Emma ran squealing past the blue slide, around the red jungle gym, over the green bench – arms spread wide, auburn hair flowing in the wind, her laughter fueling the journey. Playing tag with the dragon was one of her very favorite things and this sun filled day in the park was the perfect setting. Cherry blossoms fluttered to the ground in her wake, collecting like snow on the grass, filing the air with their scent.
“I will catch you, skinny girl, and the only reason you won’t be my dinner is the lack of any real nourishment on those bones!”
She shot a look of pure glee over her shoulder, green eyes twinkling into those of her friend before she threw herself to the grassy earth, face to the sun, gasping to catch her breath. Galindor swept gently to the grass beside her, gliding to a stop inches from her shoulder, the warmth from his glimmering sapphire scales dispelling the slight chill of the early spring afternoon. Reaching a hand to affectionately stroke his neck, she giggled, “Silly dragon, you would never eat me. I wouldn’t taste at all of chocolate, you know!”
“And that, my girl” he said sleepily as he nestled softly into the crook of her arm, “is why I’m saving you for another day.”
Chuckling together, the two friends rested drowsily in the late afternoon sun, each lost in their own thoughts, until Emma broke the silence.
“Where’s your mama?”
“She died, Emma – just like your mama – over four hundred years ago. There was a battle, fire, noise, the earth shook – I heard her call out – and then I couldn’t feel her anymore. I knew she wouldn’t come back. All of the others were gone, too. There was nothing but silence. As far as my mind would reach, no one was there. I called and called for them from there in the darkness but I couldn’t do anything. Mama had hidden my egg on the cliffs by the shore to keep me safe and after the voices left, I slept. I slept for hundreds of years until the egg cracked.”
Emma’s eyes filled with tears as she listened, her heart breaking for her companion. “Poor Galindor, you were asleep for hundreds of years? You were all alone in the dark of that egg for more than four hundred years? Weren’t you lonely?”
Galindor looked away and with a tilt of his head said simply, “Yes. I slept there until you found me there on the beach that day and tucked me into your pocket .”
“But why did you wake up now – after all that time of waiting? What made the egg start to crack? Why were you born, Galindor? What made now the right time?”
“Emma, don’t you see, sweet girl?” the dragon said, gently nuzzling her cheek. “It was because you needed me … nothing more or less. Yours was the voice my heart was created to hear. You, Emma, are the reason I am here.”