How to Slay a Dragon


Can you see the dragon? Yeah, me either. But… my son can. He’s just shot it.

My son wants a gun.

No, he corrects me, he needs a gun.

“Why?” I ask.

“To kill a dragon,” he says to me, matter of fact and followed by a look of ‘boy, are you stupid or what.’

“What dragon?” I ask.

“The dragon outside my window,” he says, with another look of ‘boy, are you an idiot or what.’

I look out the window of his bedroom while he sits up in bed. I look out into the courtyard and the green garden, with a large rosebush. There’s no dragon. I start to worry. Why can’t I see it? I stare harder. But nothing. Nothing at all. No dragon, no childhood visions of fire-breathing beasts. Nothing at all. I start to worry that my imagination is running low and my age is taking away my childhood visions of “The Lord of the Rings.” I don’t see a thing but a courtyard, three chairs, a table and plants. I look and look for the dragon, any sign at all, and time passes and nothing happens.

I turn back to my son, who has laid back in his bed, tired and seemingly spent, with an object made out of Lego bricks at his side. It is shaped as a gun. A big gun. A machinegun.

“What about the dragon?” I ask.

“I shot it,” he says, rolling on to his side to go to sleep.

“But where is it?”

“It’s dead,” he says. “I’m tired now.”

I crawl into bed hoping to dream of dragons, that I can join my son on his next adventure to slay a dragon, no matter how dangerous. And it comes, the dragon starts to rear its head in my dream. Yes. Let’s go, I will tell my son in the morning. We will take on the next dragon together, guns, swords and tanks. The whole lot.

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