Moonbeam and Augustus - Part Three
We started off early the next morning, well rested after a good night's sleep. Moonbeam was especially frisky while Augustus was his usual, quiet watchful self. I always thought when I looked at him that he was miles away, in the deepest of thought.
This morning, like the one before it, was magical with the dew-covered cobwebs and God beams drifting down through the trees as if pointing our way.
The morning passed slowly as we meandered along the trail, stopping here and there to admire wild flowers, trees of many varieties, rocks, and the twists and turns of the trail and the effects of light and shadow.
We were discussing the possibility of stopping for lunch when the ground beneath our feet started to shake and rumble.
"Oh, no, an earthquake!" I said, my voice pitched to an unnecessarily high level. I had lived through a couple when I was in San Francisco and although they were short lived in time and arrived without warning, they were scary.
Moonbeam stopped in her tracks and turned to look at me. "I-don't-think-so," she said, turning to look at Augustus.
He held his head high as if sniffing the air. I wondered if donkeys had a keen sense of smell, and if so what were he and Moonbeam aware of that I was not?
"Bamboodle is on the war path," Augustus said. Moonbean nodded agreement.
"Who or what is Bamboodle?" I asked as the shaking became ever more pronounced and fear mounted in my gut.
"Bamboodle is a dragon, a fire breathing, wicked dragon that eats donkeys for breakfast and humans for lunch."
"Well, then, let's high tail it out of here."
"Too late," Moonbeam said, "look over there.
A figure emerged from the shadows of the trail in front of us, one of a huge, green dragon whose fiery breath reached almost to where we stood, transfixed by fear and the sight of such a monster. This was no fairytale dragon. This was the real thing.
"Get off me," Augustus ordered.
"No, I feel better here, on your back." My voice shook like jelly in a bowl.
"Off me … NOW."
When I hung on tighter, Augustus reared and dumped me most unceremoniously onto the ground.
I don't know how she did it, but Moonbeam managed to dump her load, too. Then the two donkeys placed themselves between me and the dragon.
The ground was shaking so much now that the leaves were falling from the trees, and the lone pine tree was dropping its cones. I was bonked on the head by a few. I couldn't even say ouch because I was so mesmerized with fear, mainly for Moonbeam and Augustus who looked so small and frail in front of this monster dragon.
"Get away, run … fly … you two move it … you don't need to stay here." My voice was weak and shaky that I'm sure the donkeys couldn't hear me, and even if they could, they had other things on their minds. As the monster drew down on them they appeared to communicate. The next thing I knew was that Moonbeam stepped closer to the dragon ... so close that his fiery breath appeared to be only inches away from her.
I could believe what I was seeing. Moonbeam appeared to be dancing … jumping and pirouetting all over the place, and for the moment confusing the dragon that was not used to such erratic behavior from his breakfast food.
Meanwhile Augustus moved to the dragon's flank and aimed a well-placed kick to his chest, and for just a moment knocking the wind out of the beast. When Bamboodle turned to see what had happened, Augustus had already moved to the other side and placed another well-placed kick to the left side of his chest. Again the wind was knocked out of the dragon and for just a moment his fire faltered. All the while, Moonbeam's gyrations were becoming more pronounced and all the more confusing to any self respecting dragon. Augustus dashed back and forth, kicking and braying his loudest. After many rounds of this behavior, the dragon's breath was labored, so much so that fire went out altogether. He turned away, skulking toward the shadows with his tail between his legs. He was a sorry sight, this mighty dragon falling over his tail and with the fearsome fire gone. The two brave donkeys looked at each other, raised up on their hind legs and gave each other a hoof equivalent of high five.
By this time I was so weakened with fear that I couldn't get up … when I tried to rise my legs just gave way beneath me.
Moonbeam and Augustus approached me and knelt beside me while I hugged and hugged them. The only damage they appeared to have sustained was singed manes. These two were my heroes … how could I ever repay them for saving my life?
"Would you like dragon for lunch?" Augusts asked.
"Grilled or fried?" Moonbeam added.
"Thank you," I said, "but I've had enough dragon to last a lifetime."
©October 20, 2005