Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Two, Chapter Three, Part Ten
Jonathan pondered Arrydor’s last point of trying to gain an upper hand on the dragon, but failed to think of anything he could do that would create such a position. It wasn’t like he could just round it up on horseback into a corral and lock it in. What could he possibly lock a dragon into that would be safe and secure?
“What could I possibly do to gain the upper hand on the dragon, Gramps? I can’t think of anything except maybe to hide in a place where it can’t find me, but what good would that do? That’s no way to slay a dragon…”
“I don’t know either, Lad, but attempting to gain the upper hand on the dragon is the only approach I can think of that would allow you to get close enough to surprise it. Hiding won’t fool a dragon though, because dragon’s have excellent senses including their ability to see, hear and smell. If you’re within a day’s travel of it it will be able to find you. A dragon can even feel the impact of your feet while walking quietly in the distance – once you begin tracking the beast it is liable to find you long before you find it.”
Arrydor continued saying, “Surprising a dragon isn’t the same as slaying a dragon though, and I don’t have an answer for either part to make it work, but time is of the essence. We’ve discussed this enough for one day, and you’ll need your rest for what’s to come. For now we’ll have to sleep on it and tomorrow we’ll try to make a plan, but the best plan may just be to head out and make up a plan based on the situation you find yourself in outside The King’s Preserve. Good night, Jonathan,” and with that Arrydor’s voice faded away into distant birdsong and the faint rustling of leaves in the trees above.
Sammy remained by Jonathan’s side there in the grass of Myullar Wood, quietly keeping his thoughts to himself. Although he didn’t know all the details of what was ahead of them, Sammy at least understood that the way wouldn’t be an easy one. At this point he decided it was better to just relax in the grass, because he was sure this refuge in the Wood wouldn’t last very long.
At that point, the light in the Wood dimmed, and a number of lanterns illuminated alongside the banquet table with a new spread of delicious foods prepared for the two of them. Jonathan fixed a plate of various meats and bones for Sammy to chew on, and filled a bowl of water for him. He then helped himself to servings of stew, bread, nuts, fruits and vegetables, all the while pondering what had transpired that day.
Gramps was teaching him what he needed to know about dragon slaying, and Jonathan was placing that information into the context of an adventure and a game, in order to be able to better grasp what he needed to understand. Jonathan already knew enough on his own to know that perception was reality in this situation, because if he viewed this quest to track, hunt, fool and slay a dragon as it really was, he’d be too scared to do anything. The only way he could see this task as something doable, was to make it as fun as he could – even if it was a deadly game he was playing, at least, he would play it – because his friends were counting on him…
(End of Book Two, Chapter Three)