I posted this years ago and pulled it. I did a little rewrite. I wrote this little fable as a bedtime story for my kids.
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The Dragon and the Knight
Once upon a time there was a valiant Knight. Oh indeed, he was a tall, brave, and handsome man. The Knight knew much of right and wrong, of how to be and when to be. Gracious and pure of body and thought was this Knight, given to true and gentle purpose, yet also he a master of lance and sword. A great warrior of renown, gifted deadly on foot and steed. He was humble and soft-spoken but unbeaten. Strong this soldier of the Lord, who stood to his oath, a promise made a promise kept.
It would even appear, to those who were blessed to see this true heart passing, that the light of heaven did shine on that glimmering armor and then onto them. Prayer and discipline, fastidious fasting, and constant training made this man. Such skill manifested as something that a lesser person could aspire but lacking that greater heart need make no effort but only watch with wonder.
If God were not on our side, said the townspeople, would He send such a presence in our midst? He was removed into the city with much glee and merriment. He was supported and housed, taken out like a fine object on holidays and Sundays to shine and grant his grace to all those that it was his charge to protect. He shone so brightly that the people believed themselves better in God's own eyes and did as they always had, unchanged and unrepentant. Why indeed should any way wicked or straight be altered when God has blessed the town with such a protector?
Until the Dragon came…
For days it stood on the road at the edge of town. Never a scale did twitch. It would only watch and wait. This great winged beast stood as high as an elm, a fierce visage of scale and horn. Its eyes burned red and saw the truth unclouded, not a softened or forgiving sight. Its great head never turned in some polite ignorance. No pretense was unobserved. There was no lie that did not ring louder in the teller's ear. It knew each soul in the town and its deepest thoughts. Each breath a blast of hell's own fire to scold and burn the shell of man, to expose the retched core. No secret made or contrived vice would last this damning heat. Not one dark deed was hidden from this searing light. Huge was this beast blocking the road, no one could pass this golden scaled serpent.
Days passed into weeks and the people cried out to their protector. " Save us…save us from this beast. Slay him …slay him." But the Knight each day would mount and travel the road from town and never see the beast. He, well armored and prayer pure, would search all roads and fields but never crossed the great serpent.
There were also good people in the town and they wondered at all the fuss.
Yet, the townspeople cried, "There! Right there!" they screamed," Do you not pass him each day as you leave us and again each night when you return?"
And each dawn the knight would again gird up and off to slay the beast.
Then one day it's great wings did beat and raise a mighty thunder to announce its presence. The good, those few, could not see the beast but sensed the danger and departed upon a back road, leaving what little they possessed behind. But most in this town locked their doors, shut tight their windows, and huddled around their riches. For what they feigned as true was now undone.
"Cower in fear!" Cried out the voice of the monster, shacking the roofs of every home and trade-house. "For what you have wrought shall be seen as a lie, for who I am and what I am is here for you. I am the Collector."
Again the people ran to their protector and cried, " Save us…Save us… from this hell sent beast. Do we not pay you? Do we not house you and grant you comfort of every sort?"
The Knight, ashamed by this reminder of his duties, did walk well armed to the front gate of the city and looked he out and there, behold, was the Dragon as fierce and monstrous as he had been told. He froze now unsure. They who he would protect had seen the beast for weeks yet he could not. He saw it well enough now in its terrible visage. What does it say about him that such a sight be granted? He who was once fearless now knew fear.
In the deep of that very midnight the monster came rising in the air above the town and laid waste with deafening roar and a terrible conflagration a portion of the town. And while the town people ran and scurried about to quench the hell spawned blaze, the Dragon alit upon the road by the gate and waited till the break of dawn.
At first light it bellowed, "Good Knight do you know me now? How indeed can you vanquish that which you know not? Are you prepared to battle for those souls who cower, those that try to beat down the making of my breath, those behind you? Those who know me such that they shiver and cry in fear and pain?"
The Knight looked up at the awesome and grotesque nightmare and looked down at his pitiful armor, shield and sword. He found it wanting and ran to his cottage to gather up more from his armory. He came this time, to the gate, astride his ironclad steed and carried much in the way of deadly war gear, his whole mind upon the slaying of the beast.
The Dragon looked and trembled in mock fear, "Oh indeed now am I undone. Look …look! I am wretched and I fear for my life. This goodly Knight has come to dispatch me with such righteous machines. Have mercy good Knight!"
Then did the beast laugh at the Knights good intention and caused him to doubt. The mockery made him to look upon his armor and again he ran to gather more weapons.
Then again the Dragon mocked him.
"Now I am truly slain. This holy Knight with all manner of war's devices shall lay me asunder. Oh… I now perish"
At that moment the Knight and horse suddenly crumbled to the ground under the weight of armor and weapon.
The Dragon rose into the air over the Knight and lay waste the entire town. All there perished and the souls, now released of their folly, did float away.
As the knight lay broken, ashamed to tears, the Dragon upon leaving said, "I hold you in no disrespect, you did not know me so you brought what you knew to bring. What you know has you there undone, not I. I was never a threat to you, only the evil wrought by those you presumed to protect. They in their darkness could not see for the false light you shine. Where there is truth… I am not. I am nurtured by what is conveniently true, by secrets and lies, by evil deeds and justifications, evil actions rationalized, by these things I flourish. True you had done much to keep yourself pure, but the action toward the truth became more important than the truth. Strip your armor and sword you need not these things, your being shines stronger and brighter than those weighted devices. A true warrior knows his heart and can bear much that would break any other. Such knowing will always be a burden on that true heart. This world is not a fair place, and much evil upon it. Choose your battles and your allies well. You, fair Knight, shall not see me again lest you deem to protect that which is destined by its evil nature to be destroyed. Be faithful good Knight. Farewell!"
The Dragon, with the roar of powerful wings, rose into the air and devoured every soul that was afloat above the town. A drum sound came with each wing beat as the smoke of its destruction swirled in it's driven wind. And then it was gone.
The Knight stood and stripped the weight from his horse and slapped his rump, setting it free. He then looking at himself removed his chain mail, trouser and jerkin. Stripped naked he stared at the town now only a burning ruin.
I'm rebulding the site - it will be back soon.
Why is doing what you love the hardest thing to do? Is it because failing what you thought defined you would be too devastating a thing from which to recover? If so, we stay where mere accident has left us.