An Ode to The Book Dragon (OR A Thanksgiving Present for my Father)

A dragon spoke to me one day
And told me of his hoard
Of precious stones and dazzling gems
Over which he was lord

Of stacks of meat and silky furs
And capes of velvet and jewels
Of sliver shining like moonlight
And weapons seized from fools

Bags of bronze and beaded lace
And threads laced through with gold
Wood carvings made by finest hands
Much valued from of old

Clothes of many colors
Of bold and richest hue
In bolts and hand-tailored garments
Taken from a wayward pirate’s crew

But the strangest that he did possess
Was wealth of another sort
At least, of riches they seemed to be
For they came from a fine Queen’s court

Each had a stitch-bound cover
Of the softest leather hide
Embossed with curious markings
In some order side by side

But whose to say, the dragon said
What such things may mean
For I cannot understand them
Though I’ve stared until I’m green

I’ll teach you to understand them,
I said, with a sudden brightening plan
For I was trapped under his sizable paw
And happened to be a learned man

The dragon lifted the claw
that had pinned me to the wall
considered for a moment
and then let his forearm fall

Alright, the dragon said to me,
We’ve a deal, we’re agreed
You tell me what these markings say
And consider yourself freed

Huzzah, I said inside my head
As the dragon brought over his possession
He opened it to display the words
Of which he had no impression

I taught him sounds and letters
Until he had the grasp
And left him once he’d got it
In the book’s enchanted trance

I happened by his cave one day
And saw stacks and stacks of parchment
For it seemed he’d traded all his hoard
For worlds of enchantment.

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