Jonathan and His Dragon

Jonathan and His Dragon

Gerti Baldwin

USD 24,99

Format: 13.5 x 21.5 cm
Number of Pages: 186
ISBN: 978-3-99131-825-5
Release Date: 06.02.2023
Enter Jonathan’s world of magic, a world where he learns how to fly, and trying to escape his problems, travels to the highest mountain – with his trusted dragon. As he faces his fears he finds his own power, and grows from a small boy into a hero.

On a warm Sunday night, Jonathan lay in bed trying to sleep. But in spite of his efforts sleep would not come – too many disturbing thoughts were in his mind. So, after a while, he opened his eyes and looked out through the open window into the velvety dark of the night sky. For a brief time he marvelled at the wonders out there in space, but then his bad thoughts came back, going round in his head, again and again. But he needed to sleep – tomorrow was school, he’d have to get up early. Again he shut his eyes, and, remembering what his dad had once told him, he began counting sheep, imagining how they jumped, one at a time, over a hedge. When this did not work either, he sat up once more, looking around his bedroom. It was a new and strange bedroom – a bedroom Jonathan was not used to and did not want to get used to, because he did not want to be here. He felt like a stranger, he did not belong. Admittedly, this bedroom was nice. Against the wall stood a wardrobe next to a chest of drawers, and a desk with a computer was strategically placed on the opposite wall near the window, with books and computer games close by on shelves. But Jonathan would have much rather been home in his old room without a computer, just with his few books and games and old toys. At least they were his – here, nothing belonged to him really.

With a deep sigh he put his head back on the pillow and tried to sleep once more, trying hard to leave his worries behind for a while, forget he was no longer home, at home with his mother.

Just then Auntie Jean opened the door to see if he was sleeping. Jonathan closed his eyes quickly. But she did not leave, but came in and sat down on his bed, smoothing his hair back and planting a kiss on his forehead. In spite of it all this felt good, and something in Jonathan wanted to kiss her back, or hug her at least. Instead, he closed his eyes even more tightly, breathing deeply to show he was fast asleep.

He heard her sigh, felt his bed moving a little as she got up, then her soft steps retreated and the door closed again. Jonathan was finally alone, just as he had wanted. So why was he so sad, tears welled up, trying to choke him? But he had promised himself never to cry again, whatever happened. He was glad to be alone, he reminded himself, because no one could hurt him then. No one cared anyway, so no one should know how he felt, and that he was so sad and frightened, he wanted to cry. But he would not – he was big and strong and brave and tough.

“I know I am brave and tough,” Jonathan said, to strengthen his courage. He would ignore his sadness and fears, and think about nice things. Instead, he remembered school; the new school he had to attend since coming to live with Auntie Jean, only a week ago. She was not even his real aunt. No wonder, she did not care how he felt, or, how terrible the new school was. Even if he told her, she would do nothing about it, he was quite sure.

He missed his old school, and his friends, most of all he missed his home, especially his mother.

He hated it here – hated everything here, even Auntie Jean. And he hated his new school. He would never get used to it.

“Why do you live with your aunt?” a boy had asked him during break. Jonathan did not know what to say. He was afraid if he told the truth, his class-mates would feel sorry for him – but he did not want their sympathy. Neither did he want to be different from them. No one should know what had happened to him, and that he had been taken away from his home, away from his mother.

So Jonathan had invented a story, he said his father worked in America, had become ill, and his mother was needed to look after him in America. But when the children wanted to know more about his parents, Jonathan’s explanations got muddled up, having to make everything up on the spot. A girl called him a liar, and other children joined in. The more Jonathan insisted he wasn’t lying, the less they believed him. One thing led to another, a boy pushed Jonathan, he pushed back, and a fight started. Luckily, Mrs Winthrop, their teacher, came in and separated the children.

Now, after all that, no one would want to be his friend. No one liked him, no one wanted him. He had no one now.

It had all been very different, a long time ago.

If only he could change everything – or something, at least.

Suddenly it occurred to the boy that perhaps he could. Perhaps if he wished real hard, thought hard enough, perhaps his wish would come true. And what he wanted to wish for, that, Jonathan knew exactly.

Closing his eyes, he concentrated, and thought as hard as he could. At first it was difficult, because all kinds of words and pictures came into his mind. But he pushed them away, again and again, until nothing remained but his wish.

“I wish to have someone who really loves me, just like I am. No matter what I say, or do, or what I look like.” Jonathan spoke in a loud voice, he spoke with strength and determination, and then he repeated his words. Taking a deep breath, he said them once more just to make sure, and because three times was lucky.

Then, with his eyes still closed, he waited a while to give his wish sufficient time to come true. Even so, he was afraid nothing would happen. But, just in case, he kept his eyes shut as long as he could. When he finally opened them, Jonathan stared in amazement. He could not believe what he saw.

‘I must be dreaming,’ he thought.

But his vision was no dream, he really had a visitor – and what a visitor!

The moon was shining softly through the window, and on the window-sill there sat a dragon. Not a huge and ferocious looking dragon as he had always imagined dragons would be. This dragon was rather small – smaller even than Jonathan himself, who was almost ten, though not big for his age.

The creature was pale-green, shining with a strange orange glow where the moonlight hit the scaly skin. It just sat there, looking at the boy with large friendly eyes, eyes the boy seemed to remember, as if he had seen them before. But Jonathan had never come across this strange scaly creature, he was quite certain of that.

Suddenly he knew why the dragon’s eyes seemed so familiar. He had really seen such eyes before, in a picture – the picture in his bedroom at home, showing an angel with huge white wings for flying. This angel had the same kind and loving look, just like the dragon.

His mother had told him it was his guardian angel.

Jonathan blinked, and, rubbing away a tear, he looked over to the window again.

His visitor still sat there, motionless.

“Are you my guardian angel?” The child asked.

The dragon’s smile expanded from his eyes all over his face. “Well,” he answered, “perhaps not quite – at least not quite exactly. But if you can tell me precisely what guardian angels do, I might be able to oblige.”

“They help you always, no matter what.” Jonathan knew this for a fact, his Dad had told him, long ago, before he went away. And although he had not seen his Dad in years, he never forgot those words, just as he would never forget his father.

Everyone he loved had always gone away.

But now there was this dragon – here – in his room. A dragon he could even talk with, and ask questions.

“What is your name?” Jonathan wanted to know first. But because his mind was still on his father and how much he missed him, he did not wait for an answer but asked: “will you go away too?”

“My presence here depends entirely on you.” The dragon paused, considering his next words carefully. “I am here because you wished for me, and because I have a purpose to fulfil. As long as you want me to remain, I’ll stay,” he said, and, with a twinkle in his eyes, he added. “But we can discuss the terms of my presence in detail at a later time. I am certain we reach an agreement we are both happy with.”

For a while the dragon and the child sat in silence. The dragon’s smile had disappeared. He seemed to look into the distance, as if he could see something there. Jonathan began to worry. But when his eyes met those of his strange guest, his fears completely vanished, because of all the love and understanding he saw reflected there. Suddenly the boy felt better. He was not alone any more, he had a friend – and what a friend. Admiringly he observed his strange visitor, who began to speak again.

“You want to know my name, but this presents a problem – though just a minor problem, and easily resolved.” Wrinkling his forehead, the dragon’s voice slowed and became so quiet he almost whispered, and Jonathan had to strain to understand him.

“Where I come from everything is very different, even communication – we have no need for a language such as yours. But I am her now, in your world, and so I shall acquire a name – a special name, for a very special child. What would you like to call me?”

The boy thought hard, wrinkling his forehead too, just like the dragon had done. He would find a good name – a real good name – he knew he would. There was a glow in him, he felt special now. The dragon had said he was a special child, and dragons knew about such things.

And then the name just came to him. “A long time ago,” Jonathan recalled, “I had a dog called Barry. He loved me.” He stopped and reconsidered. Perhaps the dragon would not like to be named after a dog.

But his visitor did not seem to mind. “Then Barry I shall be,” he approved. Jumping from the window-sill, he stood on his hind legs and stretched himself. Jonathan could see the magnificent dragon-tail in its full glory now, as his newly acquired friend stepped over to Jonathan’s bed and sat down.

But now the child wanted to jump like the dragon had done. He threw off his quilt, and was out of bed with one mighty jump, coming down to sit next to the dragon. As he turned his head to look at his visitor once more, doubts began to rise in him. Was Barry the right name for a scaly reptile? This creature was nothing like the dog he once had. His Barry from long ago had long thick fur.

“I used to sneak my dog Barry into bed with me, and hug him,” he remembered now. “He was so nice to hold and cuddle – furry and soft.”

This new Barry had a smooth and hairless skin, a skin with scales – green scales, which had a strange orange glow. He would have looked frightening had it not been for his eyes, and he was certainly not cuddly. But Jonathan did not want to say how he felt, in case he upset the dragon.

Even without words, his new friend understood. “I could take on another form, if you prefer,” he suggested. “Perhaps you don’t like dragons. I’ll be a dog with long thick fur, if you so wish.”

But Jonathan shook his head. He rather liked having his own dragon. A dragon was very special, which made him feel special too. Besides, many boys had dogs, but none had dragons. His decision stood firm.

“I like you as a dragon, but,” he hesitated, uncertain, how to put his request. Then – finding no other way – he came straight out with it: “It would be nice, if you could be soft and furry, Barry.”

“With pleasure,” agreed his friend. “But prior to my transformation, let us decide some other details of my appearance, so I need not change too often. What about colour and size? How big or little shall I be?”

A long discussion followed. Jonathan found it difficult to make up his mind about the dragon‘s size. What he really needed, was a dragon so huge and ferocious, anyone who saw him would know his power, just by looking at him. He wanted a dragon that could protect him from all danger, a dragon that was afraid of nothing.

But he wanted Barry to be with him always and everywhere, which would be difficult if not impossible, if the dragon was big. Even a middle-sized one would still be a problem. He could just imagine what Auntie Jean and Uncle Jim would say if he appeared to breakfast with a dragon. Then there was school to consider. Jonathan pushed that thought away fast. School was the last thing he wanted to think about.

He wanted the other children to like him because he was himself – was Jonathan – and not because he had a dragon. And he did not want to be even more different from the others, he was too different already.

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