“The problem you’re here for,” said a surly middle-aged woman who lay on the ground next to him.
“It’s beautiful,” Dancealot said.
“It’s terrifying,” the woman said.
Fixing his eye on where the dragon disappeared into the mountains, Sir Dancealot danced into the hills alone.
He followed it to its cave, dancing all the way.
When he arrived he danced outside the cave entrance for four hours. He put his heart and soul into that dance to lure the dragon out, but the dragon wouldn’t budge, though he could see the faint glow of its eyes watching him.
Finally he coaxed it to a place where he could see its face. Terrible sadness and longing looked out of those eyes. Sir Dancealot danced around doing step after step, inching his way toward the dragon with every flourish and well placed foot.
When he got within a stones throw of the cave he suddenly stopped, bowed low to the ground and said, “Will you dance with me?”
Tears filled the dragon’s eyes. It nodded and carefully approached Sir Dancealot. It stood on its hind legs and waited for Sir Dancealot. What followed was too beautiful and too sacred to tell. Never before had man and beast so perfectly matched each other’s rhythm. Never before had two members of the animal kingdom moved in sync so effortlessly. And never before had such grace and joy been expressed through movement.
When they had completed their dance, Sir Dancealot said, “If you were human there wouldn’t be a competition we couldn’t win.”
The dragon smiled, but with Sir Dancealot’s pronouncement a strange thing happened. The dragon’s scales turned from dark green to a bright, translucent silver. Starting at the dragon’s tail the effect swept slowly over it like a dark cloud revealing the sun. Before long the dragon shined so bright that Sir Dancealot had to shield his eyes, then look away all together.
When the light faded he turned to find a fair maiden. She seemed familiar to him though he knew he would not have forgotten a face so beautiful and bright.
“Fair maiden,” Sir Dancealot said, “If you are half as good in this form as you were in the previous, I should be honored if thou wouldst dance with me.”
The maiden smiled warmly, but she said, “I think not.”
“Now that the enchantment has been broken, I must find my true love,” she said through tears.
“Seek no further, I am here am I not? I broke the spell, and I truly love you. Dance with me again.”
“Look at me. I’m your knight in shining armor.”
“No,” a voice shouted, “You’re a dragon in a dress.”
Sir Dancealot began to glow. His skin turned a dull green and broke out in hard spots that grew and flattened out into scales. A fifth appendage hit the ground behind him and the bulk of his body pushed him down on to all fours. His neck elongated and his teeth grew into fangs. His shoulder blades stretched till new joints popped and bent as he spread out wide wings.
To Be Continued…