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A dragon struggles to keep warm one freezing night

Fire is hot. Ice and snow are cold. There is a difference. One is stronger. If you ask other dragons, they would say that fire is stronger. They would say fire melts ice and snow.

Not me, though. My fire is weak. Weak as a dead leaf. And no. Don’t even bother. I know it. Trust me. There is something—just something— wrong with me.

Mother says there is nothing wrong, that I’m just different. But I see that glint of worry in her eyes. The glint that means she is lying to make me feel better. Here is a snippet of my life that I would like to show you:

I huddle in a cave, trying to get away from the snowstorm. It is −50 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are icicles hanging from my chin, neck, wings, belly, and tail. Several of my scales are frozen. Two of my horns have chipped off, but I have eighteen more. I am very aware that I might fall asleep and never wake up.

There are some humans in the cave, but I ignore them. Humans are small, clever, stupid, impatient whiners. They are also yummy. I think about eating them, but even through my hunger, I decide that in this frozen state I would be too slow to catch them. I snort a small flame.

Eye of the Toucan

The humans turn to look at me. They chitter-chatter something in their own language, and there is some yelling from the smallest one. They all nod, and one by one, they bring me their food. Each one smiles at me. I am surprised. Humans are greedy. Why would they give up their food for a creature who eats their kind?

The humans light a fire and sit around it with me. I seem to be their new friend. I warm up. The ice on me melts, and I think, This is the real kind of fire—not like the one that couldn’t save my life. Suddenly I stop shivering, and I doze off to a dreamless sleep.

These kind people made me reconsider my opinion about humans. Especially eating them—now that’s a no-no. After all, their kind saved the life of me, the freezing, useless-fired, human-eating dragon, whether I liked it or not.