Monday, December 3, 2012

Dragunculus plumbum, the Leadbelly Dragon

Madeline Brown has sent another letter from Minglemist with a new dragon sketch to add to her journal.  This one is causing T. P. Dunlap all sorts of problems.  He seems to take his research very seriously and is having trouble because Minglemist's natural laws are different from ours.  Judging from this picture, I can well imagine!  I'll let her tell you more...

The leadbelly dragon is very reclusive.  T. P. has been stalking it relentlessly, and finally saw not just one, but a whole swarm of them.  The leadbelly is nocturnal, so you have to go out at night.  They mostly live in old mining caves above the Felkie Valley, but these caves are also known haunts of hobgoblins, so not too many folks venture up there, and certainly not at night.  T. P., myself and our neighbors, Pennywink the pony girl and her brother Fezzle, sat on the river bank after dark recently and, by the light of the moon and a camp fire, were rewarded by a seeing host of little dragons swooping through the night air to catch green water nymphs just hatching and rising in swarms above the water.  T. P. was ecstatic, bursting with excitement, but when he caught one of the dragons in his net, it dissolved into a cloud of purple smoke, then materialized in the air again a few feet away!!!  T. P. was flabbergasted, to say the least.  "How can I do a proper scientific study when these creatures break all the rules?" he said, throwing his net down angrily.  But we stayed on, watching them, and had a very interesting conversation with Fezzle, who likened finding the dragon in the smoke to finding the oak tree in the acorn.  T. P. was hoping a very scholarly study of the dragons would win him fame and the approval of his colleagues at the university back home (they all think he's more than a bit off).  But he's being frustrated at every turn.  I'm enjoying the adventure here, and can't wait to see more of Minglemist!  

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