Sapien Draconi - Beginnings
Sapien Draconi - Beginnings
C. L. Kraemer
Petra Nelsson lowered to the couch between her daughter, Jody and her best friend’s son, Magnus. She lay the book on her lap and opened to the marker. The children whispered over her lap to one another.
Petra could sense an argument brewing. “What’s going on?” Initiating her best no-nonsense frown, she glared at the pair, lifting a brow for emphasis.
Jody pouted and answer. “Magnus called me a freak.”
Petra closed the book and pinched the bridge of her nose with her fingers. “Enough.”
The two youngsters pushed against the back of the couch and pulled a face, crossing their arms.
“What, exactly, do you think he called you?”
Jody looked down at her jeans. “A freak of nature.”
Petra resisted the urge to shout WHAT? “Magnus, why do you think Jody is a freak?”
The young man looked at his hands currently twisting in his lap. “Our teacher said there is no such thing as a dragon shapeshifter. She said I was lying and I had to stay in from recess.”
Petra watched large tears trail down the youngster’s cheeks. Wow, I didn’t realize how tough our kids were going to have blending in. She pulled the pair close and gave them a squeeze.
“I think it’s time to tell you a story where shapeshifters are the heroes.”
She opened the tome and started reading aloud.
~ * ~
Written by a dragon clan leader:
Dark was the time. The dragon clans of Samosir struggled to repulse the outsiders. Families faced hardships and hunger.
For many millennia, the dragons ruled the land, the only disagreements being over boundaries. They did not think of anything beyond their lands. Soon, to their dismay, two-leggeds appeared, bringing their families and staking out land belonging to the dragons.
While having the farmers in the area was good for food sources, they soon discovered the two-leggeds taking over more land to the exclusion of the dragons. No longer were they able to fly free without fear. The problem seemed unsolvable; the dragons hunted the prey on the land, but the farmers dug up the land to plant growing things chasing away the prey. As is the case with most two-leggeds, they considered land to be theirs by absolute rights.
It was evident the farmers thought they were entitled to the land, and the dragons felt they were entitled to the land. Since there seemed to be no immediate solution, each side convened a council to discuss the matter.
The dragons sent their head of clans and the humans sent their chieftains. Both sides sent their magic healers. They got into a huge argument over who was right, who was there first, who owned the land, and who did not. The dragons threatened to scorch the farms, and the humans threatened to hunt down the nests and destroy the eggs of the next generation.
The female dragon clan leader stepped forward and stood until the males quit yelling and shaking their fists and talons. She wrote in her diary:
“I stood, my inside shaking, although none could see, and I glared at each side. ‘This is not getting us anywhere.’
Voices rose in argument. I turned my gaze to all side of the room until there was silence.
‘We are the keepers of our peoples. We must find a way to live together or we will all die – together.’ I recall a few snorted sounds among the dragons and several human men spit upon the land. ‘You may not like what I have to say, but it is the only solution to our dilemma.’
I looked around the room and found all eyes on me.
‘We have a mage among the dragons, and you have a mage among the humans. These two will be entrusted with the task of taking two young human males and two young dragon females. You will enchant them to breed. The results will be two children who are half dragon, half human. These children will be burdened with the mission of keeping the peace between our races. They will know the dragon, and they will know the human.
‘It is the only way we can understand our respective races. We will all have a stake in the outcome.’
I stood waiting for the inevitable argument to begin and found myself shocked at the silence. The dragon leader, Markandeya, tilt his head pulling back his leathery lips in a grimace he passed off as a smile.
‘Well done. It can be so from the dragons. And the humans?’
A human with hair of great length and wise eyes stepped to the forefront. He held a staff in one hand and seemed to size up the dragon leader.
‘This is a challenge I look forward to. When do we start?’
The dual council opted to begin immediately. Two young males from the human settlement volunteered for an assignment ‘of great import which will make you heroes’, the families having no knowledge of the task at hand.
The dragons, on the other hand, were less anxious to be heroes. My young sister stepped forward, a gleam in her eye, as did her best friend, and allowed the mage to take her to the volcano’s cavern.’
~ * ~
Petra looked at her two charges. “This happened in Indonesia.”
Magnus puckered his brow. “Where’s that?”
“I guess you’ll get to look it up when were done.”
Not the answer he’d hoped for.
~ * ~
“For nearly a full year, the pairs were gone from their homes. The tensions between the clans and farmers weren’t as violent as before, but some humans lost their lives, and some dragons found themselves driven off lands they had hunted for millennia.
At the end of one year, the full council met again. This time the situation was different. Two very young humans were introduced: one male, one female. They exhibited human forms, but their eyes were dragon in shape. The colors mixed between dragon and human. Both mages stood over the young babes and muttered words, part Malay, part dragon watching as the gathered elders gasp when the young human children shifted into the forms of young dragons.”
~ * ~
Petra closed the book, placing it in her lap. “So, what do you think?” She gazed into two pair of round eyes. “Were there really dragons?”
Both faced took on serious expressions. Magnus was the first to break the silence permeating the room.
“Yes. Grampa Magnus is real, and so is Uncle Volsung.”
Petra put her hand to her mouth to hide her smile. If only the fiercest warriors in all the Scandinavian clans could hear this youngling calling them Grampa and Uncle. “Well, I believe you might be right. Jody?”
The wee one leaned past her mom and faced Magnus. “Told you so.” She slumped against the couch, smug smile on her face.
Petra rose. “Time for bed.”
The nightly routine of whinging, foot dragging, and teeth brushing brought an end to the crisis.