The Dragon Player

There was once a dragon who moved to live at the top of a hill above the town of Dragondale.

Though the town grew rich from a roaring tourist trade, what the dragon attracted in visitors he took back in livestock and extortionate demands for his share of the tourists’ gold.

The town soon elected a new mayor and he swept to power by promising the people he would rid them of their dragon.

One day a knight rode into town. He and his horse wore black and he promised the town that for half the share of the dragon’s gold his sword would rid them of their fiery pest.

The townsfolks’ hopes were high but the very next day the knight and his horse came rolling down the hill like two burnt sausages escaping a barbeque.

Some time later another knight rode into town promising to succeed where the black knight had failed. He and his horse wore blue and he declared that facts and logic could be used to reason with the dragon.

Once again, the town were met with disappointment as the crispy remains of the knight and his horse bounced down the hill like a handful of giant peas falling from a plate.

News of these knights and their fates spread far and wide, and it was quite some time before any new applicants came to visit. With the mayor now under pressure, he sent requests for help to every corner of the land.

Finally, another knight arrived. The knight and his horse wore yellow and stories of the visitor’s cowardice in battle were so well known that the colour itself was regarded as an insult.

Amidst hoots of laughter from the crowd, the knight demanded that if he could rid the town of their problem then every last piece of the gold that they paid to the dragon would be his.

Still, the people were desperate and had nothing to lose so they bid the stranger good luck and prepared to bury his remains with the others at the bottom of the hill.

The next day the knight set off and the townsfolk waited for the inevitable. A few hours passed, and the knight still had not returned. Then, suddenly, a dark shadow swept through the valley as the dragon flew overhead and off into the distance.

The town was amazed and hailed their new champion as a hero. That night there was an enormous feast in the knight’s honour as the whole town celebrated.

After much wine and with the party in full swing, the town’s mayor turned to his guest and begged him to reveal his secret.

“Well, to be honest,” said the knight, “it was the same thing I said to him at Dragonville…Dragonside…and Dragon island…that we share the gold between us and move to somewhere new.”

As the mayor listened, he slowly realised that his town had been duped.

“You villainous fool!” cried the mayor, “Now that you’ve confessed, why should I pay you a penny or spare you from this mob who will surely tear you limb from limb?”

The knight took a long sip of wine and smiled back at him.

“Who do you think paid for your election campaign?”


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