It was as cold as an ice house as I trudged up the cobbled street in my dragon hide boots. The dragon stables were not far from my house but at seven in the morning it felt like an eternity. I entered the stable yard where I found some of the other workers.

"Hi Emerald." It was Master George, the young man in charge of these the dragon stables, sounding harried. "His Lordship the duke of something-or-other is deigning to pay a visit on us, so we need all hands on deck. In the yard, more like." He hurried off through the gloom and I heard him calling to the other workers. I saw why he was so worried. The Duke of Buckingham owned all the dragon stables in the whole country, and he could fire us all for the tiniest thing being wrong.

I grabbed a brush and started helping to clear out the stables. I used to find it difficult in the half darkness, but now it was second nature. I had been working there since I was seven, which is seven years - almost as long as Master George.

It was light and one could hear the cries of street sellers in the market by the time a pompous looking page boy entered the yard. He was dressed in scarlet livery and had a white wig on his head which was tied at the back with a black ribbon. He coughed importantly, staring disdainfully at the fifteen or so teenagers in muddy breaches and shirts with the sleeves rolled up.

"His Lordship, the Duke of Buckingham, your employer and master, wishes to see you." He said.

"Well, why doesn't 'e come in then?" called a particularly muddy ten year old boy from the back of the stable yard. He did come in. He was dressed in a black and white suit which made him resemble a penguin.

"I am the supreme Duke of the dragonlands of Buckingham." He announced, even though we already knew that. Nevertheless, we had to bow to him and act like we were his most devoted workers. Which we are, I suppose.

Slowly, he prowled around the yard like a stray cat, peering disdainfully into the stables at the dragons. They each had their name painted carefully on the door, Firestorm, Evergreen, New Moon, Starlight, Stormswept, Hemlock.

Then he stoped and glared at Master George. "Are you in charge of this establishment?"

"Yes, M'lord" said George, nervously.

"Good job" the duke sniffed and left the stables, followed by his page boy.

"Phew!" breathed George "Thank Lord 'e's gone! Good work!"

I hope you liked it! I'll hopefully update soon, but I'd like a review to know what you think about it so far!

Izzy (impossible hazelnut)