Hatchling

I had found it by accident. Actually, I almost stepped on it. But the burnished sheen of the shell struck my eye just in time. I sunk to the grass for a closer look, dew-drops sinking into my jeans.

It was so very small; small enough to fit in one hand. Poor thing must have been abandoned – there were no nest nearby that it could have come from. Well, I couldn’t just have left it there; it would have died. Ever so gently, I scooped up the tiny egg; the metallic marbled casing glowing in the dusky light of the setting sun. It felt cold. Dangerously cold. Hugging the egg close, I scarpered through the trees, desperate to get it back home – to get it safe. To keep it alive.

I didn’t tell anyone about the egg. I knew they’d just take it away and I couldn’t let that happen. The egg was sitting in a pail over the fire, surrounded by stones. I started to worry that it might already have been dead when I found it. Who knows how long it had been lying there in the wet grass. Maybe it was all just a waste of time. Bu then, a small scratch, follow by a soft rattle.

I reached the tongs into the pail, being as careful as I could while trying to get a secure grip on the egg. Once grasped, I placed it in a bundled nest of blankets. It wasn’t long before the glossy shell began to crack and fracture as something sharp inside started to break its way out. And the it was sitting there: curled in the remnants of its shiny home.

It was no bigger than a mouse. Tiny little scales of golden-green glittered by the fireside. Frail wings the size of a holly leaf. Golden eyes blinked weakly up at me. It let out a very tiny chirp. I reached out a finger which the little dragon bopped with his little dragon head.

“I’m gonna call you Copper.”

– Heather Caldwell

[17/2/17: Protect, Life]

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