A Dragons Tale
I trust this finds you in good heart, even given the circumstances over
the last few months. Things must have been so difficult for you and
your fellows recently, but I trust now that your fortune will improve,
and the King will find favour with your works and meditations, however,
I fear the man must yet fulfil his destiny. Whatever will happen next,
the King may yet set his sights upon a heavenly throne? I had hoped, my
vocation would permit me, at some stage, to join you in your works, but
alas in the current climate of flux, I venture that is for another
Anyhow, as I know of your interests in matters historical I thought I
would share with you a short tale in an endeavour to raise your spirits
for the times ahead.
The year was 1404, the great battle was now fading into memory, and the
towns' folk were picking up the pieces, and life for most had returned
to normal. Tired of my devotions for the day I repaired across the West
Bridge to my favourite Inn, for some welcome respite and solace from
the days' troubles. I took my usual corner seat, and had not been
rested a moment when to my great annoyance an elderly vagrant type
situated himself directly opposite me, at my table! I looked away,
trying to avoid his eye in the hope he would move on. He did not. From
the corner of my eye I could not help but notice his clothes seemed
somewhat dated, and rather ragged. I feared in case he should engage me
in any sort of conversation. He spoke!
" A man of prayer I see", I ignored him, but he continued, "I have a
gift for you sir, the answer to the secret you have been looking for,
for so long." He slid a small bag across the table in my direction. I
now had his mark and replied, "Good God sir! You take me for a fool,
you are nothing but a travelling peddler and this secret in the bag, is
your hook to swindle me out of my money for your supper. I declare! It
would not fool duller men than I! Be gone with you!" "They say a man
craves the secret of life. But It is gift sir, I just pray thee to
listen awhile" He slid the bag closer, and I found myself sitting
motionless whilst he re-canted his strange tale.
"Six hundred years ago or so, in the Kingdom that we know now to be
Wales, the King, to prove his dominion over all things living alike,
declared that all the great Dragons in the land should be put to death.
He enlisted the help of his loyal subjects in the surrounding towns
and, for seven years, together, they mercilessly hunted and put to
death all the Dragons in the land. All that is save one. Yes there was
only one Dragon left to slay.
That winter was the coldest in the memory of many generations. The
king, as was his selfish way, demanded that all his subjects emptied
their wood stores and brought their precious fuel to the castle. To
ensure compliance he sent his army into the towns to raid houses and
strike terror into his subjects. This was done so that whilst the King
was well supplied for the coming months his subjects had not a scrap of
fuel to burn and keep their dwellings warm.
The long nights passed, and the townsfolk could not continue any
longer, resigned to their fate they huddled, close together, in their
beds to await the morning, that they new would never dawn.
That night, from her lonely viewpoint high above the world, the great
Dragon looked out upon the town. And despite all the cruelty she, and
her kind, had suffered she took pity on the townsfolk. She spread her
giant wings and glided gently over the village. At each house she
stooped, and blew her gentle warm breath down each stack, warming the
house and the pot in the hearth. After carefully visiting each home she
returned to her rocky outcrop to rest the day.
At dawn the people awoke from their slumbers, their houses were warm
like in the summer months, there was hot water in the hearth, and they
were alive! Surely divine providence had saved them. That night the
townsfolk slept with some apprehension but sure enough, come the
morning the miracle had been performed again. This continued for many
nights through the winter months when one night, unable to rest, a
young lad by the name of Cethryn, sat in the window watching the night
The still night was broken, by a gentle breeze, then a pulsing wind as
the great Dragons' wings beat over the town. In horror the lad rushed
and woke his parents, at first terrified they tried to hide as the
great Dragon came closer. Then they saw the Miracle of the Dragons
breath bringing life to the town in the depth of night. Other folk were
roused and they all gazed in marvel at the Dragons' wonderful works.
Forgetting all their past evils, "All hail to the great Dragon",
shouted one, "Let him be our King!" another. A provocative statement
News of the events travelled to the King. He was now afraid of the
townsfolk and their new miracle worker. So with his army he marched
from the castle bent on slaying the last Dragon. The Army and the
townsfolk stood barely a yard apart. "Make way for I have come to slay
the Dragon, and claim back my Kingdom", said the King. "Do something
Dragon", said Cethryn, "You can destroy this army, and the King with
one fiery blast". The Dragon rose up and stood, toweringly, above the
crowd, quite still and silent. No one knows who fired first, no one
ever does in these circumstances, but the first bow was unleashed, it
was followed by a hailstorm of sizzling arrows. Pierced and gravely
wounded, the Dragon slumped forward and lay motionless on the ground.
Cethryn rushed to her aid and placed his arms around her neck, sobbing
tears of dreadful remorse. No one spoke for a while. Then the silence
"Sire, come quickly, the Castle is ablaze, the fires have been left
unattended". The King looked around and sure enough the burning castle
was well ablaze, brightly illuminating the night sky away in the west".
The King turned to the townsfolk, "Please, please I beg for your help,
you have to help me save the castle, I will reward you with anything".
The townsfolk remembered the Kings cruelty but also the kindness of the
great Dragon who had been so forgiving in their time of need. All the
townsfolk, save the young lad who stayed to comfort the beast, followed
the King back to the castle and worked through the night and finally
brought the blaze to heel. Sure enough much work would have to be done
in repair but much had been saved.
The King was well pleased with his subjects and offered them gold and
silver in reward. Both were declined, just some wood was the request.
"Anything else? Wood is not reward enough for your toils, anything you
name that is within my power you can have", said the King. The
Townsfolk consulted and agreed, "Yes Sire, just one thing. From this
day forth your arms shall be struck from the standard and replaced with
the creature that saved the town the Red Dragon!" The King could do
nought but agree, and from that day forth to now the Standard of Wales
has borne no royal arms, but the picture of the great Red
There was a brief silence. "But, but, what happened to Cethryn, what
happened to the Dragon!" I exclaimed. "Oh", said the man pausing, "I
venture that is for another time".
"I see, I see, a clever tale, the secret of life, miracles, and me a
man of devotion, it's incredulous! To think you'd believe you could
hoodwink me with this nonsense. Next you'll be saying this young lad
was an acquaintance of yours! I give you this sir; you certainly weigh
your quarry well. Look, I will give you no money for this 'Gift' but I
am well amused by your tale so, I will stand you that drink and that
supper, you crave." I turned and beckoned the Innkeeper, I turned back,
"Now fellow, what is your pleasure?" The chair was empty, no sign that
anyone had ever been there, save for a small bag left in the middle of
the table. I emptied the contents of that bag onto the table; it
contained nought but a few fragments of plain eggshell, thicker than
usual but not necessarily out of the ordinary. My eye, however, was
drawn to some faded script on the bags' inner hem. And yes, although
faded it did make the mark of the name Cethryn.
What of the peddlers Gift? You may ask. Well, as I now know him, to
quote my good friend Cethryn, I venture that is for another time.
I hope my tale cheered you somewhat my good friend Thomas, oh and by
the way I've enclosed a little something to aid you through the dark
times ahead. Dearest Thomas I do hope all will be well and we can meet
up again soon, though I do venture that that pleasure is for another