This is: This week’s donor perk story. It’s also a test beginning for something I’ve been working on – a self-standing, separate Dragons Next Door story. I think the first paragraph comes off a bit juvenile, but here it is.
The dragons next door moved in on the first day of school.
This left Juniper with a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand, she was looking forward to a new year of school. Her new teacher, Miss Milligan, had come into the classroom the last day before summer vacation, along with the other third grade teacher, Mr. Howard. Everyone else had wanted Mr. Howard; he was cool, with sunglasses and jokes from TV. Juniper had been intrigued by Miss Milligan’s storybook, and her long, flowing skirt, old-fashioned and pretty, like Juniper’s mother’s, and her silly hat. When the letter had come from the school, Juniper had danced down the driveway, clutching the letter. She was going to get the wonderful teacher!
And then the morning of the first day of school came, and there on the grass, just over the short stone wall her father had built (the last neighbors had been ogres, and not the best at yard-work), there were dragons! Not just one dragon, but a whole family, four of them, the adults brightly colored, the smaller ones duller-shaded, like grass and water. Dragons!
She hopped over to the wall before her father could stop her, peering over, waving. “Hello!” It was always important to be polite. Her mother had taught her that.
“Juniper!” Just as her father hurried over, the biggest of the dragons looked up. It opened its mouth up, bigger, bigger. Its fangs were longer than Juniper’s arm! It moved its head closer to the fence, slithering on the ground. Its tongue was the same pink as its underbelly scales, forked, like a snake’s. Even its nostrils were huge.
“Hello.” Solemnly, it offered up one claw to Juniper. Very carefully, she took the claw in both her hands and shook.
“Welcome to the neighborhood.”
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