A-Book-Dragon.txt by Unknown

A-Book-Dragon.txt by Unknown

Language: eng
Format: epub





squarely. The dragon flew to a higher beam, in case the animal had any idea of attacking him. The last time he had faced a rat, he had been much larger. It had been long since he had fought anything at all; so long that the very idea of fighting had grown strange to him. Still, he would not flee. It might be foolhardy, or even stupid, to stand up to an animal as large as this, but he could not think of abandoning his box and its contents.

As the rat continued to watch him,

swaying his long neck to and fro. None-

such rose on his claws and curved his wings forward. If he attacked, he thought, he

should launch himself at a spot on the rat's spine, too far back for the animal's teeth to reach him. The rat was not so securely

perched on his beam: if he turned quickly

on it, he might fall off.

But the rat showed no desire for battle.

His eyes remained mild and inquisitive.

Clearly he thought Nonesuch was some kind of insect. But rats ate insects. Well, Nonesuch thought, when he had seen how this

particular insect could sting, he would leave it well enough alone. The rat only continued to look at him curiously, as if he could not believe what he saw.

"Who are you?" he asked finally.


"A dragon," Nonesuch replied.

The rat seemed to be making an effort not to laugh.' 'Apart from your size," he replied at last, "which makes the whole idea ridiculous, your shape isn't quite right."

"What did you say?" Nonesuch demanded. He curved his wings and bristled his neck scales.

The rat looked at him even more closely. "At least," he said in a courteous voice, "you are different from any of the dragons I have seen."

"You saw a dragon!" Nonesuch exclaimed. "Where?"

The rat gestured with his long nose towards a very messy pile of paper in one corner. "Over there some place."

"Where is he now?" Nonesuch demanded.

The rat considered the tone of the question.' 'Not a living one, of course," he explained. "He'd hardly fit into the cellar, would he? There's a picture of one in that pile. I'll find it for you presently."

He looked at Nonesuch again, at some length, and cleared his throat. "I must admit," he told the dragon in a more respectful tone, "that I've never seen anything like you, whatever you are. You kept yourself well hidden.''

"I had no reason to come out before." For the moment, Nonesuch had decided not to tell the rat about his box, much less about the book it contained.

The rat nodded wisely. "You have even less reason to come out now," he declared. "This cellar is no better than a dank and foul prison."

Nonesuch looked around again. The cellar was certainly untidy, but also quiet and sheltered. "It doesn't seem as bad

as that," he remarked. "Still, if you don't like it, why don't you go outside?"

The rat looked startled at the suggestion. "Oh


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