Both Gretel and Crispin ran to the bed and
pulled the quilt over their heads. “I hear noises out there and they don’t
sound like spider noises. Spiders don’t screech and make flapping sounds.
There are probably a million bats flying around in here!” Gretel held her
shirt tight at the collar in case any of them tried to crawl down her
back. “No wonder there’s a sign on the door.”
“I’m going to look.” Finding courage, Crispin
peeked out. “Wow! These are definitely not bats and they’re not spiders.
They’re dragons! At least I think they’re dragons. I’ve never seen a
dragon before, so I’m not sure, but they look like dragons. Some are
purple and look like big, juicy grapes. Some are blue; some are red,
green, and black. There are brown ones too. They’re about the size of my
arm and their skin is covered with shiny scales. Cool, Gretel. Wings!
They've got wings made of thin leather. Some of them have horns and others
Gretel didn’t dare look, even though she heard
the sound of wings flapping.
Dragons? Are you sure they’re not bats? They can’t be dragons. Dragons are
huge and could burn this cottage down with one breath.”
“They’re small dragons.” Crispin tossed the
blanket off him and stood among the buzzing creatures. “They’ve got fat
bellies. It’s a good thing Marti keeps the windows and doors shut.”
Several of them swooped down and landed on the plate of butter. Another
pulled the cloth from the cheese and bread, tore pieces off with its claws
and gobbled them up. A purple dragon knocked the cowbells over. They fell
to the floor with a loud clang. “Gretel, come out from under the quilt and
see. I can’t believe they’re eating Marti’s bread and butter and cheese.
They’re sort of cute and don’t look dangerous to me.”
Gretel peeked out and saw the creatures flying around the
cottage. “Oh my! They are cute.” Her fear disappeared. “I don’t think
they’ll hurt us.” A red dragon landed next to Gretel, nudging her hand,
looking for food. “I don’t have any food in my hand, little dragon, but
you look like you’re a nice dragon. Can I pet you?” She moved her hand to
stroke the dragon’s back. “You’ve got two little horns and a row of stubby
spikes down the middle of your back. And look at your tail! How adorable.
Your scales are shiny and rough and you look like a big strawberry.”
A gust of wind rattled the cottage, blowing the back window of
the cottage wide open. Some of the dragons jumped with fright; others
scattered under the table.
Gretel fell backwards on the bed and Crispin leaped three
inches into the air.
The wooden-bordered panes of glass flew inward
and banged against the walls. When the dragons heard the bumping and
spotted the open window they fought each other, trying to find space to
Gretel reached for the red dragon's tail. One
moment it sat on the bed next to her and the next moment it dashed toward
the open window. The room emptied within minutes leaving both of them
standing in silence. “Marti is going to be so mad.” She ran over to the
window and stuck her head out. “Where do you think they went?”
“I don’t know, but we’d better try and get
them back.” Crispin ran outside and watched as the dragons disappeared
over the hill into the other valley. “They’re gone, all of them. We are in
Gretel stood near the door, rubbing her chin. “Why does Marti
have dragons in his closet anyway? I didn’t know there was such a thing as
dragons, except in fairy tales.” She looked toward the village.
“I have a bad feeling we’re going to find out real soon.”
Crispin collapsed on the grass.