Ten Tips for Raising Your Baby Dragon – a Short Story

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

One: give it back to its clan. 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 because she’s just Kin, but she’s the best, and I’ll bite anyone who says otherwise.

Two: Be prepared for a varied diet.

I like eating stones and newspapers and rose-honey soda. I like fish, but I do not like chicken because it makes my fire taste weird.

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

Petting is 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. 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 add “textiles” to 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 magnificent lady Katie the Adopted Dragon Mom, who was under attack by the wicked Bird King! And one day he came, the Bird King, I mean, and she was all afraid (but not too afraid because she’s really brave), and “Ha-ha!” said the Bird King because he thought he’d won, but then a star shaped like a dragon fell from the sky! And made the biggest crater! Right there in the law! And then the dragon-star came out and ate the Bird King and swallowed him down (and he cried the whole way – the Bird King, not the dragon), and then they had a party, and the crater became a playground for all the kids, and everyone knew that the dragon star was great and the Dragon Mom was great, and they wrote a song about it, and it goes like this: “Once upon a time, there was a stupid bird-nose man – “

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?

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

I don’t like today. Saying sorry was hard, and I didn’t really mean it, but I made mama happy. I guess that makes me good.

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.