The Dragon and the Clumsy Hunter


He had spent many, countless years exploring the world and all it had to offer.

For days, he would fly over the sunny islands of Tal'Amor. The people there were colorful, their homes built of stone and brick and mud and sturdy, waterproof bark. Nights he would spend coasting through the sands of the deserts of Hanar Tu, basking in the crimson sands that warmed his hide after spending unpleasant weeks in the cold, unforgiving mountains of Zura Mona. The world was his to explore, and, for countless centuries, Fafnyr had made the best of it.

Now he was growing bored, the world slowly changing while humans populated like the lowest of vermins. Rabbits, mostly. Too little meat, all too tough. Large, bone-white talons flexed, digging through tough soil. The forest he was in now, Karano Talla as his brethren knew it, was caught in the height of its summer season. The sky above was blocked by thick, dark green leaves of a canopy belonging to the native coniferous trees. Stalking through the shade, obsidian scales shimmering as stray beams of sunlight caught sight of his hide, Fafnyr glided through the forest with his wings tucked against his side.

There were scents in the air. Baking bread, a useless substance humans enjoyed, was the most notable. Grilled fish, meats and spices also wafted through the air. Those were more noteworthy, each savory and drawing a low grumble from his many stomachs. Mercury irises gleamed, and the massive beast followed the trail left by the local game. Perhaps there would be a horned creature or two, in the nearby meadow. Saliva pooled behind his teeth, oozing between his fangs to drip across the hard, green earth beneath his feet.

He wasn't expecting a shaft of blurring wood to whisk past his snout, the air hissing around it before it vanished into woods.

Nor was he expecting a fair-haired youth to come leaping over a boulder, falling hard on the ground feet from where Fafnyr had paused. It was a two-legged creature, a small excuse for a human. Lean, skinny, and hardly enough meat to satisfy the most starved wolves - let along a beast such as himself, far more grand than any wolf or hound of the forest. Mercury eyes remained unblinking, Fafnyr silent as the small human rose to his feet with a few muttered, unhappy curses. When the boy turned, striking green eyes landing on him, Fafnyr nearly snorted with mirth when the human shrieked.

When the boy tumbled over his feet, falling right off the path and flipping down an incline, the dragon barked out a laugh. He turned, serpentine body twisting to gaze down the rocky slope when the human was still tumbling. Flipping, flailing and screaming all at once; a right impressive sight, the dragon noted. Few creatures could claim to be able to multitask to such a degree. Fafnyr stepped off the path, slinking between the trees growing off the boulders with an ease and grace the human lacked, the dragon found the mortal at the bottom of the hill, upside down with its feet slumped over its head, on the ground against a massive rock.

"I have seen many a clumsy human, but you, boy, are, by far, the worst," Fafnyr rumbled, smoke oozing out of nostrils. The boy was struggling to right himself, heart thundering in his chest. Fafnyr extended one sharp talon, caught the human between the legs and pulled his backside out and around until the boy was sitting on his back side. The face was pale, not the tan Fafnyr had glimpsed before, and the dragon snorted before saying, "I have no use for a human's small bits, boy. I have no interest in beastiality or in the scarce, unsatisyfing protein they may carry. Now stop looking as if I will rob you from your cradle."

"You can talk!" Fafnyr blinked, finally, before snorting. "So the human is not deaf. That is good news."

"You can talk," The human was rising to stand, quaking on legs far from steady. The dragon inched away, blinking before he drawled, "Yes, human, the beast in front of you is capable of speak. As are most creatures, but humans are generally too daft to understand those old tongues. You more so than others."

"You can, oh gods, you can talk," the human was edging away from him, eyes wide and unbelieving. Fafnyr snorted.

His tail snapped down, blocking the human's path as he said, "Repeat yourself more than thrice-fold, child, and I'll roast you where you stand. Repetitive conversations become old and bothersome, not to mention boring."

"You can-" the human paused, cleared his throat as the threat sank in, and said instead, "So...you're really a dragon?"

"No, I'm a cat," Fafnyr hissed, and then leaned in close as he hissed, "Of course I am a dragon, boy. What else would I be?"

"A cat?"

Fafnyr blinked, whatever words on his tongue gone. Green eyes were sparkling with amusement, and Fafnyr huffed. He pulled away from the human, watching as the boy dusted himself off. He was turning away, intent to head up the incline when the human said, "So, dragons can talk. You have a name?"

"Of course I do," Fafnyr curled around the first tree, perching in it as he reached for the next. Below, the boy said, "Well, what is it?"

"What is what?"

"Your name," Fafnyr paused, twisted his neck around to glance down at the human below. The young hunter was standing in his shadow, gazing up at him with friendly, green eyes. Fafnyr blinked, turning entirely to look down at the mortal standing on the ground under his tree as he answered, "I am called Fafnyr."

"Sans," the boy answered without missing a beat, and then head out his hand, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Fafnyr."

For the first time in the many centuries he had been alive, Fafnyr was at a loss for words. So he inclined his head, great wings spreading to eclipse the forest floor, and then he launched off the tree. Below, the clumsy hunter watched him depart, one hand shielding his eyes from the light. The boy watched, standing in one spot, until the great beast vanished from sight.

Afterward, he paused, gaze shifting across his surroundings before he deflated. "Of all the things I could have asked, why couldn't I have asked for directions? That'd be more useful than a name..."

Sans gathered his bow and quiver, one broke and the other miraculously not, and set off under the sky's watchful eye.


Author's Note

Dragons have always been a love of mine. I don't write much with them, let alone from the POV of such a great beast. This small piece was more humorous and light than most of what I write. I haven't posted much of anything on this site for the last month. So I thought I would write something, a one-shot, and see where it goes. Granted, this is not the ideal speech in my head of a dragon. I've always saw them more as beasts of nightmares and fantasy, creatures intelligent and old and often not all that friendly from the get-go. However, I suppose Fafnyr just might be old or perhaps bored from a lack of living interactions between two, speaking creatures. Hence this...whatever this is.

Enjoy, and, if you would be so kind - review.