Monday, April 23, 2007

The Rhino Writes! The Dragon's Claw, Part II

This is the second in a series of posts from a story entitled "The Dragon's Claw" that my son, the Rhino, who is 11, wrote. It won third place in a district competition. The next post in the series will be on Monday, April 30th. For the first post, click here.


James had never met a dragon before and he didn’t exactly seem too friendly. “Why do you linger into my cave?” asked the dragon in a booming voice. “Have you come, like so many others, to slay me?” Opening his mouth to shine his murderous teeth, he demanded, “Well, have you?!”

James knew this wasn’t going to end well.

“Umm…umm…no! I was just …umm…chasing a thief to get the kin--”

“AHHa! The King! You work for that villain!” yelled the dragon.

“What did the King ever do to you?” asked James, confused.

“Have you ever heard of the bounty on one dragon’s head? I am one of the last dragons in this land!” countered the dragon angrily.

“Ah,” said James, quietly.

“I’ll make a deal with you, little one. I will let you stay in this warm cave as long as you help me keep any enemy of mine off my back. Deal?”

“I guess. Deal,” said James, “Better to die in this cave fighting than in a blizzard outside on the mountain.” Tiredly, James sat down on a rock and waited for something to happen.


James had never met the King, even though he was a royal guard. But from what he had heard, the King sounded like an awful person.

James had been living with the dragon for a month now…and nothing had happened. He had to get his own food, but hunting was easy on the mountain because animals were everywhere. He camped out by the entrance, to help protect it. He knew the dragon would throw him out if something dangerous came in, so if anything he was being over-protective.

On this day, James went outside and gathered up some firewood, to cook some meat, and then went out hunting as usual. When he came back, he had already killed two deer, and was carrying them over his shoulder. When he dropped them by the entrance to the cave, he thought he heard something outside.

“Hmm,” said James, drawing his sword. The bushes outside rustled. “Umm…dragon?”

Yeeeee!” Screamed a 4 ft. tall creature, leaping out of the bushes.

“Goblins!” James yelled. Goblins never traveled alone.

The little creatures were everywhere. They drew knives, swords—some even had shields. There were at least ten of them, all coming into the cave together.

'Where’s Dragon?' thought James desperately, sweeping his sword from side to side.

The goblins were closing in, laughing and jumping. Just then, one goblin jumped in the air, slashing its small knife right at James’ face. James deflected it, and quickly turned in time to see one lone goblin swing a short sword at him from behind. He barely deflected that blow, his sword colliding with the goblin’s stomach.

Arrggghhh!” The goblin collapsed to the ground.

But another goblin used this as an opportunity for a counter-attack, and swiped his own sword across James’s stomach.

“Ahh!” cried James in pain, leaning down on his knee. But still, James was quick with his own attack, and when the goblin tried to finish him, he rose up and struck the goblin in the throat! The goblin tumbled down, holding onto his neck. The other goblins backed up, intimidated.

James saw his chance and took a strike at the goblin to his left. The goblin ducked and rolled past him. James followed him, turning towards the goblin and landing a blow on the top of his helmet.

Blahgh!” cried the goblin, slowly falling to the ground, dazed.

Kill him, already!” Yelled a goblin who seemed to be the leader.

James remembered something the Commander of the guards used to say: “Cut off the head of the snake, and the body will follow.”

‘Kill the leader!’ James thought.

James, for once on the attacking side, charged toward the lead goblin. When he was in range, he jumped in the air, and came down with all his force on top of the goblin.

The goblin dodged to the side, but only barely. James knew now he had the upper hand—or did he? A second later, James felt a stab of pain in his back!

“AHHH!” James screamed, falling down on his knees. Berserking, stabbing all around him, surprisingly, James hit a goblin in the stomach. His vision started to blur. Then a bright light appeared in the sky, and he blacked out completely.

Chapter Four: Awakening

James woke up in a dark cave. His back hurt badly, and his head hurt like his horse had stepped on it.

“Uhhh,” he grunted, and stood up. Or tried to. He felt a sharp pain in his back and fell down on his knees again.

“Ahhh!” James yelled in pain.

“You’re finally up,” said a loud, booming voice. “You’ve been asleep for two days now, from a minor injury.”

“You call being stabbed in the back a minor injury?!”

“Well, you’re talking and you don’t seem to be so injured now,” said the dragon, curiously. “I don’t know because whenever I see a knight, I usually eat them. Or burn them.”

“Oh,” said James quietly, a little frightened. He stood up carefully. He felt pain in his back, but this time he was able to ignore it. He walked over to his small camp near the entrance. His sword was there, along with many smaller ones and knives. The goblins must have dropped their weapons and run. He gathered them into a pile and decided he would need some food to eat.

But then the dragon came, dropping a deer on the ground in front of him, and said, “You must be hungry. I brought you food.”

“Thank you,” said James, surprised. He went over to his stored wood to start a fire.

“I got it,” said the dragon, and then blew fire at the pile. The logs quickly started burning. James was starting to like this dragon. He had given James a place to stay and saved him from the goblins. ‘Maybe I should stay here,’ James thought.

“In the name of the King, we have come to slay the dragon!”

‘Oh, no! Dragonslayers!’

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