Redding, A Most Unusual Dragon
Rachel Thompson, Grade 4, Palmerston District Primary School
Finalist in the 'Dream Big 2013' competition
High up in the mountains of a faraway land there was a fascinating village. What made this village so special was that right in the middle of it was a wonderful, huge library.
The kind old lady who ran the library always made time each week (on a Wednesday) to read stories to the children of the village. Her name was Janet. Once a year Janet would go on a journey to the annual book fair, which was held in the city several miles away.
On one such journey, Janet made a remarkable discovery. As she was making her way through the forest, she encountered a dying dragon. The dragon begged Janet to take her egg and take care of it. And Janet replied nervously, “I will.” The dragon reassured Janet that a baby dragon would be no trouble at all. Janet had read several books about dragons so soon her curiosity took over and her worry faded away.
Janet immediately went home. She could not wait until her granddaughter, Gemma, saw the egg. When Gemma saw Janet she was surprised to see her back so early. When she saw the egg she asked, “What type of egg is that, Nanny?”
“It is a dragon’s egg,” replied Janet. “You will have to look after it and the library while I hurry back to the fair.”
“But what do I do with it!?” asked Gemma.
“Don’t panic, there are several excellent reference books in the library on the care of dragons,” Janet explained. “Oh, you might want to look under D.”
Gemma carefully collected the egg off the front desk and put it on a colourful bean bag and hurried to find those books. Once she had found them she grabbed the egg and the bean bag and went to read the books to the egg in her room.
For the next week Gemma was kept busy running back and forth between looking after the library and the egg. Every spare moment she curled up next to the egg and read story after story to it.
When the egg hatched at last Gemma quickly realised that the little dragon was powerfully interested in books. He showed no interest in the little pile of glittering objects she had collected for his arrival although everything she had read suggested that all dragons loved treasure above everything else. No, this little dragon prized books.
When Janet returned she was startled to see the little dragon amongst the children of the village, listening to Gemma reading a story. There was a whiff of burnt paper in the air and Gemma explained that Redding (for that was what she had named the baby dragon) had taken a while to understand that people were allowed to borrow books!
It seemed that no one dared bring a book back late anymore either. Redding had breathed fire towards one or two bottoms, which tended to discourage overdue books. Each time, Gemma had just rolled her eyes at Redding and reminded him that flames and books were not a good mix.
The people of their village were very proud to have a dragon for a junior librarian for they had known for years that books are the most valuable treasure in the world and Redding knew it too.