“You seem nice.”
Michella’s eyes flew open and her head whipped around to where the voice came from her right. How could she be so stupid! She was supposed to be watching the sheep but the gentle sun and warm breeze caused her head to nod.
At first, she saw nothing, then, at a slight motion, her gaze dropped to a nearby rock. There, a green and gold lizard sat, it’s tongue flicking in and out as it’s black eyes studied her.
“Oh,” she breathed a sigh of relief. “A lizard.”
The lizard hissed. “I’m a dragon.” It flared the ruff around its face and raised its tiny wings, making the lizard seem larger and fiercer.
“I beg your pardon, dragon.” She turned to face the creature. “I’m Michella.”
“Forgiven.” The dragon nodded its head, ruff and wings dropping. “I’m Jynryn, future dragon queen. You come up here every day.”
“I watch the sheep. Papa would be very cross if he knew I’d fallen asleep. Bandits could have come, or a wolf.”
The dragon’s tail whipped back and forth. “There is a band of bandits not far from here. You are wise to be cautious.”
The news made the hairs on her arms stand up. “Where are they?”
“In the hills above us. I spy on them, just for practice, you know.” The dragon bobbed her head. “They know you come up here.”
That did nothing to ease her fear. “I should leave.” She jumped up from the soft meadow grass and with her staff, began herding the sheep down the hill.
“Wait!” Jynryn flew beside her. “I can help you rid the hills of these bandits.”
Michella stopped. “How.”
Jynryn told her. Michella nodded. “I’ll tell my papa.”
Two days later, Michella led her father and a group of the lord’s soldiers to the meadow. There, she picked up Jynryn, put the dragon on her shoulder under her hood, and in a whisper Jynryn led the group to the cave where the bandits hid. There was a battle, of course, the bandits had seen the soldiers coming. Michella with Jynryn hid behind some rocks. The soldiers won and all the way back to the village, praised Michella for leading them to the cave and ridding the area of such bad men.
The next day Michella was back with the sheep. Jynryn flew to a nearby rock. “So you are a hero now?”
Michella shrugged. “I suppose, though all the credit is yours. How can I repay you?”
“Keep my secret. I won’t always be tiny. I will claim the bandit cave for my own. Visit me.”
“I can do that.” It will be fun to have a secret dragon, she thought. “Nothing else?”
Jynryn, chuckled. “Nothing for now. But someday we will do great things.”
Michella smiled. It was a good dream for a simple shepherd girl. “Of course, Jynryn. We will.”
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