This piece is Henry Thomson’s “The mother finding her infant playing with the talons of the dragon slain by the Red Cross Knight”. It’s a very long title, which tells you exactly what’s going on. However, I see more than that in this painting, and below is what I was inspired to write by this #PhotoPromptFriday.
Before I post that, however, I would like to announce the winner of this #PhotoPromptFriday, and that is….nobody. I don’t have too many people following my blog, which is to be expected since it’s new, and so no one entered the contest. Hopefully, the next #PhotoPromptFriday will be more inspirational!
Now, without further ado:
by Kenimich Row,
Inspired by Henry Thomson’s
“The mother finding her infant playing with
the talons of the dragon slain by the Red Cross Knight”
It must have been the moonlight that first gave the dragon away at the edge of the forest. He hadn’t moved for hours, and the wind blew towards him carrying his stench far from the hamlet. Still, the child noticed him, and even managed to sneak up on him, as the first he was aware of her she was licking his scales where they shimmered ever so slightly.
It was an odd sensation, being licked by a such a soft tongue. Being licked by any tongue, really. Dragons, being one of the largest creatures around, typically scared all the lesser creatures, and they definitely didn’t lick each other. But this tiny human cared neither of his size, nor the social niceties that insisted one dragon not link another. She also wasn’t a dragon, so perhaps those niceties didn’t exist between humans and dragons.
As the dragon contemplated what social niceties did exist between their species, the child looked up at his tongue which had curled outward in thought and giggled. With no restraint it reached up and grabbed the tongue. It then proceeded to groom itself with the dragon’s tongue, wiping it along the side of it’s face and hair. All the while it giggled.
The dragon was unsure how to react, but the giggling was infectious, so it decided to join in. The deep rumble that echoed through it’s throat startled the child into silence. It looked up into his eyes, and they stared at each other for a while.
Then the child giggled again.
The dragon rumbled back.
Thus their friendship was born. Giggling and rumbling, they played. The dragon would show the child some strange piece of itself, and then watch as the child reacted in ridiculous funny ways. The child’s favorite feature, it eventually became known to the dragon, was his talons. Though they were razor sharp on the ends, most of them were smooth and round. The child liked to run it’s hands over the hard surface and watch the stars reflect in their golden sheen.
Eventually, the dragon became aware of the sun rising, and insisted the child go home. The child was not yet of an age to communicate too well, but after many a push towards the Hamlet, she eventually got the idea. Waving furtively towards the dragon’s hiding spot near the woods, it hurried away.
It was about this time that a group of knights were entering the hamlet, and they noticed the child’s actions. Curious, they asked the child what it was waving at. The child just bent down, curled her hands in the shape of talons, and then growled. Then she giggled and fell over trying to stand back up.
The knights looked at each other worriedly, thinking they knew all too well what the child mimicked. As one they turned their horses and headed in the direction the child had been waving. The child tried to follow them, racing after their mounts in excitement, but one of the knights’ squire notice. He pulled back his reins and cut her off, giving her a stern look, and pointing in the direction of the town.
The child looked back the way the squire was pointing and then back towards the dragon. Her little finger pointed insistently after the night, and she whimpered in protest as the squire continued to stand in her way.
Eventually, the child grew angry and started to scream. An answering roar and burst of fire filled the air from the edge of the woods. The child’s giggling response turned into another scream as the squire dismounted and scooped her up, physically caring her in the opposite direction. More screams joined the child’s as the knights and dragon began to fight, and the dragon bellowed louder.
The squire ducked into the stone mill nearby and tried to stifle the child’s screams, but she only increased them, and the dragon’s roar increased with them. The dragon itself, however, remained unseen.
Eventually, the dragon’s roar stopped as the child grew tired of struggling. The day grew deathly quiet, and the squire waited. After the silence had stretch long enough, the squire grew impatient and exited the mill, leaving the tired child behind. He was greeted with the site of his knight maters returning wounded buy triumphant from battle.
“That dragon will never terrorize another town.” The knight wearing a red cross announced, and then indicated that the squire remount so that they could be on their way. They had wasted enough of their time in the hamlet already.
Once the knights were gone, the town began to come alive again. The townspeople who had been too scared to live their houses while the dragon bellowed came outside to assess the damage that had been done, and one young woman was looking for something deeply precious to her.
She found it near the forest, behind a tree which had been spared when the area had been cleared for use by the founders of the town. The child stood over the savaged corpse of a dragon, quietly playing with it’s claws.