Fraser lived in a huge, but very
dark and damp cave, way up in the northeastern part of Scotland. His dark
purple scales kept him warm most of the time, but when the snow fell in
the heart of winter, he would often get so cold that he would shiver. To
make matters worse, Fraser didnít have any friends. None of the other
animals in Thistleberry Glen wanted to be friends with a dragon.
Fraser spent most of his days
cooking and baking. This helped keep his cave a bit warmer. He was quite a
good cook too. He made the best caramel shortbread in the whole glen. On
days when he went down to the river for a drink, if he was lucky enough to
see a fish or two, heíd catch them with his sharp claws, take them back to
the cave, and make fishcakes. Heíd add a little onion and mashed potatoes
and fry them up to perfection.
On the 23rd of December,
Fraser spent the whole day baking Christmas sweeties. He made tablet and
fudge, dumplings and cakes, pastries and biscuits. "Itís almost Christmas
Day. Iíll bet some of the other animals in Thistleberry Glen would enjoy a
few Christmas sweets," he smiled. He divided them into five portions,
wrapped them in red and green striped paper and tied a big golden ribbon
around them. As soon as the sun set below the heather-covered hills,
Fraser put the packages in a big brown bag and headed into the woods.
"This will make their Christmas brighter," Fraser giggled. Even though
none of the animals ever spoke to him, he enjoyed being nice to everyone.
"Aha, thereís Carly, the highland
cow," he whispered. She was sleeping. Her long, shaggy, reddish-brown hair
hung to the ground and was touching the snow. Her eyes were shut and she
was snoring! Fraser, being such a big dragon, had to be careful that his
sharp horns didnít bump into the tree branches. He had to watch out for
his long, pointed tail too. Sometimes it knocked over bushes or bumped
into rocks. Silently he approached. He opened his big brown bag and took
out one of the packages. He hung in carefully on Carlyís long, handlebar
horn. He giggled with joy as he snuck back into the woods. "Hee, hee, hee.
Sheíll be surprised when she wakes up!"
A few minutes later he spotted
Siobhan, the highland sheep. She was standing in a meadow filled with
wildflowers. Her thick fleecy wool looked nearly black in the evening sky.
"Iíll set the package on her wool. Itís so thick that sheíll never even
feel it," he chuckled. He crept towards her, taking her package out of his
big brown bag. Very carefully, he put it down on her wool and then snuck
back into the woods. "Hee, hee, hee. Sheíll love all the sweets!"
Rabbie, the raccoon, was snoozing in
one of the ancient oak trees. The dragon nearly bumped into a branch with
his horns! "Whew, that was close," he frowned. "Iíd have woken him up and
then it wouldnít have been a surprise." He took Rabbieís package out of
his big brown bag and put it in a hole in the trunk of the tree, near
Rabbieís paw. "Hee, hee, hee. When he wakes up, heíll see his sweets right
away." He tiptoed quietly into the woods, giggling the whole time.
Harry, the hedgehog, was curled up
in a ball under a bush. The sharp claws on Fraserís huge feet nearly
crunched him as he walked through the woods. "Oops! I almost didnít see
Harry sleeping down there." He bent over and heard Harry snoring. "Hee,
hee, hee. Iíll just set the package down right here in the bush and when
he wakes up, heíll see his sweets." Fraser took the package out of his big
brown bag, put it down in the bush and then crept away.
He had one more package in his big
brown bag and went walking through Thistleberry Glen, looking for Gillian,
the grouse. Gillian was in her nest, curled up. Her brown and black
feathers were tucked away nicely under her body to keep her warm. She
heard the noise of snapping twigs and opened her eyes. Coming towards her
was a huge, black shape. "Whatís that?" she gulped. Just then she saw that
it was Fraser. "Och, no! Itís the purple dragon that lives in the cave? Is
he coming to eat me? What should I do?" she whimpered softly. She was too
afraid to move, incase the dragon saw her. She sat frozen with fear in her
nest as Fraser came closer and closer. She saw him take something out of a
bag. "Whatís he doing?" she mumbled. His big hand with sharp claws moved
towards her. "Heís going to smash me and rip me to shreds with his claws!"
she sobbed, but was surprised when Fraser put a lovely package down on the
ground next to her nest. He was giggling and tiptoed away. "What was that
all about?" she wondered.
