Hyacinth had just about finished packing the picnic basket for the tea party, when a deep voice rumbled “Good afternoon.”
She jumped and whirled around to see a face protruding through her kitchen window. It had immense dark eyes, a considerable snout, and row upon row of jagged razor-sharp teeth.
“Oh!” she gasped. “It’s you, Arthur. You startled me.” She still looked a little shaken as she smiled at her visitor. “I think you’d best come around to the door before you break something. You’re a little large for the window.”
In fact Arthur was more than a little large. He was an enormous. He obediently withdrew his head and bowed politely. Unfortunately when he bent forward, his massive tail popped up behind and knocked every single one of the Hyacinth’s beautiful ripe apples off a nearby tree. As she listened to his thunderous footsteps walk away she stared with deep regret at her whole crop that now lay scattered on the ground.
Hyacinth sighed and returned to packing the basket for her tea party. It was time to place the final and most important item in the basket – her great grandmother’s teapot. She wrapped it in her softest tea towel and placed it with great care on the very top. Then she gathered up the basket and a strong rope, walked across the room and opened the door.
“You’ll have to kneel down, Arthur, so I can reach your back. I have a harness for you to put on, then I’m going to wrap this rope all around the basket and fasten it to the harness.”
“A harness? I don’t think so.”
“But Arthur, it’s very soft. My friend Camellia knitted it just for you.”
“My dear fairy, I’m not a horse. I’m a dragon. And dragons do not wear harnesses.”
“But Arthur, how else can I fasten the basket to your back? It has all our food, you know, including the wild watermelons, and more than that, it has my great grandmother’s tea pot.”
“I beg your pardon, but you never mentioned harnesses when you asked me to carry the basket to the picnic.”
“It is really quite a small basket and I am a very large dragon. I’m quite certain I can carry it safely. I promise you I will hold it most tenderly in my arms.”
“But what if you drop it, Arthur? It would truly be a disaster if my great grandmother’s teapot was broken.”
“Never fear, dear fairy, your teapot will be safe with me.”
The dragon reached out and took the basket from Hyacinth.
“I will meet you at the Lone Cypress tree,” he said and with that he flapped his mighty wings and rose up into the air. In the blink of an eye he had vanished from sight.
“Oh dear,” said Hyacinth.