She soars above river and ravine in magnificence
while despair and fear play hide-n-seek with her smoky shadow.
With penetrating eyes, she seeks and destroys all defiance.
She melts lives with fiery breath and renders fair fields fallow.
Her arbitrary death paralyzes her innocent prey
by syphoning hope from their simple souls one-drop-at-a-time.
Her teeth and claws razor flesh leaving misery and dismay
As she devours their life-blood—without reason, without rhyme.
On bended knee, mankind prays to the ancient gods for relief
And many brave souls with sword and shield challenge her to the death.
Enflamed by anger, she slays them all—fueled on by pagan belief.
All hope becomes lost to young and old—all fear her scorching breath.
Offerings of their children temporarily satiate her greed,
‘til the young princess stands by lakeside awaiting destiny.
A Christian knight from lands unknown approaches on steady steed.
He vows to slay the beast if all pledge to Christianity.
His lance pierces the dragon’s thick hide with a near fatal blow;
with the princess’s girdle, he leads the creature from the lake.
With Ascalon, he impales the dragon—watches her blood flow.
The people cheer, the king sings praise, and an alter he does make.
From the alter spouts water pure, curing all ailments that grow.
The villagers gather ‘round each eve to dance and sing again
of lessons learned from valley to peak that all children should know—
“Don’t play with fire. Don’t pee in the wind. Don’t tickle the dragon!”
Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman