THE DRAGON OF
Once there lived a dragon in a large cave on
One day the sultan called a meeting. “The dragon has become too fierce, he said. “He is such a good guard that he won’t even let me touch the treasure, and, after all, it is my treasure”. The sultan. “tell the people that whoever claims the treasure from the dragon can marry my daughter,”
At this, the ministers looked happier, for the sultan had a very beautiful daughter. They told the people about the sultan’s offer. Soon youn men from all the villages came to fight the dragon. Alas! All the young men were killed and eaten by the dragon.
Then, one day, a strong young hunter called sikawal came from the coast to a village near the mountain. He helped the villagers repair their longhouse and hunted in the forest nearby.
“why don’t uou fight the dragon?” asled the headman. “me?” said Sikawal, “I am only a poor hunter. I could never afford to amrry the sultan’s daughter.
Meanwhile, in the palace, the sultan’s ministers were worried. And the sultan was angry. The kingdom needed many things and there was no money to pay for them. “is there no one brave enough todefeat the dragon?” cried the sultan.
“well, sire ‘said one of the ministers, ‘there is a young man named sikawal in one of the villages, but they say he’s not in-terested in your daughter.’
‘Not interested!’ shouted the sultan, ‘he must be crazy. What young man wouldn’t want to marry a princess? Bring him here at once.”
And so, Sikawal was brought to the palace. There he saw the princess for the first time. She was so beautiful that Sikawal fell in love with her. “I will try do defeat the dragon, sire,’ he said to the sultan, and he left immediately for the mountain.
For several days sikawal watched the dragon from a tree near the dragon’s cave. Then, one day he came down the mountain to where the sultan’s soldiers were waiting.
‘catch as many swallows as you cand and put them in baskets enar the stream,’ he told the soldiers.
The soldiers laughed. This was no way to fight a dragon. They thought. Still, they did as they were told.
When the swallows were ready, Sikawal went back to the dragon’s cave. The dragon was asleep, but soon he woke up.
‘Hello, frieend dragon,’ said Sikawal who was standing near the entrance to the cave.
“Who’s there?” snorted the dragon. ‘How dare you come to my cave?’ jos ues were red and his teeth were sharp and long.
‘don’t be angry, friend.’ Said Sikawal, ‘I’ve brought you a gift.’
‘Gift? Said the dragon. “gift? Why? I’m not your friend. I don’t have any friends.’
‘poor friend Dragon,’ said Sikawal.
“You pity me?’
‘of course, said the hunter. ‘aren’t you lonely up here on the mountain?”
“You don’t know what it’s like having to guard this silly old treasure,’ said the dragon. ‘I can’t go anywhere; I can’t do anything, and when I try to make friends, they all run away. ‘ the dragon began to cry.
‘I understand,’ said Sikawal, ‘and that is why I have brought you a gift.’
‘Nobody has ever given me a gift, said the dragon. ‘What have you brought me?’
‘some baskets of swallows. They are over by the stream.’
‘Swallows!’ cried the dragon, ‘My favourite food. How did you guess? And with one leap the dragon was enar the stream eating greedily.
When he had finished, the dragon came back to where Sikawal was waiting. That was delicious,f riend, and now for a nap. You don’t mind keeping an eye on the treasure while nap, do you ?’
‘No. of course not, said Sikawal.
Soon the dragon was snoring peacefully. While the dragon slept Sikawal took all the gold and silver, and all the jewels to the palace. The sultan was delighted, the princess was happy and looked more beautiful than ever. Sikawal and the princes wore married immediately, and there was a great party in the palace.
Then the dragon woke up. The treasure was gone! The dragon ran down the mountain to the palace. The mountain shook and rocks tumbled into the valley below. ‘give back my treasure,’ the dragon shouted at the palace gate. ‘give it back or I’ll burn down the palace.’
Sikawal came to the gate. ‘Why, Friend Dragon,’ he said. ‘How nice of you to come to my wedding party.’
‘Thief! Shouted the dragon.
‘Now, now,’ said Skawal, ‘calm down. I did you a favour, after all. Just think, now you’ll be free to do whatever you want to. You can even travel around the world.’
‘Travel?’ the dragon looked pleased. ‘I’ve always wanted to travel.’
‘You can go anywhere you want. You don’t have to gyard the treasure any more.’
And so, the dragon set off to see the world. Before he left, Sikawal gave a feast at the palace in his honour. As you can guess, the main dish was…….. swallows!