The Double Wedding

Saturday morning was a beautiful day; as befitting such a special occasion, and Puff flew down from where he had been staying in the mountains and all the people from the castles and the towns and the villages came out to meet him. They cheered and clapped as he landed on a ridge between the two castles. Puff was very diplomatic and did not wish to favour either of the castles. The people rushed up to see him and touch him. They had never seen a real live Dragon before and were not frightened because of Leznupar’s clever message in the pamphlet. For the fourth time in just a few days Puff felt himself blushing, but because he was already red no one noticed.

The double wedding at the castle with the red and white shutters on the windows was truly a grand affair as was the double wedding at the castle with the green and silver shutters on the windows. Puff had enjoyed himself immensely and was much chuffed to find how popular he had become, but it was time to say goodbye to this mysterious land beyond the strange mist. He rose up into the clear blue sky. He was tempted to do a ‘barrel roll’, but the last time he tried he got his wings all tangled up and made a rather ignominious rapid decent and barely avoid crashing into the ground, so he circled gracefully over the castles then turned and headed towards the strange mist and soon disappeared into it.

Puff flew in a straight line through the strange must and was very pleased to find himself flying over the Sahara dessert when he emerged from it. He flew on and there below him was the Oasis he had slept at before so he flew down and landed by it. Dusk was approaching and he heard voices coming from among the palm trees. He was confident that he was invisible to the Tuareg, so he crept forward to see the ‘blue men of the Sahara’ seated in a circle round a pile if sticks and logs that should be a fire and there was Munatas telling a story “…and so he began, It was a clear starry night at the Oasis when the Tuareg were seated around the fire and when they had finished eating they called upon their leader Munatas to tell them a story, and so he began, It was a clear starry night at the Oasis when the Tuareg were seated around the fire…” Puff could see no fire. Surely, he thought Izemrasen must have bought some matches in Timbuktu or Kano or wherever they had been. He wondered if his trick could work again and picked up a large bolder and dropped it in the clear pool making a big splash, but the Tuareg continued to sit round the pile of sticks listening to Munatas telling his everlasting story. Then Puff noticed quite a big gap between two of the Tuareg and quietly crept forward and putting his head through the gap give a quick spurt of flames from his nostrils lighting their fire. “Wow! What amazing thing is this?” exclaimed Izemrasen which thankfully made Munatas stop talking so Puff was able to creep quietly away and fall asleep.

He was woken with the dawn and watched the Tuareg set off once more across the dessert in single file. Puff rose into the air and looked down on the column of camels. The low sun angle made their long shadows rising and falling over the dunes look like they were from very tall camels. It was a surreal sight. Puff headed just to the west of north and was soon crossing the Mediterranean Sea and then he was crossing the snow capped Alps where he turned right and flew along the northern edge of the Alps into Bavaria and there nestling between the Alpsee and  Tegelburg was Neuschwanstein castle with its turrets and conical roofs. It was every bit as grand as the castle with the red and white shutters on the windows and the castle with the green and silver shutters on the windows thought Puff. He circled the castle several time then very naughtily zoomed under the Marienbrücke. Although the people could not see him they felt what they thought was a great rush of wind as his great wings beat the air as he sped past them. He turned and headed North West for home. It was not long before he crossed the English Channel and was above the green fields of England. His heart started to beat faster as he crossed the Severn Estuary into his beloved Wales and landed on his little terrace up high in the mountains. He was glad to be home after such an amazing adventure but was quite sad when he woke next morning as he had no one to tell about the wonders he had seen.

This had all changed that day when the Shepherd bumped into him and woke him up and Tom came to visit him and then when the villagers sent for Saint George to come and slay him, but he and Saint George made a plan and became friends and now he was in the garden of the Red Dragon telling the enthralled villagers how he had met the ‘blue men of the Sahara’ and about his visit to the strange land the other side of the mysterious mist and the tall tower in the beautiful green valley with the colourful flowers and little stream gurgling over the waterfalls, the Princesses and Princes and the castle with the red and white shutters on the windows and the castle with the green and silver shutters on the windows.

As Puff finished his tale he swallowed his last mouthful of ale then soared into the sky. He would be back next week to tell the villagers of another one of his other adventures and the villagers would be waiting for him at the Red Dragon.

The Adventures of Puff, the Magic Dragon