His skin was gold. The beast’s skin was gold! Like the wealth it slumbered in, the precious metal that filled its dark home – the dragon was GOLD!
“Foolish, little man,” rumbled the dragon. It was tremendous. A legion of swordsmen, two legions, three, would have failed to have vanquished this beast. Heat laced his breath, spawned by the fire of his heart, heat that burned my bones each time it spoke, not my skin, but my bones. “Like thousands of others that have disturbed my sleep and sanctuary through ages upon ages past, you have come for a bit of my treasure.”
“No, mighty being,” I answered, holding my shield before me, masking me from the growing heat spilling through the dragon’s fangs. “I’ve come not for treasure, though your wealth is immeasurable.”
“Humans – liars all. Dishonest specks of insignificance” The dragon’s voiced was laced with disgust. “Tell me then, warrior, brave heart, why do you come here this day and look upon me, your death?”
“I seek an answer to a question.” My armor was beginning to heat. My skin was beginning to burn.
“Ah,” smiled the dragon, if a dragon could smile. He seemed to. And his voice now bore a mocking tone. “Wisdom – you’ve come for a wisdom. You’d do better to ask for gold, for at least your feeble body could carry some of that. Humans are unable to hold on to any wisdom they acquire; yet ask your question. I will answer it. Then, I will kill you.”
I lay down my sword and shield. I had no doubt the dragon would soon kill me and neither my sword nor my shield would protect me from death.
“Mighty beast of gold, are you…” I paused, suddenly afraid for I assumed I would soon be dead. “Are you happy?”
The dragon opened his mouth to answer, but paused. He considered my question. Perhaps he considered himself. He look puzzled, almost confused. He began to mumble.
“Am I happy? Can I… Does it matter that… happy?”
That day, I returned home a dragon slayer.