Dragon, Dragon By John Gardner
There was once a king whose kingdom was terrorized by a dragon. The dragon was a prankster and liked to drive everybody crazy, he would do crazy things like:
Stopped up chimneys. • Frightened maids • Broke store windows. • Set people clocks backs • Made dogs bark • Robbed graves. • Tipped over fences • Put frogs in people’s waters. • Change house numbers around • Tore last chapters out of novels. • Put firecrackers in people’s cigars • Stole spark plugs out of people’s cars. • Changed around all the roads in the kingdom so that people could not get anywhere except by starting in the wrong direction.
The king had has enough and called for a town meeting. A wise cobbler, who had a wife and three sons, came to the meeting and sat at the back while the king was asking for help to kill the dragon, the king offered: “I will give the princess’s hand in marriage to anyone who can make the dragon stop”
The cobbler said it wasn’t enough, “what about the ones who are already married?” he said. So the king changed his offer and said: “I will give the princess hand in marriage and half of my kingdom”. The cobbler still thought it was not enough so he left but his older son step up and accepted the offer.
The older son was getting ready to find and kill the dragon when he stopped to ask his father for advice, the father told him to recite a chant like: “Dragon, dragon, what do you do? I’ve come from the king to murder you” “Say it loudly and the dragon will fall at your feet”
The older son thought his father was crazy, he was really smart and thought that he might be able to play some trick on the dragon and then kill him so he showed up in the dragon’s cave and the dragon gulp him in one bite. He regretted not having listened to his father.
The second son was really strong and was convinced that he would be able to kill the dragon but for common courtesy he also stopped by his father’s cabin and asked for advice, the father gave him the same advice as he gave the older son: The cobbler told his son to say : “Dragon, dragon, what do you do? I’ve come from the king to murder you” “Say it loudly and the dragon will fall at your feet”.
The second son also thought that this father had lost his mind and left there convinced that he would kill the dragon and decided to not listen to his father’s advice and went to the cave where he got in charging against the dragon, the dragon swallowed him in a single gulp.
Now it was the cobblers’ younger son turn and he was neither smart nor strong, he was scared to death but decided to give it a try anyway. He stopped by his father’s house and asked for the advice. The father told his son to recite the same chant: “Dragon, dragon, what do you do? I’ve come from the king to murder you” “Say it loudly and the dragon will fall at your feet”.
The younger one was so scared that he decided to follow his father’s advice; once he arrived to the dragon’s cave, the dragon was waiting for him and when the younger son said the chant:
The dragon started to laugh so hard that he started rolling on the floor and he continued laughing and laughing making the younger son madder and madder until he got so mad that he jump on his belly and slit the dragon’s throat.
The two brothers who were in the dragon’s belly jumped out and thanked their younger brother. He was so happy that he had won half of the kingdom and was going to be rich and also marry the princess. When they came back to town all the people were happy and the princess was happy too because she really like the younger son to be her husband.