The Dragon in the Cave

It was raining again outside the dragon’s cave; he could hear the faint pitter patter of the droplets against the earth as he let out a small fire from his snout. It turned the moisture in the air to steam, and he sighed in relief as he settled deeper into his bed of gold coins. The clang of coins and treasure shifted under his weight. It had been a fortnight since a human wandered into his cave. He didn’t particularly care for humans, always storming in with their pointy, shiny sticks, trying to take his gold. Maybe if they would ask nicely he would share, but none ever did. 

A pile of roasted bodies and long forgotten skeletons were in the front left corner where the light from the entrance of the cave reached them just right. The dragon hoped it would serve as a warning for any humans that attempted to steal his treasure, but it didn’t seem to. Big tough humans with their shiny bodies that melt easily with his fire. No human ever made it close. The dragon reminisced of one human who had shot a pointy stick at him, it tickled. But soon that human was ash, nothing shiny on that one.

Just as the dragon was drifting off into a peaceful sleep, soft smoke exiting his nostrils, he heard a shuffle. He stretched open one glistening eye the color of parchment paper and saw a small figure at the edge of his cave. It was a human, of course, probably there to steal his treasure. It was cloaked with a tattered dark material, and it’s face was covered. 

The dragon lifted his giant head, inhaling so deeply that it made a whooshing sound. 

“W-w-ait… please,” a soft voice stammered. 

The dragon was taken aback, no human ever spoke calmly to him before. Usually just screams or 


things along those lines mostly. 

“Why are you here human? Are you trying to be sneaky and take my treasure?” The dragon’s voice echoed loudly within the walls of the cave.

“No…” the human trailed off, clearly thinking carefully about his next words.

“I just wanted to see a dragon, honestly, I have nothing left to live for so if you decide to kill me I don’t really care.” The human spoke a little more calmly now.

“You have struck my curiosity, human, you may enter my cave. But try to fool me and you will end up like those skeletons, nothing but ash.” 

The human slowly sauntered deeper into the cave, and peeled back it’s wet hood revealing its face. He was a young man with grimy long, dark hair and a crooked nose. He stopped about twenty feet away from the dragon.

“I’ve heard tales of the dragon in his cave, guarding his glorious treasure that men try to steal. No one has ever succeeded or come back to speak of you,” the human said to the dragon. 

“Any human who tries to steal my treasure dies a fiery death, but no human has ever tried to just speak with me,” the dragon replied with a hint of sorrow in his voice. 

“I want to speak with you,” the human said. “I am an outcast in our village, they call me grotesque and throw stones at me. I am but a joke to them,” the human sighed heavily and continued, “I just wanted to see you, dragon, with my own eyes before I perish from this world.”

“Humans are strange creatures,” the dragon replied thoughtfully. “They search for only beautiful things and easily throw their lives away for it.” The dragon lifted his tremendous head, the light from the cave glimmering off of his golden scales. 

The human looked up at the dragon, now towering over him, eyes wide in amazement. He took a moment to collect himself and replied to the magnificent dragon before him.

“They think I am ugly and never give me the chance to prove my worth, and I have no family left, so I have given up on the humans in my village,” he continued. “I decided to travel somewhere else, though I do not know where.”

“That may be wise, small one, but I can easily travel to far away lands, many of which I acquired my treasure from. I do not know the abilities of a human, except that your kind perishes easily from dragon fire.”

The human let out a small chuckle, and the dragon quirked his head to the side in curiosity. 

“What is that noise human, are you mocking me?” boomed the dragon as he began to puff up his chest.

“No, no!” the human replied lifting his hands in a defensive manner. “I simply found it amusing how easily you dispense of humans.” 

“You are an interesting human,” said the dragon. “I quite enjoy conversing with you,” the dragon said as he attempted to mimic the humans chuckle, but it came out as a strange raspy roar. At this the human laughed even harder, throwing his head back showing crooked teeth. The dragon seemed to understand this and his mouth stretched over his jagged, pointy teeth in a sort of smile.

“Human,” the dragon boomed again, “I have a proposition for you. I will give you some of my treasure, a few of my old fallen scales, and one of my broken teeth to bring back to your village.”

“Wh- What?” the human stammered. “Why would you do that?”

“You have showed me that it’s possible not all humans only want treasure or beautiful things, for you just want to be accepted and have new experiences.” 

“I am so grateful dragon, but what would I do?” replied the human, clearly still in shock at the dragon’s offer.

The dragon stretched his snout into a crooked smile again. “Silly human, take them and claim you have slayed the dragon. You will then be accepted and perhaps the pesky humans from your village will leave me in peace.”

The dragon lifted a huge taloned paw and pushed a pile of various gold coins and glittering jewels towards the human. 

“Grab what you can carry,” the dragon spoke as he gently plucked one of his broken teeth from a pile of gold. It was ginormous to the human, almost as long as his arm and sharp as a blade. “And be careful with that tooth!” 

The dragon then scratched his belly with his back left paw, his talons scraping free a few of his older scales. They slid down his pile of treasure and came to a soft stop just below the humans feet. He bent down and gingerly grabbed one of the scales and moved it back and forth in the light, it glimmered more beautiful than the jewels.

“I don’t know how to thank you dragon…” the human trailed off. “This is the kindest anyone has been to me.”

“You dear human, are the kindest anyone has been to me as well. Perhaps you will visit me once in a while so we can converse more.”

The human grinned up at the dragon, “I would like that very much.” 

The human left the cave and turned back to look at the dragon one more time. “Thank you, dragon. No, thank you friend.”

The dragon practiced his smile again as he settled back into his hoard of treasure.

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