by The Critic
A children's fantasy tale about a dragon and a mermaid
One Short Story from Lost Island”
A very large, lonely male dragon sat atop the monstrous, glistening cliffs. The dragon almost looked like a large stone statue carved atop the cliffs, except that every now and then he would give out a deep, long, mournful sigh, and then he would stretch his gigantic wings out as far as his wings could possibly reach. As soon as the sound of the dragon’s sigh stopped, then the sound of the dragon’s wings against the constant ocean winds would fill the air with deep whooshing sounds. After a while, the dragon would begin to slowly, and gracefully pull his wings back close to his body, and his wings would then fold up, and he would tuck them closely and neatly to the sides of his tremendous dragon body. And once again, for a while, the dragon could almost be mistaken for a large statue carved out of the top of the cliffs.
Often, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky; the cliffs sparkle like a highly faceted diamond. Even the sailors, far out to sea in their sailing vessels, were unable to tell that they were within sight of land in the mid-day sun because they would be blinded by the sharp, glaring flashes of light being reflected off of the cliffs surface. The island people, whose ancestors settled on the island, believed that the cliffs were a gift from the gods.
All the islands ancestral history is preserved through each village’s storytellers. Since Lost Island's history started long before any of the islander's could read or write, the Lost Island people preserved their history through story telling. One story that all the storytellers tell is about the great day when the island was spared from a deadly tidal wave. If the gods had not built the great, solid silver, shinning wall the whole island and all the people would have been washed away.
The storytellers tell of the beautiful mermaids that would surround the island at night to sing the many winged Lost Island dragons to sleep. The gods put the dragons on the island after they built the huge silver wall. The dragons built their nest in caves on the face of the glistening silver wall. The dragons protected the island people by eating sea monsters that would attack and destroy the islanders fishing boats. The dragons also chased away pirates that would have destroyed Lost Island villager’s happy, healthy, and easy going way of life.
Since the beginning of storytelling time, it had been forbidden for land creatures to fall in love with sea creatures. The reason was simple, the storytellers would say, nothing good would ever come of it. There is a very old story that the dragons came from a union between a land creature and a sky creature. And we all know that many a dragon has met his fate at the end of a dragon slayer’s sword.
Lost Island was the last refuge for dragons and mermaids. Dragons had been hunted and destroyed in such great numbers until the last of their species only existed on Lost Island. Ancient mariners have spread stories about their ships running aground because of the lure of the song of the Sirens. Somehow, people around the world confused a Siren's song with that of the mermaids singing. The confusion about Siren's and Mermaid's put the mermaids existance in jeopardy.
On Lost Island, the mermaid’s songs could still be heard every night in every village for many, many years, but now there was only the one lone dragon to whom the mermaids could sing to every night. Fewer and fewer mermaids would come to sing to the dragon until one night only one single mermaid came to sing the dragon to sleep. Her voice was beautiful and soothing. For the first time, the dragon heard a lone mermaid’s song, and he was very curious. He swooped down and landed on the pure white sandy beach at the bottom of the silver cliffs. The lone mermaid had never seen a dragon standing on white sandy beach. She had always seen the dragon, sitting on the top of the cliffs like a king sits on his throne. The mermaid swam closer to shore to get a better look. The dragon wanted a better view of the mermaid, so he trudged farther and farther out into the sea. As they drew closer to each other the mermaid thought that the dragon had looked so incredibly huge high up on the cliffs. The dragon while looking at the mermaid thought that she had looked so small, and delicate so far below in the deep blue sea. Their eyes met for the very first time and each felt a spark of attraction.
The dragon and the mermaid swam in the blue ocean depths for hours. The storytellers tell of when dragons would dive from the sky into the depths of the ocean to attack the sea monsters that threatened the island. It is not commonly known, but dragons can swim, and swim well.
The dragon and the mermaid were falling hopelessly in love with each other.
In the end, the dragon could not live in the ocean, just as the mermaid could not live within the dry heights of the silver shinning cliffs.
As the storytellers tell it, the dragon and the mermaid still swim together, and frolic in the ocean depths occasionally. The storytellers say just as the sun is setting, the dragon's and the mermaid's eternal devotion and friendship is what paints many an evening sky red.
The storytellers also say that all will know every time the dragon and the mermaid break the Lost Island rule which forbids land and sea creatures from falling in love, because, as the storytellers say, the early morning sky will flame red, and that will be our warning.
Today, people have long forgotten about the Lost Island dragon and mermaid. Now, the story of the dragon and the mermaid is just a simple rhyme known to most seamen,
"Red sky at night; a sailors delight
Red sky in the morning; sailors take warning"
Today's story was written for the
A dragon once fell in love with a mermaid.
Tell the tale in a short story or a poem, and let us know what happened to them.
(Extra points if it’s written for children.)
Although I included the following in this story it is not my original work. I do not know the original source.
Red sky at night; a sailors delight
Red sky in the morning; sailors take warning