Tim And The Dragon – A Heartwarming Christmas Tale

Outside in the streets of the old town all was white. Snow fell through the night sky, but inside his cottage, the old man kept warm as he huddled in front of the fire. His children gathered their children at his feet as he fumbled with his glasses, placing them delicately on the end of his nose.

“Now, now, little ones,” he began, as the children’s rosy faces looked up at him, full of expectation and anticipation for the story that their kindly and good natured old grandfather was surely about to impart to them, “gather round, for surely I am about to impart to you a story.”

“Grampy Joseph?” the smallest and most adorable grandchild looked up at him with large round eyes filled with reverence and awe.

“Yes, my sweet child?” the old man beamed down at the boy with a look of love and affection.

“Is the story going to take long, because I left my DS paused?” the sweet and adorable cherub of a child enquired.

“I know not what such a thing might be, but you’d do well to listen closely to my story,” the old man smiled, “and to learn some respect for your elders, I still have my beating stick around here somewhere…”

The children settled into an awed, and perhaps mildly terrified, hush, and the old man began his story.

“Thrice upon a time, on a night not unlike tonight, many countless moons ago, in a far off land that most folk have long since forgotten, there lived a young lad by the name of Tim. ‘Tim the Fearless’ is what they might have called him, if he hadn’t been such a coward. However, coward he was, so they refrained from calling him ‘Tim the Fearless’ and called him simply ‘Smelly Tim’ instead, on account of his appalling personal hygiene.

“On that fateful night, Tim was busy counting his collection of oddly shaped pebbles, when he heard a strange crashing sound on the roof of his humble shack. That was right; he’d forgotten that very night was the eve of the Non-Religion Specific Mid-Winter Festival. Truly it was the most holy and sacred night of the whole year. That one special night on which parents around the world deluded themselves that their children were, indeed, sweet little angels; and those children colluded in the delusion in the hopes of receiving expensive and extravagant gifts bought on credit.

“Tim carelessly exited his shack, and looked up onto the roof of his humble, run down abode, and do you know what he saw there, children?” the old man asked.

“Oh, oh, oh, oh…” said the children, each hoping they knew the answer. Each one dreaming of a fat, jolly old man with a sack of presents on his shoulder.

“That’s right,” continued the old man, “he saw the foulest, most hideous beast his eyes had ever seen. Even more repulsive than your Auntie Joan. It was a dragon, huge and scaly, with saliva dripping from its long, razor sharp teeth. It’s wicked forked tongue flicking from between its wretched and villainous lips.

“Tim, being the halfwit that he clearly was, offered the dragon a friendly greeting and bid it to come into his shack and share a cup of festive cheer with him. He looked up into the dragon’s evil and nefarious face with the most innocent and harmless look that you could ever imagine. And do you know what that dragon did?” he asked the silently sobbing children.

“Did…did his sweet innocence melt the dragon’s icy heart?” stammered one of the older of the children.

“No, no, I’m afraid not. The dragon rent him limb from limb. The great beast wasn’t even hungry, having recently feasted on a local flock of sheep. It simply killed him for sport, flipping his lifeless and broken body through the air as if it was an old and well-worn rag doll.” As he finished the old man removed his glasses and looked from each crying child to the next, as they gently rocked back and forth, shaking their heads, trying to banish the horrific images from their tiny young minds, and he said to them in a low and gentle whisper, “And children, do you know what the moral of the story is?”

They looked at him dumbly, each of them wordlessly and slowly shaking their heads to indicate a negative.

“Neither do I, but if any single one of you wakes me up before seven of the clock in the morning, you’ll wish you were Smelly Tim being eaten alive by the Non-Religion Specific Mid-Winter Festival Dragon. Now, to bed with you all…”

And with that, each child silently rose and took themselves off to bed, and not a single peep was heard from any one of them until well past eight of the clock on Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas, everyone, may the Festive Season bring you happiness and joy, and may the Non-Religion Specific Mid-Winter Festival Dragon stay far from your door.

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Ian Sharman
Ian is a freelance writer and artist. He founded Orang Utan Comics Studio with Peter Rogers in 2006, writes for their Eagle Award Nominated anthology Eleventh Hour and regularly inks for Panini’s Marvel Heroes comic.
Ian Sharman

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