterday, I promised to share with you a bedtime story that I told to my kids last night. Here it is in all it’s glory (at least the parts that I can remember). If you think your kids would enjoy it, feel free to use it as your own.

This is the story about the time that I rode a dragon. I was only about 8 or 9 years old, and we were driving home from Theodore Roosevelt National Park (I grew up in North Dakota). I was also wearing a pink shirt that day (this comes into play later). In order to get home, we had to drive through the Badlands. Now everybody knows that they are called the Badlands because only bad dragons live there.

Daughter: “And some good dragons, right daddy?”

Absolutely not. Then they would call it the Mostlybadbutalittlebitgoodlands, and that’s not what they call it. As we were driving through the Badlands, we had to stop to get gas. I had to go to the bathroom, and your gramma and grampa forgot me at the gas station. I ran outside to look for them, and out of nowhere, WHOOOOOMP, a dragon flew down and carried me off.

The dragon took me back to its nest where he had some eggs that were just getting ready to hatch. I asked the dragon what he was going to do to me, and he said that he was going to feed me to his babies. I told him that I wasn’t necessarily onboard with that idea. He told me that it was too bad, and there was a circle of life to which I was about to become a part of. I asked the dragon what his name was. He told me his name was Rhodry Maelwaedd Nevyn Jr. III (a combination of some book characters that I like, although I did enjoy the Jr. III part), but I could call him Phil for short. I told Phil that I probably wouldn’t make a very good meal for his babies because I was so scrawny and bony. He said that it didn’t matter too much. It became obvious at this point that I wasn’t going to be able to talk my way out of this, so I was going to have to trick him.

I turned to Phil and said, “since we have some time before your chicks hatch, would you mind taking me for a ride? I’ve never flown on a dragon before.” He replied that he’d be happy to since he was a little bored anyway, and he could never resist a last request. I climbed on Phil’s back and he carried me high into the sky. I must have rode around on his back for about an hour before I finally saw what I was looking for. Far below us, I saw gramma and grampa’s car driving along. I told Phil that I couldn’t stand to wait any further, so if he could put me down over there and get this over with, I would greatly appreciate it. He could carry me back to his nest aftewards. He agreed that it was a good idea because he was getting tired. He landed, and I went to stand in front of his mouth. I took my pink shirt off because it would be a real shame to ruin it. Just as he was opening his mouth to let the flame loose, grampa drove the car by, and gramma reached out the window to grab me. She pulled me inside the car, and we raced away. Grampa got that old Ford Taurus Stationwagon up to about 110 mph, and the dragon just wasn’t able to keep up, so I was finally safe.

It turns out that Phil is still looking for me. The reason that he picked me up so quickly from the gas station is that dragons hate the color pink. That’s why daddy has never worn a pink shirt again. Sometimes though, if you look up into the sky on a cloudy night, you’ll see a shadow flying behind the clouds. That’s Phil, and he’s still looking for me, so you need to make sure that you never let daddy wear a pink shirt or else Phil will come and get him.

Thus ended the story with a wide-eyed little girl and a slightly bored little boy staring at me. It wasn’t a perfect story, but for coming up with most of it on the spot, it wasn’t too bad. However, this is the part where I really have to be on my toes because my wife starts asking me a bunch of questions hoping that she can trip me up or catch me in a lie.

Wife: “What color was the dragon?”

Me: “Black.”

Wife: “Why do dragons hate the color pink so much?”

Me: “Because that’s the color of their blood, and they hate to see their own blood.”

Wife: “Didn’t you tell me before that dragons have black blood (this may or may not be true)?”

Me: “No, I said that dragons have black hearts. Their blood is actually pink.”

Wife: “You’re full of crap.”

Me: “Yep.”

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