[Short story #31] - Dragons
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Each year on the same date – the 21st of August - the entire dragon population had gathered together to share news of what had happened on their continents. Each continent hosted the event once in seven years and was home to 10 dragons for a total world population of 70 dragons.
That day, it was the European's dragons responsibility to host the meeting. They chose to hold the event in an old castle built by their ancestors who had ruled the land nearly a millenium ago and had recently been renewed. It was common practice amongst dragons to flaunt their material goods as well as their physical attributes. They were a very proud species.
As it was custom, the host had to prepare a meal worthy of the royal dragon families and Saphira, the main cook, assigned tasks for everyone. Dagahra was to hunt deer, Diaval was responsible for fresh spices and herbs, Pergan was to help with the cooking and Eragon was assigned to pick mushrooms for the deer stew.
Eragon rolled his eyes and sighed, it was his least favorite task of all, but didn't hesitate to pick up the basket (shaped to go around the dragon's neck), spread his wings and fly over the vast forest surrounding the castle. The guests were arriving in 2 hours after all.
With sight sharper than that of a hawk, Eragon scouted through treetops to find the largest and the finest of fungi specimen. Every once in a while he had descended to target, but quickly identified the shape of the mushroom to be either poisonous or unknown to him and regained altitude.
His basket had quickly filled up and he returned back to the castle to present his find to Saphira.
She yelled at him for taking too long, but it was common for her to always be on her toes and in a hurry. A highly temperamental dragon indeed.
Her and Pergan chopped up the mushrooms Eragon had picked in a matter of seconds, sautéed them and added them to the stew.
The entire castle smelled of food and the hungry stomachs of the dragons were heard rumbling across the hallways. Everybody was waiting for the guests to arrive to finally sit down for a meal.
The Asian dragons were first to arrive, dressed in their traditional kimonos, and North American followed shortly after. It wasn't five minutes before all of them had gathered at the castle's landing platform and were escorted to the dining hall by king Neiro himself.
Saphira had prepared a total of four courses and the guests couldn't have been more pleased with her cooking. With their stomachs full, the adults remained parked at the table and discussed politics while the younger generation played outside and hunted mice.
Minutes turned to hours and seeing the sunlight begin to fade, the dragons decided to call it a day. They waved their goodbyes then flew off into the night, orienting by the stars. North American dragons back to North America, South American to South America, ... and European dragons back to their usual residence.
But not one of them made it back home.
For the European dragons were colorblind and the mushrooms Eragon had picked were everything but edible.
Such is the story behind the extinction of dragons.
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