It’s that time of year when everyone has written their Christmas list and is waiting hopefully for Father Christmas to drop down their chimney. (Don’t worry if you have central heating, Santa is an old hand at this and always finds a way to get to the mince pies.)
Drago wasn’t sure if he would get a visit. He had tried to be good all year, but sometimes he couldn’t help letting out a heavy sigh and when he did he tended to set fire to things. Added to that his wings sometimes knocked objects over, and his tail was so long he couldn’t always control it.
The OHDAR (Orphan’s Home for Destitute Animals and Reptiles) had tried their best to find him a new home but without success. With all the children wanting pets for Christmas the kittens and puppies had gone bounding out the door with their new owners, accompanied by expensive toys to make them feel at home.
Once or twice visitors had shown interest in the dragon but as soon as the staff explained how much attention he needed they always chose something easier, knowing the kids would soon get bored and it would be down to the parents to take care of the new pet.
Add to that his long lifespan and it wasn’t surprising nobody wanted him. It looked as if he would be spending yet another year in his small enclosure, alone, lonely and just wanting someone to love him. There weren’t any other dragons in captivity so he knew he would never meet a lady friend, and as an endangered species might even be the last of his line.
Another deep sigh unwittingly escaped his lips, the fire alarm went off and once again he was in trouble. Feeling miserable and with nothing better to do he was sound asleep when he heard a clatter outside and looked up to see a jolly, fat man with a white beard.
“Ho, Ho, Ho and a Merry Christmas to you Drago. Have you been a good dragon this year?”
“I’ve tried to be, Santa but things kept going wrong. Nobody wants me and when I feel sad and let out a breath things get burnt and I get the blame. I guess I’m on the naughty list this year.”
“Hm,” said Father Christmas. “This is a difficult one. You’re not really good, and you’re not really bad. I’ve got an idea. Instead of having the flames cause problems how would you like to come and help me tonight. When we fly over the North Pole the tracks on the sleigh keep freezing up and the reindeer say it makes it harder to pull. You could help to melt the ice and make it easier. What do you say?”
“I’d love to, but how do I get out of here?”
“No problem. I can sort that. Off we go then.”
At first the reindeer were a bit dubious when the dragon started flying alongside them, but every time they went over a particularly cold part of the world Santa gave Drago a wave and he blew a gentle fire breath to thaw the frost.
He had a wonderful time and although he was tired from all the flying he didn’t want the night to end. Finally, with all the presents delivered they returned to the North Pole for a welcome mince pie and a glass of Sherry.
“Well my lad, you did a wonderful job tonight and we got round in record time. You’ve definitely earned a place on the virtuous list. Now what present would you like?”
“The only thing I want Santa, is to live with a nice family all year round. I know so many animals at the shelter who find homes for Christmas then are back soon after the New Year when the children get fed up with them.”
“I would never do that to you Drago. It’s terrible when people treat living animals like throw away toys. You can come and live with me and Mrs Claus. With a few hot breaths now and then you can keep our fires going and help reduce the heating bills. After all, a Dragon is for life, not just for Christmas.”
And that boys and girls is why you don’t see many dragons. They’re all too busy helping Santa keep warm.
© Voinks December 2016