She climbed out of her nest and
picked up the package. She took a sniff of it. "That smells lovely," she
said. Gillian pulled the ribbon and took the wrapping off. "Why, the big
dragon has made me some sweets." She read the tag that was attached to the
package. ĎHo! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! Here are some sweets from your
secret friend!í "Well, isnít that nice of him. Maybe heís not such a bad,
scary dragon after all.
Fraser crept back to his cave and
curled up in the corner. Water dripped from the ceiling and he shivered
all night long.
The next morning, Gillian flew
around Thistleberry Glen. She saw Carly, Siobhan, Rabbie and Harry
standing talking. She flew down and landed next to them. "Whatís going on
here?" she asked.
Carly mooed, "In the middle of the
night, someone delivered a package of sweets to each of us. We donít know
who it was!"
Gillian smiled. "I know who it was!"
Siobhan went baa. "Tell us. Who
would do such a nice thing? Iíve never tasted such delicious tablet,
shortbread and pastries before."
"It was Fraser, the big purple
dragon that lives in the cave. I saw him myself," Gillian answered.
"Fraser? That clumsy dragon?" Harry
"Surely youíre mistaken," Rabbie
"No, I saw him. He left me a package
too. I think we should do something nice for him. I imagine he must get
chilly in that damp cave," the grouse said.
"Iíve got a splendid idea," Siobhan
said. "Letís use my wool. Itís nice and thick and warm, and weíll make him
a blanket. You can all knit, canít you?" she asked the others.
They all nodded. They spent the day
plucking wool from Siobhanís back and knitting. When they were done, they
sewed each strip together. "Thatís lovely," Carly said, looking at the
finished blanket. "It will keep him warm all winter long."
Rabbie wrapped it in some beautiful
silver and gold paper. Harry tied a golden ribbon around it. "Letís get
him a tree too," Harry said. "Iíll make the decorations if youíll find the
Carly and Siobhan found a wee pine
tree. Harry and Rabbie hung nuts and rowan berries on it. Gillian used
some of her feathers to decorate it. "Thatís lovely," she said as the
finishing touches were added. On Christmas Eve, after the sun went down,
the five animals carried the tree and the wrapped blanket and set them
down outside of Fraserís cave.
Christmas morning came around.
Fraser was feeling rather sad. His fingers were cold and his claws were
almost frozen like icicles. His horns had frost on them and he couldnít
feel his tail, which had been lying on the ground. He stood up and rubbed
his arms and went outside. "Whatís this?" he gasped. He picked up the
package. "Itís a Christmas present," he laughed. He opened it up. "Oh, a
lovely woolen blanket. Who made this?" he wondered. He looked at the tree.
"Rowan berries, nuts and feathers. How pretty! Itís the best Christmas
tree Iíve ever had!"
He went back inside and turned on
his oven and started to make himself a Christmas meal. As he was chopping
the leeks, he heard a noise coming from the entrance to his cave. "Can we
come in?" Carly asked.
Fraser was surprised. He had guests
on Christmas Day! "Come in, all of you. Iím about to fix supper. Would you
like to stay?" he asked.
Carly, Siobhan, Rabbie, Harry and
Gillian spent the rest of the day in the cave with Fraser, nibbling on his
leeks and potatoes, haggis, sausages, bacon, sweets of every sort
imaginable, bannocks, raisins and boiled eggs. "This is the best Christmas
Iíve ever had," he sighed, happily. "Thank you for the blanket. Thereíll
be no more cold nights for me now." He noticed that Siobhan didnít have as
much wool as usual and smiled at her. "Merry Christmas to you all," he
"Merry Christmas to you too,
Fraser," they replied.
From then on, the other animals in
Thistleberry Glen stopped by Fraserís cave for tea and caramel shortbread
whenever they were nearby and even invited the dragon to their houses,
even though he was too big to fit inside.