Ten Tips for Raising Your Baby Dragon

By Katie Lin (co-written by Suvi, A.K.A. Vesuvius)

One: give it back to its mother. Can’t do that? On to rule two.

I am Suvi! I rule all the dragons because I am their prince. My mama is Katie. She’s funny and she can’t fly, but she’s the prettiest lady in all the world.

Two: Be prepared for a varied diet.

I like eating stones and newspapers and rose-honey soda. I like fish, but only on Tuesday, and I do not like chicken because it makes my fire taste weird. My fire will come out straight and strong someday, but right now it just falls out of my mouth onto the ground all splat, so I have to taste it for a while. Yuck!

Three: Tickle his soft little tummy while you still can, because someday it will harden with scales.

Pettings are nice. Mama’s hands are really warm, and I don’t have any bad dreams when she holds me.

Four: Learn to say “no” a lot. No, he can’t have all the sheep. No, he can’t test how much fire it takes to melt stone. No, he can’t eat your guests. Especially no to that.

I don’t like the man who comes to see my mama. He calls himself the Crow King, and he smells like feathers, and mama is afraid of him.

I told him to go away, but he wouldn’t. Doesn’t he know who I am?

Five: Keep a fire extinguisher on hand at all times.

I put fire on his shoes! Mama told me not to do that anymore, but I’m not sorry.

Six: He will tear fabrics like a kitten. Just put “textiles” in the budget and let it go.

Hahaha! His underwear tastes like feathers.

Seven: Learning to talk means he will never, ever shut up, and that’s okay.

I wrote a story, want to hear? It’s called The Tale of the Stupid Bird Man. It starts with the perfect beautifulest lady Katie the dragon-mama who was scared by the wicked stupid Bird King, and then a white star fell from the sky in the shape of a dragon and fixed everything and then there was cake, and fireworks, and then a fountain made of jello–

Eight: Learning to listen and obey will take him a while, but that’s okay. That’s what patience is for.

Mama says I didn’t do right by attacking the Crow King. I don’t wanna say I’m sorry. Do I have to?

I guess I do.

Nine: Early to bed, early to rise. He’s a growing dragon, after all.

I don’t like today. Saying sorry was hard. It’s worse than chicken-flavor. But I made mama happy, and that makes me the hero.

Ten: Always have a heat source handy. If exposed, he falls asleep, and all your problems are solved.

I love you, mama. I’ll always make you happy.

Your hands are really warm.