Dragons in the Forest

August 1, 2011

It is a very easy thing to do, missing a dragon in the forest. If you look around with your usual eyes you might see a piece of root, a rotten log, a pile of rocks. But if you open your eyes as wide as they will go, and then a bit wider, you will see a dragon basking in the sun, stretching his wings to dry on the morning breeze, winding it’s tail protectively around a house or nursing young trees tenderly on it’s nose. Dragons are easy to miss while the sun shines on the forest. The warm light makes them hot and drowsy, they lie comfortably still and will not stir a paw. But when the sun sets, when the moon raises from it’s bed behind the mountain, so do dragons raise. They shake their heads, stretch their wings, unwind their tails and set the young trees carefully aside. Then they jump up, as high as only a dragon can jump, and fly into the moonlit sky. Dragons are easy to miss as they circle high above the forest, in the night sky, on their great, silent wings. Their scales shimmer like stars do, their tails swirl like clouds on the wind. If you look at the sky from the forest’s floor you might see small bits of darker darkness circling and spinning, stretching and curling, diving and raising, floating and jumping. You might take them for clouds blown about on a wind, you might think those are shooting stars and small planets glimmering in the distance, but if you open your eyes as wide as they will go, and then a bit wider, you will see dragons flying and spinning the dragon dreams. The Dragons spin, weave and plot the dreams with a flick of a tail, a snap of a snout, a pounce of a paw, a flap of a wing. They weave the dreams, round and about and in and out, and send them down to the forest, to all the woodland creatures. You may not see a dragon with your usual eyes, but you will recognize a dragon dream. Dragon dreams are fiercely wild ones, full of adventures and hunts, scaling the mountains, diving into the depths of lakes, soaring into the sky faster than an eagle and jumping from wave to wave in the company of dolphins. Some creatures slumbering in the forest enjoy the dragon dreams, but others do not. Some burrow deeper into their holes and press tighter into the furry flanks of their mates, others bristle their whiskers and twitch their paws in their eagerness to leap and run. Some humans sleeping in the forest toss and turn in their beds uneasily, press pillows over their heads and squeeze their eyes shut tight to keep the dragons away from their dreams. But others jump out from their warm beds and run out of their safe houses at the first sound of the dragons’ call. They jump high up, as high as only a dragon can jump, and fly into the moonlit sky on a dragon’s back.

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