Gratitude

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Papillon, Dragon Hunter Extraordinaire, pt. 5

Papillon and the little dragon headed into the forest. Even with the dragon lagging behind, it felt different today, more like friends walking together than follower and followed. Papillon found he enjoyed the little one's company.
When they came to the stream, something caught Papillon's eye. It was the cloth sack he had abandoned yesterday, looking like the wind had blown it onto the rocks.
"What do you think? Should I go get it? You never know when it might be useful."
Papillon took the dragon's grunts as a Yes and picked his way across the rocks. Lucky for him the ties had snagged on a rock, which kept the sack out of the water.
Returning to the path, he stashed the sack under his other supplies. The dragon seemed disappointed that the sack contained nothing to eat. They resumed walking. They hadn't gone far when the little dragon ran ahead. Did he sense that home was near? Would that big oak tree turn around and reveal itself to be the talking tree Papillon had met a few days earlier?
Nope. Not the talking tree. The dragon rooted around the base of the tree and then sat down, chewing on something.
"What did you find, little fella? Another shoe?"
It wasn't a shoe, although it smelled a bit like an old shoe. It was brown and sort of round. A chestnut? Not at the base of an oak tree. It looked too chewy to be a chestnut in any case. Suddenly Papillon knew what it was.
"You've found truffles! Are there more?"
There were, and Papillon greedily gathered them up.
"You know, I've heard of truffle sniffing pigs and truffle sniffing dogs, but I've never heard of a truffle sniffing dragon. You're pretty special!"
He didn't say it aloud, but Papillon wondered if Madame Peapod would accept a bag of truffles in lieu of dragon meat. He would have turned around right then and headed home with his treasure except that he still had a task to perform.
"Come on, little guy. Let's deliver you to the nursery."
Papillon honestly didn't remember how to find the nursery. He was hoping the dragon would home in on it like he did the truffles. Papillon knew when the little dragon quickened his steps that he was right. Suddenly, there was the clearing with the oak tree and the stump people. And two other baby dragons that he could see. Maybe more.
The tree greeted him. "I see that you have allowed the little gray to return to us. Thank you."
"I never meant to take him away. He followed me home yesterday, so I've brought him back."
"And he is unharmed."
"Of course. He has special talents, this one. You should keep him safe."
The little dragon seemed to sense a farewell in the air. He began to cry.
"Don't cry, little one. You belong here, with your kind. And who knows? Maybe we'll see each other again. Maybe for a little truffle hunting?" Papillon didn't care how many creatures were watching. He leaned in and kissed the dragon's forehead.
Papillon turned to leave. He almost wished the little dragon would follow him again, but knew the tree would keep a closer watch this time. Besides, he needed to make good time if he was to deliver his truffles to Madame Peapod.
She was standing in her doorway when he arrived, as if she had been watching for him.
"Good day, Monsieur Papillon," she said. "Is that dragon meat you're bringing me?"
"I come bearing something more precious than dragon meat, Mme. Peapod."
"More precious? Show me."
Papillon opened the sack. He beamed. "Truffles, Madame!"
"Yes, I know what they are. Well, well. You are full of surprises, Monsieur Papillon."
A funny-looking animal came up beside her.
Papillon said, "What is that?"
"It's a cria," she said.
"A what?"
"A cria. A baby alpaca. Her mother is grazing in an upper pasture. The baby is very tame. See? I can climb on her back and ride her."
The penny dropped. This was the herd Mme. Peapod wanted him to tend. Surely that wouldn't be necessary now?
"Mme. Peapod. I know what truffles are worth. I believe they are more than adequate exchange for the few provisions you have advanced me. If anything, you are in my debt instead of the other way around."
"That's only if I accept the truffles in lieu of dragon meat."
She wouldn't...she couldn't...refuse?
He thought quickly. "If you don't accept them, I will sell them at market myself and bring you the exact amount of money I owe you. How's that?"
"You drive a hard bargain, Monsieur Papillon. Very well. I accept the truffles."
"And?"
"And I extend your credit for their full worth."
 "We have a deal, Mme. Peapod."
Ah, but victory is sweet!
















8 comments:

  1. I assumed this was the end of the story, but I bet you have more that you can write about with this little chap as inspiration. :)
    I have enjoyed reading this 5 part story immensely.
    Hugs,
    X

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    1. Thanks, Xanadu. I'm glad you enjoyed it. This may be the end of this chapter, but I'll eventually come up with more, because this little guy just begs for more stories. I mean, that face...!

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  2. That is the most adorable thing ever--I hope there is a sequel <3

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    1. Thanks, Fishcake. I was thinking I'd give you all a little break from Papillon's adventures, but from comments made here and on Den of Angels, it looks like people want more. So, I've got my thinking cap on. We'll see what develops.

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  3. Love how things went better for Papillon in the end!!! Hope there's many more adventures to come~!

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    1. Thanks! I just couldn't let Mme. Peapod get the better of him. And I think Papillon learned a few life lessons along the way. :)

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  4. Oh my that Papillon!! He is just so cute, and Mme. Peapod is amazing! I hope you do more stories of them!!

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    1. Thank you Musume! I don't know why, but I always think of my Aunt Marthe when I write Mme. Peapod's part. Somehow she seems to have wormed her way into the story. LOL

      I will give these characters a little rest before I start a new adventure, but they will be back.

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