Firetongue Seeks Uncle Infernos help
Once upon a time a dragon was born who couldnt breathe fire. His mother, alas, made the bad mistake of calling him Firetongue. How was she to know he would be different from his brothers and sisters?
Firetongue found life miserable almost from the start. To begin with, he missed out on all the fun because nearly every game needed him to breathe fire. And to make matters worse the others wouldnt stop teasing him, which he of course resented. After all, they didnt tease Emberling, who had lost an eye in an accident. And they didnt leave her out of their games, either.
In despair Firetongue went to see Uncle Inferno. Uncle Inferno lived alone. Although shy around other grown dragons, he enjoyed telling tales to the youngsters. He was also willing to listen to their problems. Maybe he could advise Firetongue on how to stop the teasing.
However, what Firetongue didnt yet know about Uncle Inferno was that he had a wicked sense of humor. Sometimes his advice got mixed up with his tall tales and landed trusting young dragons in trouble with their parents.
Your mother must have forgotten to give you fire rock to eat the moment you were born, he said gravely. If a baby dragons first meal isnt fire rock it never learns how to make fire. Im afraid its already too late.
Uncle Inferno blew an endless stream of multicolored smoke rings into the air. Looking thoughtful, he made them form into a corkscrew that soared high over the cliffs where the dragons lived in caves. He didnt seem to notice how woeful Firetongue looked. There is one other answer to the problem. But for that you must visit Mount Furnace.
He pointed with one long claw to the distant horizon, where a tiny-looking plume of smoke spoiled the blue of an otherwise cloudless sky.
See that? Thats Mount Furnace where all the fire rock comes from. When youre grown up youll be able to fly over it. Its full of the stuff. The Fire God will most likely be asleep at the bottom. He doesnt mind dragons taking the ordinary fire rock. But that will be no use to you. The piece you need looks like a huge polished ruby. Theres only one and its his special treasure, so youll have to be careful taking it. If you wake him up hell burn you to cinders.
By this time Uncle Infernos smoke rings had brought a crowd of young dragons, all wide-eyed with wonder. Uncle Inferno was the only dragon able to perform tricks with smoke. He was always happy to explain how he did it.
But none of the youngsters ever managed to blow more than one ring, and never a colored one. Now, he winked at them. They all grinned as they realized Uncle Inferno, in his own way, was also teasing Firetongue.
But Firetongue was too excited to see this. At last he had a chance to solve his problem!
Thank you, Uncle Inferno, he said breathlessly.
All the youngsters watched Firetongue leave, the older ones trying to stifle their giggles at such a trusting nature. But no harm would come to him, they told themselves. Everyone knew that timid Firetongue would go straight to his mother. She would be very cross with him for believing anything Uncle Inferno said. Read reviews of The Little Dragon Without Fire.
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