Humidity is my number one enemy right now, battling me from the moment I wake up, relentlessly provoking me throughout the day, and even interrupting my sleep just to torture me further. Summer wouldn’t be nearly so bad if this muggy, suffocating moisture didn’t stick around like a wet leaf, but alas, such is the atmosphere in this neck of the woods. Sometimes it’s enough to make me reconsider living on the opposite coast, where the temperatures certainly rise but the saturation of the air sure doesn’t. There’s always a trade off though, as is evident by the raging forest fires that result from all that intense, dry heat- All jokes aside, there are currently 44 active blazes out west! Despite all the evidence that seems to point to the atmospheric conditions, I think that those conflagrations aren’t all the work of a cruel mother nature, who so often takes the blame, but in fact the mischief of a much smaller source.
Trying his best to be inconspicuous but still in plain view, I noticed a small creature unlike any I had ever seen before huddled near a box of matches. Sporting beautiful little wings and rough, scaly skin punctuated by snow white horns, this fellow was no garden-variety animal that you might normally find in these parts. Wracking my brain, trying desperately to recount where I might have seen such a beast before, a light bulb moment came and passed in an instant. No way could this tiny thing be a bona fide dragon, could he? Moreover, why on earth was he playing with matches?
Moving as quietly as I could in his direction, it took only a quietly snapping twig beneath my shoes to draw his attention, whipping his head around to meet me square in the eye. Catching me by surprise with this sudden motion, it was impossible to so much as greet the little guy let alone inquire about his activities with my heart in my throat. As he held his firepower threateningly, I started having second thoughts about marching up so nonchalant. Had he wanted, the whole backyard could have been set ablaze in seconds, nevermind the damp heat surrounding us. Looking on with fear as he fumbled with the match, a terrifying moment passed before I realized why he was holding onto this unlit torch in the first place- Not even the thinnest whisps of smoke were escaping his lips, no matter how hard he huffed and puffed in attempts to breath fire.
Backing up a step, I could now see that he was no more than a wee baby dragon, and poor little fellow couldn’t yet figure out his natural skills for creating infernos. Trying to make up for his lack in natural talent, he had somehow gleaned those human tools from careless campers nearby, and was hard at work trying to learn something from them. I’m certain that he meant no harm, but how easily his harmless experimentation could have ended up as a horrible accident! Luckily, it didn’t take much pursuasion for him to drop his “weapons” and retreat into the safety of the woods, back at square one without the learning curve of a flame in action.
Now, maybe I’m going out on a limb to say this, but perhaps there are just more dragons out west trying to figure out how to breathe fire and having the practice go horribly awry. This was the first time I had seen such a thing, and we never have forest fires around here after all!