Once upon a time, in a land of green and gold, there lived a little boy who dreamed of things untold. He was a quiet boy, his voice rarely heard, an only child was he not, and alas, he was the third. Classmates wanted naught with him and playmates he had none.
“Too weird and strange” was oft they said, “This father’s youngest son.”
Their parents, too, did shun the boy and sadly shake their heads. “How odd a child,” ‘tis what they said. “Pity for his parents to have had so queer a lad.”
Still the boy did pay no heed, his mind on greater things like dragons flying high at night and mystic elven kings. Each afternoon, when chores were done and homework put away, the boy would hike to yonder glen and pass away the day. Within a circle giant of stone an ancient race did live, but only he could see their forms for he alone believed.
“We welcome you,” the rocks would say and faces would appear, “how sweet of you to come each day and of our tales do hear.” The Elders were a race who roamed the land when it was free until the time of Man did come then no more to be seen.
The boy would sit amidst their shade, their stories they would tell of dragons giant and fairies bright and how the magic fell.
“The sky,” they said, “was filled with jewels as dragons coursed the clouds. Their scales of gold and red and green would sparkle gently down, and often times the hills would thunder from their mighty growls.
“The world was young then, oh so young, and magic did exist. The land was held by giants and elves and strangely living mist. But then the time of magic died for Man did once appear. At first ‘twas one and then another while magic disappeared for it was Man who could not see, their minds could not conceive. ‘Twas logic that was their religion, ‘twas logic they believed. And so it was that fairies left and dragons fade from view because without the children’s faith what shall the magic do?
“But you, young boy, you still believe and thus in you we live, for when the faith of young is gone there’s none our tales to give.”
The boy would nod in solemn quiet and watched the dragons fly. Upon their backs, he softly swore, one distant day he’d fly to dance and laugh with fairy kings where magic would not die.
Each night the boy would make for bed and look out to the woods. The fairies’ light would dance and bounce not far from where he stood.
“’Tis only fireflies,” he was told, “Small bugs and nothing more. When will you, child, grow up and learn ‘tis logic you must store?”
The boy stood quiet and softly smiled as he looked in the night. Let others think of what they may for he could see the light by which the elven folk did dance and laugh and merry play. Giant and dragon he could see despite what others say.
The days soon passed, as all days do, and turned to weeks, then months. Before he knew it, years had passed and now a Man he stood. The city called and he did answer to its glittering lights while left behind the dragons wept and elves did hide from sight.
“They are not real, these dragons large,” o’er time he was it taught. “Nor elves and fairies, giants and stones whose words were in your thoughts. They are not real, these magic things, for logic says they’re not.”
When it was he first believed this logic he was taught the boy now Man could never say, ‘twas always so he thought. So long ago were childhood days spent walking ‘midst the grass and talking to imagined friends from deep within his past. A waste of time, he would opine, these memories long gone, they are not real these magic things and people made of stone.
But then one day he was called back home, his parents for to see. Their time had come to say good-bye and leave this world behind. The Man stood by and quietly wept, his parents’ souls did rise; and with a silent “Farewell, son” they drifted toward the skies.
The sun began its gentle glide to sleep behind the hills; the land did change to different hues, from reds to greens to blues. A distant thought stirred deep within, a faded memory. What was it, then, this once he knew but now within him hid? A shadow danced and caught his eye and suddenly he saw.
The shadow formed and grew so large as giant wings then took flight. The dragon soared above the hills, its voice of thunder roared. With great surprise, the Man did see two silky forms appear, and with such gentleness unknown, the dragon caught them upon his ear. ‘Twas his parents’ souls he saw alit upon the mighty beast, the colors of the sparkling scales for which his eyes did feast.
“Believe,” said they in whispered tones, “believe, boy, for ’tis true. To heaven go we and await you there where magic is the rule. One day, my boy, your time will come upon a dragon fly. He carries us there to be with God, and there we’ll never die.”
They raised a hand in fond farewell and vanished in the night while filling up the emptiness grew the fairy light.
“Believe it, Boy,” a voice called out. “Believe and welcome back.”
‘Twas stones of old calling out to him and sorrow soon took flight. His heart did fill with silent joy as knowledge gained the light and then he knew what once he lost when he grew from a boy — that magic lived in faith of children, wise and all believing, and on that faith alone it was that dragons would be living.
So say I to the child at heart — be ever faithful true. When next you see the sparkling hue at twilight’s dusky light, remember this and bode it well, ‘tis dragons in full flight. Deep in the night as tiny lights the fairies come to play, and as dark shadows shift and sway ’tis elves who’ve come to stay.