There's a common garden dragon living behind the cottage T. P. and I are staying in at 4 Sparrow Lane, Barleytown, Minglemist. I have named the dragon Big Tim, after a boy I knew at the orphanage where I grew up (he had enormous teeth and a loud braying laugh). When we first arrived at the cottage, Big Tim threw a fit, bellowing and snorting and crashing around the garden. He doesn't like intruders. But after I fed him several batches of burnt muffins (I've had trouble learning how to use the wood cook stove), we developed a wary truce. He acts like a watch dog, bellowing whenever anyone comes near. He stands about four feet tall and weighs approximately 600 pounds. Weighing Big Tim was a problem, as you can imagine. He's far too big to fit in T. P.'s bucket scale, so T. P. had to get his front end on one industrial sized scale and his back end on another, with the tail wrapped around and tied to his neck. This whole process took a dose of sedative, several meaty bones and the help of six stout men. The scales were rented and hauled in by horse and wagon from the Barleytown grain mill. Big Tim is a handsome dragon, bright green with gold markings and large ears. He eats almost anything, including rocks, and spends most of his time sunning on the compost pile. Garden dragons lay clutches of eggs in the fall which hatch the next spring.