The Cutest Dragon

This is Norman. Norman is a dragon.

Norman wasn’t like other dragons. Norman wasn’t scary.

His friends all had horns, or scales, or long, spikey tails. But not Norman. Norman had cute, fluffy feet. And a cute little nose. And big yellow eyes. His spikes were soft and fluffy. Bright spots dotted his belly and long whiskers tickled his face. His tail ended with a big fuzzy pom pom.

Norman didn’t like being cute.

He struggled to hide his cuteness, tearing out his fur and baring his sharp teeth. Being cute made it very hard to scare people.

“You couldn’t kidnap even one princess looking like that,” his friends said.

“I could if I wanted to,” Norman muttered under his breath.

“Oh yeah?” his friends said. The other dragons chose the smallest princess they could find. She was a little girl in a froofy dress sitting beside the pond outside of the castle.

“Go on, Norman,” they said. “Scare her.”

Norman’s hairy ears drooped when he saw her. But he couldn’t back out. He crawled low on his belly, sliding under the fence and slinking past the manicured hedge. His soft feet made no noise as he crept up behind her. He raised his cute, little head and roared as loud as he could manage.

Her head spun around to look at him. Her eyes were as big as dragon eggs. She bunched up her fists tights and screamed.

“What a cute little dragon!!” she squealed.

It scared Norman very badly. He ran away on his fast little feet.

Norman found the smallest, darkest cave and he crept all the way to the back, curling into a ball. He felt very sorry for himself.

A soft voice echoed from outside. “Oh little dragon. Oh cute little dragon. Please come out little dragon.”

It was the little princess. She had followed him.

Now Norman felt even sorrier for himself. He huddled in the darkness, hoping the mud would mat his fur and make it uglier, and he waited for her to go away.

“Go away!” he growled.

He saw the princess’ polished shoes. And then he saw her ruffled blue skirt. And then, there she was, her little face, looking into the cave where he was hiding.

“There you are,” the princess said. “I was looking for you.”

She forced her hand into the cave and groped the air as far back as she could, but she couldn’t quite reach Norman.

“Oh, come out cute little dragon,” she said again.

“I am not cute,” he shouted. “I’m a big, mean dragon.”

The princess pulled her hand back and peered into the cave again, smiling at him.

“But if you were a mean dragon then I would be afraid of you. And I’m not afraid of you. Not even a little bit.”

Norman squished his belly deeper into the mud of the cave, pouting.

“But I could be mean,” he said.

The little princess thought for a while. “Well, do you want to be mean?”

Norman thought long and hard. No one had ever asked Norman what he wanted before. He was not very good at being mean. And it scared him a lot when people were mean to him.

“No,” Norman said. “I don’t think that I do want to be mean. But I’m supposed to kidnap princesses. It’s what dragons do.”

The princess put her finger to her mouth. “What’s involved in kidnapping princesses?”

Norman was not quite sure himself. “Well, you have to come and live at my place.”

“Forever?” the princess asked.

“Just until a knight comes to rescue you.”

The princess made a yuck face at the mention of knights. “What if you came to live at my castle, instead. And then we could play and I could brush your fur and you could practice scaring me. Would that count?”

Norman drew his fuzzy eyebrows together and said, “I think it might. Can we try it for a little bit and see?”

“Okay. But you have to come out of the cave for me,” the princess said.

The princess scooped him up in her pudgy arms and carried him back to her castle, where her family was waiting.

And they lived happily ever after.

Dianne Williams lives in Lawrence, Kansas. She grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries and classic science fiction. She once dreamed of being an astronaut. Or maybe a lawyer. Or an artist. She settled for being as many of them as she could all at once through fiction writing.

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