A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.
Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to Molly Stark School to meet with Mrs. Wells’ 2nd grade class, to tell Dragon tales and talk about my scaly friends. Now, this was an ominous undertaking! I was representing Dragons—striving to help them put their best feet forward! Add to that not having worked with kids in donkey’s ears, and I was absolutely terrified of letting both Dragons and kids down. Of course, while my grown-up angst ran amok, I inconveniently forgot one very important truth:
The subject was Dragons! (Thank you, Frank Gilroy.)
Everybody loves Dragons!
Well, ok, some people don’t. Poor dears.
I don’t think it was always so. I firmly believe that all of us, in our youthful once-upon-a-times, have been enchanted by Dragons. It may have been a brief encounter, fleeting as a glimpse of Champ on a foggy day, but somewhere, somewhen, we’ve all brushed against their majesty. Unfortunately people can become so deep-rutted in the banality of adulthood that Dragons—even pocket-sized house dragons—no longer have a room in their world. True, some may know a sort of lingering regret, glimpsing Dragons in the nostalgia of wistful dreams. But most who have shut Dragons from their lives do so with a vengeance that can only be described as downright hostile. The less said about them the better.
But I digress.
A week ago I sat down with Payton, Hunter, Sophia, Bryan, Nathan, Taylor, Miranda, Dylan, Meghan, Trent, Jackson, Dale, Isaiah, and Veronica. (Oh, I hope I didn’t leave anyone out!) Oops, I did: and Ayden, Morgan, and Tucker.
As I read Dragon tales, showed pictures and flags, fielded marvelous questions, even pulled out the globe for a draconic geography lesson, curiosity rolled off their young faces like thunder on a summer’s day! Here were Dragon Keepers in the making and their enthusiasm did this old Dracophile’s heart good.
The long and short of it is, all my fears proved foolish specters thanks to the extraordinary sense of wonder the kids had.
I had a blast! You even sparked a couple of ideas in my head for new Dragon stories. Inspirational, all the way! (And for everyone of you who wants a house dragon of their very own, may your wish come true. It’s coming on spring, the perfect time to find HD eggs. Keep your eyes and hearts open! And be sure to ask your parents to keep plenty of milk and eggs on hand; HDs love their morning omelettes.)
May you always keep your sense of wonder, your enchantment with Enchantments.