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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Dragon Fingers and Wizard Teeth

Mungo put the pictures of the dragons and wizards all over the walls of the living room. Some were purple, some were green, some were black and others were dark crimson. One or two of the dragons had flames shooting out of their mouths; others had horns. One had spikes down its back. All of them were covered in shiny scales and had large, sharp claws. The wizards were wearing cloaks and hoods and some held staffs in their hands. "This should put them in the mood, shouldnít it girl," he said to Ginger, his cat. "Tonight weíre having fantasy night. Iíll take them into a world of evil dragons, magical wizards, goblins, dwarves and other creatures." He looked around at his handy-work. Ginger ran into the kitchen to nibble on her food.

DING DONG! Mungo opened the front door. "Hello, Mr. McGee," said Gregor. "Am I the first one here?" he asked, smiling broadly.

"You are, indeed. Come inside," Mungo said, letting him past.

"Wow! Look at the cool dragons and wizards. Is that what weíre going to talk about tonight?" Gregor asked. "Is that what your story is going to be about?"

"Yes, thatís right, dragons and wizards. Do you like them?"

"I love dragons," Gregor said, delighted with the pictures surrounding him.

DING DONG! "Who is it this time?" Mungo said, opening the door. "Ah, its Gavin and wee Fiona, and oh, thereís wee Hamish too. Come in, all of you."

"Wow! Cool! Look at that!" Cries of oohs and ahs came from the room. Mungo smiled. He was happy that his idea was such a hit. He loved pleasing the bairns.

DING DONG! Mungo had no sooner shut the door than the doorbell rang again. "Who is this?" he said, peeking through a small crack. Opening it wider he said, "Andy and Morag. Glad to see you both. Come inside."

Morag laughed when she saw the dragons and wizards covering the wall. Andy just stared quietly. "Well, bairns. I trust you all are enjoying the dragons."

"Yes!" they cried out.

"Tonight, Iíll be telling you a story about a dragon and a wizard. I might throw in an elf or a goblin for fun. Oh dear, I forgot the snacks. Everyone sit down and Iíll be right back." Mungo returned a few minutes later with a large tray. "Tonight, lassies and ladies, weíre going to have something special to eat."

"Whatís that?" asked wee Hamish.

"Weíre going to have dragon fingers, goblin noses, elf ears and wizard teeth," he said.

"Thereís no such thing as that, Mr. McGee," said Gregor. "Is there?" he questioned.

"Look for yourself," Mungo said. He put the tray down on the floor. There were chocolate fingers and marzipan that had been shaped like noses with warts. Mungo had rolled them in colored sugar for an added effect. There were scones with raisins that were shaped like pointed ears and sweeties that Mungo had cut up to look like long teeth.

"These are wonderful," Gavin said, devouring some wizard teeth.

"I love this. What a fun night this is going to be," added Morag. "Isnít it, Gavin?" she asked.

"Yes, it is," he answered, eating a few noses with warts.

"Grab a handful of goodies and sit down. Letís start the story. Are you ready?" he asked them.

"Ready," they replied together.

"There once was a land far away from Scotland, called Zarabo. Zarabo is the land of the wizards. At least a hundred of them have castles spread about the land. Each wizard has his area that he is in charge of. The people of the land around his castle are his to protect," Mungo said.

"Protect from what?" asked Gregor.

"Dragons!" Mungo said loudly. The bairns looked around at the pictures of the dragons on the walls. "In a land not far from Zarabo, in a place called Dimron, lived the dragons."

"Were they black dragons or green ones?" asked Gavin.

"What about the red and purple ones?" Andy said, softly.

"There were all kinds of dragons, all colors of dragons, and all sizes of dragons! They all lived together in Dimron. The dragons had a leade, who ruled them and commanded them. Her name was Grash. She was a crimson dragon. Her scales were metallic and shiny. She had sharp horns that grew from the top of her head, between her pointed ears. Her tail was long and had a poisonous stinger at the end of it. She could breath fire that would sizzle you in a second. The worst part is that her cold, black blood was mixed with acid. Any other dragons that tried to fight Grash died when they bit into her and touched the acid blood, so none of the other dragons dared challenge her."

"She sounds like a mean dragon," said wee Fiona.

"Aye, lass, she was. In the land of Zarabo lived a special wizard named Dankel," Mungo said.

"Did the wizards have a king or queen?" asked Morag.

"No. The wizards didnít need one. They each had their own area to watch over and they respected each otherís rights. Dankelís castle was beautiful. It was made of gray stones, and had towers on it, topped with upside down cone roofs. They were pointed and made the castle look like it was out of a fairy tale. Dankel kept it clean and the people in his land were happy. In Dankelís lands were several mines where the goblins worked hard digging up rubies and emeralds and other precious gems. When they found them, they brought them to Dankel and he kept them in a large wooden chest. He took good care of his people and shared his crops and animals with them. It was a happy land. It was the happiest land in all of Zarabo."

"I like rubies and emeralds," said Morag.

"So do most people. All around Dankelís land were other lands, watched over by other wizards. Most of them were nice, like Dankel, but one of them was not very nice. His name was Jazi. His castle was made of a black stone called obsidian. It was more glass than stone. Heíd gathered it from the volcanoes that were scattered about his land. It was an eerie looking castle. He wasnít good to the people in his land, nor to the goblins, elves and dwarves either. Jazi owned a large gold mine. When the goblins brought the gold to him, he took it and never shared. He didnít allow them to eat any of the crops that he forced the elves to take care of. He didnít let any of them share his animals either. There was no hunting in Jaziís land," Mungo said.

