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Delphinium Blue

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Were it not for the shaggy man with the beer gut hanging past his belt, she would have been thrown to the Dragonmouths and thought nothing more of. When an outcast Eastern Bearded Dragon is taken in by optimistic and sunny boy Andrew, her life becomes that of a pampered, spoilt dragon, with food on demand, ceaseless attention and endless love. But when an unexpected disaster occurs on the family camping trip, Delphie is flung out of her comfort zone and into a tribe of savage wild dragons, who view her as a nuisance and outcast . . . all except one. As Delphie gets to know the Chief's son, she soon realises that he and she have more in common than she thought . . . and not all of it is good.

Elizabeth Smith
Age Rating:

Hairy Savior

Hairy Savior

Were it not for the shaggy man with the beer gut hanging past his belt, she would have been thrown to the Dragonmouths and thought nothing more of.

Her Keeper was not cruel, just practical and with the sales of her kind all but dead, he needed the home she was in for a more profitable reptile.

She’d often heard the Full Beards talk of the ‘last of the litter’ being cursed and offered up to the mighty Dragonmouths, which were fierce, cruel giants, who could climb trees and swallow lizards with one gulp.

They were a bad lot, those Dragonmouths, with their long forked tongues and curved claws that could tear through the toughest flesh.

The Full Beard’s brutal talk and having the bad luck of being housed right next to their cage kept the small female awake long into the night, for the Keeper no longer bothered to flick on that magic switch that made her special rock warm and cozy.

Now she had to rely on the paltry power of that great sky globe to warm her rock during the day, when she was placed outside in the glare of its brightness.

But even on the hottest days, it did nothing to warm her chilling fear, that icy talon of loneliness, which had taken hold of her after her mother and siblings were moved to The Pit, as this legendary mystic place was called.

Located outside, its inhabitants were never seen again, though it seemed that whatever lurked in its unknown depths was a great attraction to the small humans, which flocked to its edges and stared inside with wonder.

Being the runt, the talk of her ‘not surviving’ in The Pit had kept her inside the little glass square called home.

At night, the Dragonmouths gathered at their rock, which was always warm, for the Keeper never flicked off the switch on their warmth, and held their counsel, of sorts.

They were very political, for such violent brutes and even their malice had a structure, though the little dragon didn’t particularly like their topic for that night.

‘Eastie is done’ growled the one dragon called Tornscale. ‘Heard he’s tossing her tomorrow . . . shall we draw tails tonight to see who gits er?’

Impending death is bad enough but to hear your would-be murderers choosing the one to bring about that demise was chilling.

The dragon shuddered on her cold, cheerless rock and willed sleep to come, to block out their bloody chatter.

Sadly, Dragonmouths were violent and loud.

‘No more than a mouthful really’ muttered Puckeredfoot. ‘Still, might be some sport chasing it until we grow tired of its insignificant existence’

‘Come, come, we are not savages’ came a croaky voice belonging to Wrinklystump. ‘Proper way to these things, as you all know, we shall draw tails and be quick about it when the time comes, all creatures deserve a dignified death’

* * *

So after these solemn proceedings and anticipation, it was with great disappointment and anger that the Dragonmouths received the news that the lurching old derelict with the sweet and sour stench would be taking their entrée with him that day.

‘I’ve no use for er but me mate in Bourke could sell er, not a lotta Easties out that way, something of a rarity to someone she might be’

The Keeper relinquished the little Eastern Bearded Dragon happily, for she was a cute little runt and he’d felt a twinge of guilt at throwing her to his ravenous Perentie monitors.

The little dragon has resigned herself to her fate and had even tried to be happy about the relatives she’d see in Sundevine, the lizard version of heaven, so she was quite surprised when the Keeper picked her up and placed her in a tiny container then handed her to the Hairy Chin.

Her first thought was that he needed food for his own Dragonmouths and that her reprieve was only temporary but when he carried her out to his banged up old ute and put her on the dashboard, she collapsed onto the soft paper inside her container with relief.

‘Settle down their scalie, we got a long way to go’

And it was a long way, though it didn’t feel as such for the little dragon, who marveled at the scenery rushing towards her out the front windscreen.

She was also much warmer than in that cramped little glass house, for the sun came in and gave her a little heat bath everyday.

Just as interesting was the inside of Hairy Chin’s cage, as she thought of the interior of his ute.

There was liquid of an orange colour next to him, along with a long, shiny branch with metal and wood melted together.

A box mounted to the roof crackled occasionally and Hairy Chin would pull down a smaller box on a cord and mutter garbled words back.

At night, he would pull his cage off the smooth black track they traveled on during the light and trundle down a bumpy path then stop and fall asleep.

Having never seen the night or the stars, the little dragon marveled at the tiny globes tumbling in the vast roof of the dome they slept under.

Sometimes the globes would go out and trail across the roof like the tear of a snake, which she seen when the Keeper had taken the eggs off her neighbor, Keese.

The old snake wished to keep her last clutch of babies so much but her eggs were always found, no matter where she tried to hide them, and carried off into the unknown.

Then she could coil up and weep for days, a white silvery fluid, which was so like the tiny dying globes trailing across the blackness of the night.

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