*Based on a true story
There once was a boy named August. He was an ordinary child, well, mostly.
He had a quirk.
Maybe ‘quirk’ isn’t the correct term here, but ‘problem’ doesn’t fit and ‘disease’ certainly doesn’t apply, so I’ve chosen ‘quirk’. Deal with it.
Back to the story.
The truth is, August had an itch. Constantly. And no matter how much he scratched and rubbed, it refused to leave him. This was a big problem for August and his family too. The poor boy’s mother had spoken with doctors and oracles, fortune tellers and witch doctors; she had tried oils and lotions, snake poison and lemon juice. There was nothing on the planet that had not been applied to little August’s itch-spot. Eventually, all resources had been exhausted, and the sad family gave up hope of curing their little boy. August Itch, as he became known as, was doomed to live an abnormal life. He couldn’t go to school, couldn’t make friends, couldn’t go in public, definitely couldn’t get a job when he grew up; this was the sad reality in which our protagonist lived his life.
August spent most of his time in the woods next to his house playing, listening to the birds, and scratching himself up and down, down and up, on the rough bark of the pine trees. Although he had been told again and again to, no matter what you do, do NOT scratch your itch, it provided temporary relief for his very permanent condition. Scratching became his favorite past time.
I’d love to be able to say that August’s habitual scratching bore him no consequences, but as I am sure you know, all actions carry with them certain repercussions, whether good or bad. August’s habit was no exception, and as time passed, his skin grew tougher and scalier until one day, August and his family awoke to the astonishing realization that little August Itch had turned into a dragon!
That was the worst day ever. August’s parents had had enough, and with a shove and a screech, they tossed him out the door never to return to the small house on the edge of the woods.
August was dismayed. With nowhere to call his home, nobody to call his friend, nothing in the world to comfort him, he entered the forest with head hung low.
What do dragons do? he wondered.
He tried to breathe fire, but of course he was not a real dragon.
He tried to fly, but he had no wings!
August was a lost boy-dragon in a lonely world, betrayed by his parents to live in a hostile forest. Every day he witnessed a poor forest animal being killed and eaten by a different predator. He was next, to be sure!
And he certainly would have been somebody’s dinner if it weren’t for Gloria.
A few days after August’s excommunication from his household and the only life he’d ever known, he was following a small path through the woods when he happened upon an inspiring scene: an enormous indigo dragon, brilliantly perched over a dead fox, nose bloodied from her feast. In a rare moment of vulnerability, the beast had been caught unawares.
“Hello,” said August.
Gloria started and instinctively poised for attack.
“I won’t hurt you, I’m just a boy.”
“Why, aren’t you a curious thing. You’re a boy-dragon!” Gloria said.
“Yes, and I don’t know what dragons do. Will you teach me how to be a dragon?”
“Well where is your mother, young one?”
“She didn’t like that I turned into a dragon so she sent me off on my own,” August said sadly.
Suddenly, in a moment of intensity, August’s itch grew to unbearable proportions and he flung himself to the nearest tree to relieve himself with scratching. It was quite a scene.
“Dear me! Whatever is wrong with you, boy-dragon?” Gloria shouted.
“I have an itch that never goes away,” August said with face contorted in pain as he rubbed his back violently against the tree.
“Why that sounds awful!”
August finished scratching and sighed.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Gloria. What’s yours?”
“August, are you hungry, dear? Help yourself to this fox; it’s very tasty!”
August approached the dead fox timidly, smelling it with his very human nose.
“Do dragons eat foxes?” he asked.
“Oh yes, and many other forest animals too!”
August lowered his face to the mangled fox and struggled to tear a piece of bloodied flesh with his very human teeth. He spat it out instantly. Gloria laughed.
“Why don’t you come back to my mountain and we’ll make a fire and cook the meat for you. You can meet my family too, if you wish!” Gloria said.
“Oh, yes please!” August said emphatically.
So little August Itch boarded Gloria’s back and she clutched the limp fox in her strong jaw and together they flew to Gloria’s mountain.
August met all of Gloria’s friends and family that day and they accepted him as their own, and August spent much of his childhood from that day forward in the woods and on the mountain, learning how to be a good boy-dragon.