"What did the people and goblins do to eat then?" wee Hamish asked.

"They could grow a small garden at their dwellings and now and then they snuck one of Jaziís sheep or goats and used it for milk, but if they got caught, watch out," Mungo explained.

"I donít like him," said Andy.

"Not many did. One morning the sun rose but it didnít find a welcome land. Fires were burning around the outside of Jaziís castle, sending flames up into the sky," Mungo said.

"What was he burning? Gavin asked.

"You donít want to know," said Morag.

"Moragís right. He was burning bodies; goblin bodies, dwarf bodies, elf bodies, and any other bodies he could find. He used them as slaves and when they died, he burned their bodies and used their ashes for his potions and magic," Mungo explained.

"Thatís horrible," said Gregor.

"The thick gray smoke filled the sky. The people in Dankelís land could see the smoke. So could the dragons," Mungo continued.

"What did the dragons do?" asked wee Fiona.

"Grash gathered her dragons. Jaziís fire was actually a signal to Grash, to bring her dragons and attack Dankelís lands. They were to capture all his emeralds and rubies and burn the forests and all the creatures living in them. Jazi knew that during the morning hours, the goblins of Dankelís land would be taking carts filled with jewels from the mines to the castle. Jaziís spies, coal-black ravens, had seen the goblins loading the wooden carts and had flown quickly to his castle to tell him. Grash gathered her black, purple and green dragons. They were the meanest of the dragons. They flew towards Dankelís land," Mungo said.

"I didnít know dragonís could fly," wee Hamish said.

"They can fly. Theyíve got large leathery wings and can fly very fast. The sky was dark because there were so many dragons that they shielded the earth from the sunlight. Dankel had noticed the smoke near Jaziís castle. Heíd consulted his magical glass ball. It had shown the dragons flying towards his land. Dankel was very wise and very smart. He was ready for the dragons. He started a fire outside of his castle and sent smoke billowing into the air. He then gathered his flock of geese that he kept on castle grounds incase of such an emergency. He explained to them what was going to happen. They each picked up a bucket of water and carried in their webbed feet. When they flew over Jaziís land, they dumped their buckets out. The water fell on the fires. When the dragons got closer, they were confused and thought that Dankelís castle was really Jaziís castle and raided the lands of Jazi instead. They stole all of his gold and burned all his forests and crops. Grash, being an evil dragon, decided that she wanted all of the land, so she attacked the castle. Fire shot out of her mouth. It was so intense and hot that it melted the black rock. The castle turned into a blob of soft black goo. Jazi was able to escape but everyone else in his land died. He had to flee."

"So Dankel and his land were safe. Good. What did the dragons do then?" Morag asked.

"The dragons, satisfied with all the gold and jewels theyíd captured, flew back to the land of Dimron and kept it there. Grash had never had any intentions of sharing it with Jazi. She was even more evil than he was. Zarabo became a peaceful land once more."

"Wow. That was lucky for Dankel and the goblins. They got to keep their rubies and emeralds and they didnít get killed," said Gavin.

"What happened to Jazi?" asked Andy.

"Jazi disappeared. Nobody knew where he went. Dankel knew that one day Jazi would be back, if for no other reason than to get revenge on him and on the dragons who betrayed him, but thatís another story," Mungo ended. He slapped his leg. "Did you enjoy yourselves tonight?"

"I loved it. I donít like dragons though," said wee Hamish.

"Thereís no such thing as dragons," Morag snidely remarked.

"There are the dragons on Mr. McGeeís wall," said Gregor. "Mr. McGee, can we take home a dragon picture?"

"Certainly. Now, bairns, finish up your snacks. Your mums and dads will be here shortly." They sat quietly, nibbling on the food and deep in thought, staring at the pictures of the dragons and wizards scattered about the walls.

Ginger, who had not been put away in the bedroom earlier, came sneaking into the living room. She hid behind the couch. Suddenly she jumped from behind it right into the middle of the children. SCREAM!!!!!!!!!! Ginger scared them all to death. "Itís only Ginger," said a shaken Gavin, once he realized it was only the cat.

"I thought it was a dragon," said wee Fiona.

"I did too," said Andy.

They all started laughing. Ginger ran over to Gregor and was trying to eat the dragon fingers out of his hand. "Stop that you silly cat," he said, pushing her away.

"Ginger, what are you doing out of the bedroom? Did I forget to put you away?" Mungo remembered. He picked her up and took her through to the room and shut the door.

"That scared me," said wee Hamish.

DING DONG! It was time for the children to leave. They each picked a dragon picture to take home. Wee Hamish wasnít sure if he wanted one or not. He picked a wizard instead. "This is Dankel," he said, wanting something nice instead of something evil, like dragons and bad wizards.

"Cheerio," said Mungo. He shut the door and took the other pictures down off the wall. He stared at a picture of a black dragon, shivered a little and put it in the box with the others. He carried the box into the bedroom and put it away. Ginger ran back out. When Mungo went into the living room, she was finishing off the snacks. "Nibbling on some wizard teeth, are you girl?" Mungo said and sat down in his chair laughing. It had been a grand night with the bairns.

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