I took the chain and hid it on the side of the house where no one but me went usually. It was the side
    where the neighbor lived that no one had ever seen! So I figured the chain would be safe there.

    I went inside and Mom had fixed supper. That’s dinner, to some folks.

    I don’t recall what it was but I can tell you there never seemed to be enough. I was always hungry!

    As I was going to bed, I heard a sound out back. Sounded like a large animal. We had a big
    backyard even though we lived the city. I don’t know what was behind our yard cause we were
    fenced in or maybe something was supposed to be fenced out! I think it was a swamp or something
    scary. Didn’t smell but could be the wind always blew towards the swamp!

    Anyway, I heard this sound and I decided I wanted to know what it was more than I was scared of
    whatever it was.

    Mom was getting the little kids to bed so I just went out the back way through the back porch. It was
    dark now, so I switched on the outside light.

Oh my gosh! What do you think I saw?

There, in the backyard, was a dragon! The darn thingwas really huge. It was
green with shiny scales, like a fish but much prettier. I was so scared I thought
I’d run and hide but for some reason, but I didn’t. Then, I noticed the collar! This
was someone’s pet and it had gotten loose!

I loved animals even though dad would not let me have a pet. I made friends with
all the animals I met. I thought I’d make friends with this one too.

Then I remembered the chain.

I ran around the corner of the house and grabbed the chain.

There sat this green huge dragon, very scary. But it didn’t seem dangerous, it
seemed friendly!

I walked closer kind of crouched over but I don’t know why. The dragon was
watching me with both eyes for sure.

As I got closer, I could smell it’s breath. Smelled like hamburger! Huh!

I decided to go ahead and use the chain, I was going to hook it on the dragon’s collar!

I don’t know what I was thinking because it was bigger than a car and I’m a kid but I figured if  I could handle big dogs on a rope so why
not a dragon!

I kind of jumped and hooked the collar. The dragon pulled! He wanted to go for a walk just like a dog. He started off towards the back
fence that I’d never crossed.  I pulled hard and he stopped and looked at me.

It was as if he were talking to me! He said “Come on, get on and we’ll go!”

So I climbed on and he spread his wings. I hadn’t noticed them before as he had them folded and they looked like short arms or

Anyway, he spread these wings and up we went. I was sure I would faint or fall off or something but I didn’t. My knuckles were white from
holding onto that chain.

It was that chain that got me up into the air you know!

So, off we flew.

You know there were swamps just behind the city. We flew east over them. I know it was east because the sun always came up over the
back fence.

After a little while, we came to a mountain with a big castle looking thing on its top. The dragon seemed to know where to go and landed
in a big grassy area by a wall that was hundreds of feet high. I’d never seen a wall that high.

There sitting in a swing under a tree limb was a little girl. She was shining and looked like a princess. When she saw us, she was
all excited.

I thought for a moment she was excited to see me but nope, she knew the dragon.

It was her dragon! I was excited and saddened too. I had wanted to keep the dragon for myself. It was going to be my first pet and one
that could fly too. Yep, I was sad.

The girl spoke. I’d try to tell you what she said but it made no sense to me at all.

She noticed that I seemed confused and spoke again.

This time, her voice was crystal clear and sounded like a rainbow.

She said, “Thank you, Master for bringing Maestro home. He wondered away and I was so worried he would get lost between the

I must have looked confused again because she said “Oh pardon me! I am Princess Gwen and you have just returned my pet, Maestro
to me.”

She went on, “How can I pay you?”

I thought, “now why would she pay me?” I’d just gotten a ride on a dragon. None of my friends ever told me about doing this.

“Princess, you don’t owe me anything. I just found him in my backyard and he gave me a ride here to your place.” I was still looking
around as this was the nicest yard I’d ever been in.

“But it’s dark and I have to go home.” I started to realize I didn’t know how to get back home.

“Maybe you can show me which way it is I need to walk to go home?”

She smiled. What a sight that was! I swear that the sun must have come back up for a minute.

She said, “Come on. Maestro can carry us both and he’ll fly you back home!”

She got on and I climbed up behind her. She dropped the chain off his collar as we took off. She smelled good.

The trip seemed to go too fast and there I was back in the backyard.

We hadn’t talked much, none at all, in fact.

As I climbed off, I asked her, “Can we play together sometime?”

She smiled again and the sun was up again. “Yes” she said as she started to fly away.

So I guess that chain was a magic chain. If I ever see her again, I’m going to ask her what ever happened to it.

The end.

The Crawdad

By Carl Watts
Illustrations by
Marcy Eiben


Stories by Carl
page and Story created 10/11/08
modified 10/27/08, 11/2/08, 11/8/08,
art work added 12/31/08
The Chain-Childhood Misadventure 1

My name is Darma. I was seven and a half years old I think.

I was walking home from school. Some days it took three hours
because there were so many different ways to go and so many really
interesting things to look at and see!

Sometimes it only took 20 minutes. This meant it was raining but
sometimes even in the rain it took a long time because there were
puddles to splash in and it was fun seeing people with their mouth wide
open staring  at a totally wet kid. I must have looked like a drowned

    Any way, Mother always worried when it took real long, even though there wasn’t any crime where we lived
    that I knew about. And nothing bad ever happened, but mom worried. “What if he gets hurt?” Of course, I
    never got hurt.

    Never broke a bone or got any stitches. I don’t know why other kids did that. Must like the attention or
    staying out of school or something like that.

    Anyway, this one fine day, well it was a bit cloudy but I was walking home and there, by the garage of the
    auto repair place, laid a chain.

    You know the kind of place? It’s where the black grease has come from the inside where they work on
    cars and trucks to the outside. Greasy right out to the street. But back to the chain.

This chain was huge! It was!

So by the time I got home, it pretty late, almost dark.
This is a pictue of my grandson Josh. He reminds me of the character Darma in these stories
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