Once a long time ago, or maybe it hasn´t happened yet, I´ve never been quite clear on that point, there was a place here on our beautiful planet Earth, or maybe it was someplace else, I´ve never known for sure, where only dragons lived, well, let´s say where almost only dragons lived.
These dragons sort of had a country of their own there, or maybe it was a kingdom, but then there would have had to have been a king which there wasn´t, and come to think of it, these dragons didn´t really call it anything, it was just where they lived, but it was a place and it had towns and villages and farms where most of the dragons lived and, oh yeah, it had one mountain right in the middle.
Most of the dragons there were pretty average, more like big lizards actually, but there were one or two that were special and there was one lizard, I mean dragon, who was different than all the rest. He was sort of a mean dragon, really cantankerous and extremely difficult to get along with because he thought he knew everything there was to know about everything and thought it was impossible for him to be wrong about anything. He was so sure of this that he would get really angry and breath fire at and singe off the eyelashes of anyone who disagreed with anything he said was true, and once he decided something was so, he would never change his mind about it, not even if someone could prove he was wrong.
Anyway, this obnoxious dragon´s name was Elmore and it was actually kind of sad when you think about it. If he wasn´t so stubborn and allowed that maybe he didn´t know everything, then maybe he would have been a lot easier to like. He did have some rather nice qualities. His scales had a particularly nice sheen and shimmered with all the colors that there are and his claws and teeth were exactly the same color as the moon sparkling on water and then there was his tail. OH MY! Has there ever been a more fantastic tail! It was soooo long! Longer than any other dragon tail that had ever been, and dragons have pretty long tails in general. Elmore´s tail was possibly a hundred miles long or kilometers or leagues or something long, I´ve never really got that stuff figured out, but to tell you the truth, probably, no one ever measured it. You see, dragons don´t think they have to measure everything the way humans do, but it was very, very long indeed and Elmore, who was actually quite tall when he sat up straight, couldn´t see the whole thing at once and in fact, had never seen the end of it.
It was said, I don´t know who said it, but it was said by someone, that every once in a while Elmore would come across a length of his tail that he had never seen before and say, “My, my, my! What a beautiful tail. Not as beautiful as mine, of course, but look at all those shimmery colors and, my word, so many spines, more like a cactus than a tail actually. I sure wouldn´t want to touch it! Quite dangerous. I wonder who it belongs to. He must be out of sight around the corner thinking he´s hiding something.”
You see, because he couldn´t see that that particular section was connected to himself, he thought it belonged to somebody else, but it wasn´t only the spines that made his tail so dangerous. Whenever Elmore went walking in the dragon´s land, his tail would be following him and he couldn´t see what the end of it was doing. Whenever he turned left or right, way back down at the end where he couldn´t see, the tip of it would whip around and crack like thunder, knocking over everything in it´s path. It had even knocked over whole towns with it´s terrible swish. Then, when Elmore turned around to walk back home, he would see all the destruction it had caused. Grocery stores, houses, it had taken out a couple of banks, gas stations and tall office buildings would all be laying on their sides and the other dragons would be shaking there heads and wringing their hands in dismay wailing, “It was that terrible tail again!”, and Elmore would say, “Crimeny sakes! I must have just missed it!” It seems he was always arriving places just after his tail had left, “Whoever owns that thing should be thrown in a dungeon or something!”
But there was no dungeon in the dragon´s realm. In fact, there was no law enforcement, no police, no national guard, nothing, because dragons value above all else, their freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want to do it, you see, because they´re dragons and that´s what dragons do.
So there was nothing to be done about it except to re-build.
The dragons would look at Elmore like he was a nut case and tell him, “But Elmore! It was you! It was your tail that did this!” and Elmore would get that crazy glowy look in his eyes and smoke would start coming out of his nose holes and he would bellow fire at everybody´s eyelashes and he would stomp around yelling, “What! How dare you accuse me, an perfectly innocent dragon of these horrible crimes! How dare you think you could teach me something I don´t know about MYSELF! Who could know more about me than ME! My tail has been right here with me all afternoon and I surely would have noticed if it doing something like this!” And then he would stomp around, crashing into everything in a blind rage that he wouldn´t remember afterwards, which is a dragon trait, blaming it all on “some other dragon´s tail”, catching things on fire with his fire breath, and causing even more damage. One time, he got so bad, he took out an entire National Park.
The villagers soon learned that trying to talk to Elmore about it just wasn´t worth it. They just didn´t know what to do. Finally they had a big meeting and decided that it would be best if everyone just hid whenever they saw him coming.
“Cowards!”, Elmore called them when he heard about it, “I guess this leaves it up to me to find this despicable character and clear my spotlessly clean, good name all by myself.”
Even though Elmore may not have been the smartest dragon the world had ever known, he wasn´t stupid. I didn´t take him long to come up with a plan that, actually, wasn´t all that bad. Since, as we all know, mountains are much, much, smaller at the top that they are at the bottom, he figured that if he could lure the “criminal beast” up to the top where there was no room to hide, he could trap him and find a dungeon someplace to throw him in.
To bait the trap, he got a disguise with a funny little paper hat and a push-cart and proceeded to walk all the way around the base of the mountain yelling, “Humans! Get yer red-hot fire-roasted humans heeeer!”
He didn´t really have any fire-roasted humans, of course. Humans had been extinct for a long time in the dragon´s place, but dragons have long memories and remembered how irresistible and juicy they were to eat. They were extinct because, well, dragons do not conserve! When they see something they like to eat, they eat it…. till it´s GONE!
After he had gone completely around the mountain yelling “fire- roasted humans”, he ditched the push cart and headed up the mountain. He was all out of breath and real disappointed when he got to the top to find himself all alone. “Dang!” he exclaimed, “That must be one dumb dragon to pass up a chance to eat fire-roasted humans!”
He waited a little while, just in case the other dragon was just a slow climber, and headed back down the mountain. When he got to the bottom, he was in for another big surprise. There, laying across his path was his tail, right where he´d left it when he circled the mountain pretending to be a fire roasted human vendor.
“Oh no!” he cried in despair, “While I was up on the mountain waiting to trap the dastardly demon, he trapped me! There´s no way I could survive climbing over those wicked spines!” Of course, if Elmore had just walked around for awhile up there, his tail would have eventually moved out of his way, but it was too late. He had already decided that he was impossibly trapped and there was no way out. And of course, Elmore, being Elmore, would never change his mind, so that was that.
That´s how everything got resolved. Elmore stayed up on the mountain and found a nice cozy cave to turn into his lair where he wasn´t bothered by anyone he thought was more stupid than himself and the villagers put signs around the bottom of the mountain saying, “Danger, Beware of tail!” and never went up there anymore. They re-built everything and went back to doing whatever they wanted whenever they wanted to and never had anymore trouble from Elmore or his tail again.
I just goes to show you, there a lesson or two here if you think about it, like…..
“If you want to be free, you better keep an open mind, just don´t fall in it.”
…and, oh, maybe, “It´s alright to admit you don´t know something. It´ll save you the trouble of making something up.”
….or, I know, “You might not know your rear end from something else.” and maybe a couple other things…..and