For Children

Gregory R. Stone

To Hatch a Dragon

Third & Fourth Grade Prose Winner

I had a normal life until a series of events turned my whole world upside down. It all started one breezy spring afternoon.

I was walking through a particularly dense area of Central Park when a park buggy came up to me. The driver leaned out the window and said, “An unknown creature has been sighted around this area. Everyone must evacuate the park!” I climbed into the buggy and we quickly drove away.

The next morning, I looked at the newspaper on my way out the door to school and gasped. There was a picture of a dragon in Central Park on a large, unmistakable rock breathing out fire, exactly how I thought it should look. That must have been the “unknown creature.” So dragons were real. That proves it, I thought to myself.

After school that day, I chose to check out Dragon’s Rock (the rock that the dragon was sighted on). I found it littered with small, dry woodchips. In the middle of it all was a crevice about one foot deep with cinders and ashes in it. On top of the pile was an egg. I bent down, reached in, and grabbed it. In my hand was a magnificent green, red, blue, purple, yellow, and orange egg that looked like a fire opal. I decided to take it home and try to hatch it. The mother dragon probably wasn’t coming back because of the increased patrols, and I didn’t want this dragon to die. After all, I do have a thing for dragons. I put the egg in my backpack and headed home.

As I was walking, I decided against letting anyone know of the egg’s existence. I didn’t want anybody to take it away and send it off to the government so they could perform “experiments” on it. I also realized that to hatch this egg, I must replicate the process that the mother dragon was using to hatch her egg. The ashes and cinders that I found in the crevice told me that the mother dragon must have collected a lot of woodchips, put them in the crevice, laid the egg, and set the woodchips on fire with one single dragony breath. This must be the incubating process. But I still didn’t know how I could put a beautiful egg in a fire to incubate it without being extremely suspicious. I would have to sleep on it.

Meanwhile, I would have to bring the egg inside my apartment without anyone knowing. I planned to hide the egg in the box under my bed, a place where no one would think to look. But, alas, my sister noticed the egg as I was walking down the hallway. “Hey, what are you doing with an egg? I’m telling Mom,” she said, and ran off. That gave me just enough time to hide the egg, and, since there was no proof, I was dubbed innocent when my mom came over to check.

The next day, Saturday, I woke up early at 7:30 with the answer. I would put the egg in the household fireplace! I took the egg out of the box and carefully placed it among the fake logs, and then lit the gas fireplace using the remote. No one seemed to mind all day, as the chilly weather helped my case. My parents turned off the fireplace for the night, but I secretly stayed up until everyone was asleep, snuck out of bed, and turned the fireplace back on. I then went back to bed, satisfied.

On Sunday, I checked on the egg and found a large crack on its side. It was getting bigger and before my eyes, the egg hatched! Horns punched out a hole for the head. It popped out. Talons widened the cracks and broke apart the egg. An adorably cute little baby dragon emerged. He was purple with lime green horns, spines, and tongue. He had brown eyes like me. The hatchling then ate his eggshell. After letting out a great yawn, the dragon took off up the chimney, beating his miniature dragon wings—up, up, and away. I started to feel sad because I lost my first real dragon just moments after getting it, but then a thought rang clear and true in my head: He will come back.

And he did.

The End.