Melvin the dragon lived in a cave on top of a hill
and at the bottom of the hill was a village called Idyll.
Melvin couldn’t breathe fire and had stubby little wings,
so had no chance of flying, except in his dreams.
All the animals loved Melvin but he liked the bunnies best
and on cold mornings he’d fluff their fur up with his breath.
The animals and people weren’t afraid of being harmed
because Melvin ate no meat, only vegetables and plants.
Melvin’s best human friend was a boy called Mac Moozely.
Mac talked to Melvin and kept the village running smoothly.
The farmers burned Melvin’s dung to heat their homes and to cook
and at night they burned his earwax to help them read books.
But one frosty day, Melvin delivered no dung
so the villagers couldn’t work and they couldn’t have fun.
Night came and Melvin brought no earwax either.
The village people were angry – they were none the wiser.
Everyone was saying mean things, except Mac.
“Something must be wrong – he might have hurt his back!”
“Something wrong with a dragon?” said Mac’s mum. “Don’t be silly!”
“But, dad, maybe he’s sick. Maybe his cave got too chilly!”
“No, son. Dragons are strong – they don’t feel the air.
Melvin will soon be down – there’s nothing to fear.”
Mac wasn’t convinced so when his parents went to bed
he crept out in the dark to his little pony’s shed.
By the light of the moon, he felt super brave
as he trekked up the hill to Melvin’s huge cave.
He was not far away when he heard an “Aaaah choo!!!”
Then a wind gusted out, with a glob of green goo.
Melvin lay shivering with his head on the floor.
Slime oozed from his nose – he was feeling very poor.
“Oh, Melvin!” said Mac. “I knew you weren’t lazy!”
“It’s midnight,” said Melvin. “You must be crazy!”
“Don’t worry,” said Mac. “How’d you get so sick?”
“The new cows brought a bug, and spread it round quick.
You should stay away from me, Mac, or you might get sick too!”
“No way, Melvin! I’m going to take care of you.”
Mac galloped down the hill and burst into his parents’ room:
“Melvin’s caught an awful cold! We have to take him some food!”
At first Mac’s parents were angry that he’d gone out alone at night
but soon they chose to help because they knew that he was right.
Mrs Murphy gathered vegetables and Mr Murphy got equipment.
They rode a tractor up the hill to administer the treatment.
Mac helped his dad to make Melvin a nice bed,
while his mum used a spade so the sick dragon was fed.
The next day Mr Murphy told the villagers about Melvin.
The adults felt sorry they’d been mean and neglected him.
They took turns to bring Melvin more veges, water and straw.
The children drew “Get Well” cards but wished they could do more.
Then the farmers inspected the horses and pigs, the chickens and goats
They checked the sheep, cats and dogs – and even the stoats.
But none had got sick like the cows and the bunnies,
who lived near the mountain where it wasn’t as sunny.
See, the farmers had bought the cows because of their milk.
It made the creamiest of butters – was smoother than silk.
But the cows were sad to have brought the flu too.
Now they wanted to help – what good could they do?
They offered their earwax for candles, and their dung for fuel.
The bees offered more wax, and more dung came from the mules.
A week later and Melvin was well, plus Mac had some exciting information.
The cows had told him of a dragon, who was in a similar situation.
Melvin’s parents had died together happily, aged two hundred and one
making him the only dragon in the village, which wasn’t much fun.
He had heard of other dragons who lived very far away
but now he heard about one who could be reached in just two days!
Mac said: “You must go and find this other dragon!”
“But won’t you be lonely if I do?” asked kindly Melvin.
“Not as lonely as I’d be if I were the only boy in the land!”
So they got together with the cows and started hatching a plan.
The next morning Melvin said goodbye and set off on his way.
He swam the river for miles, then slept the rest of the day.
At night he awoke and travelled through an enormous forest
then at dawn he saw the mountains, of which the cows had promised.
At last he came to a city like the cow’s had described
but the men started shouting and the woman began to cry.
So Melvin lay down and rested his head on his claws:
his ears flopped to the ground – he wanted peace, not a war.
The people saw Melvin was gentle, like their dragon Lynn
and were happy she could finally meet one of her kin.
“Go through that field and up that hill,” a nice lady said.
“She’ll be in her cave napping, on her soft feather bed.”
When Melvin reached Lynn’s cave, he thumped his tail against the wall
but when she didn’t come outside he knew he’d have to call:
“Hello! My name is Melvin and I’m a dragon too.
I thought you’d like to meet me – I want to meet you!”
Lynn peeked outside and was shocked to see Melvin.
Just like him, it had been years since she’d seen another dragon!
“I’m so happy to meet you!” they said at the same time.
Then she invited him in, and he saw her cave was very fine.
Mac was excited a year later when Melvin came home
Even better was that Melvin and Lynn weren’t alone.
Concept by Marlia Fraser
Illustrated by Georga Joy Garcia
© 2014 Elizabeth Allan
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED