Challenge #01350-C255: The Tale of Sir George (No, the Other One)

Who says a young dragonling can't grow up to be a wonderful knight? -- OohLookShiny

All things begin small, but for some, small is relative. For the hero George, it began with an egg the size of a shorn sheep, and a merciful hero turned blacksmith who honoured a monster's dying wish.

I cannot change, the beast had said. My baby is not hatched. Raise them... to... be good.

Sir Menkhol had obeyed. He took the egg to his home and forge and kept it warm on the coals as he worked. And when the young dragon hatched, he called it George. Perhaps it was wrong to name a dragon after a dragon-slayer, but it was a good and honest name nonetheless.

Since Sir Menkhol knew it to be an intelligent creature, he kept the young George as if the dragon were his own child. True to his promise, George learned all about the virtues of a knight.

Therefore it was no small surprise to find the young dragon lining up for the trial of skill at the Knights' training yard on his sixteenth year. Young George passed the height qualification by walking on his hind legs, and nimbly overcame the obstacle course.

And yet, the masters said, "No."

Sir Menkhol, long since retired, came to the yard and demanded to know why his son was less that any other boy to take the trials.

"He's. A. Dragon," explained the masters. "Knights go out and kill dragons."

"Only the bad ones," protested George. "I know what 'good' is, and I stand by what is right. And I want to be a knight like my father before me."

Raucous laughter greeted his words. Of course they did. They saw no reason for a dragon to love the man who raised him. They certainly saw no reason why a dragon could be a knight.

They did not admit George, but they did not forbid him from training. Even the narrowest of minds could admit that a dragon in the army had to be one mark better than a dragon with a grudge.

When training for humans became too easy, he found things to do that challenged him. He made himself the mightiest dragon in the kingdom. And waited.

Mir Menkhol, being both a proud father and blacksmith, worked with alchemy and ancient knowledge alike to uncover the metal hiding in bauxite, and alloyed it carefully to make an armour both light and strong, that a dragon could wear in flight. So others would know that George was no ordinary dragon. Of course, bauxite was not easily coaxed from its dusty origins, and the use of dragon flame served a double purpose. First, of course, was the armour. Second, and more important, was training George's flame.

And all of this would have been unimportant in times of peace. Neighbouring kingdoms soon allied with theirs. News like a dragon in the army gets around. But there were other enemies who were not so easily cowed.

And even the masters forgot the other thing that Knights did.

They rescue princesses.

So when the armour-clad George Drake-kin Menkhol landed in the square of an allied kingdom, the princess riding him as if she rode dragons every day, it was only a matter of time before his knighthood was confirmed.

So hail to Sir George Drakkin, first of his kind! A living example to all that 'can't' is a wall that anyone can climb.

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