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Dragon's Moon
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Dragon's Moon

Bent Lorentzen


Somewhere within that strange world between sleep and awakening, she felt something cold and wet hit her head hard.

"Knooack," she mumbled, wanting so much to return to her dream, only to be shocked awake by a loud explosion.

The thick brown knobs of her outer eyelids sprung open. Without thinking, she quickly shut the thin, protective inner eyelids. Where did this storm come from? she thought, her mind still somewhat in her dream. She could no longer see the familiar treetops, only sheets of rain coming down almost sideways and the fronds from nearby palms waving madly. And that roar. That horrible roar.

A jagged bolt of lightning crackled and exploded so close that it lit up the other side of her pond. She almost jumped but found the hooked black talons of her feet already dug deep into her woven reed nest. Those at her wingtips gripped a rock to one side and pierced the gnarly tree on the other. As she lifted her horned head higher, water cascaded down and entered her ear openings, briefly drowning out the wind’s incredible roar. She madly shook her head.

Her grip tightened when wind-driven palm fronds flipped up several of the larger, green scales along her back, exposing her skin to cold and wet. A foamy wave drove muck into her two nostrils. She reared up her head on its long, brown neck and shook it, disgusted and angry.

Nothing made sense. The air had held no warning of a storm that morning. Always, she could read clues to the day’s weather from the how high the small tweedle dragons flew, or scents in the air, or even the way clouds scuttled across the sky.

She’d gone to sleep with such sweet thoughts.

Then she heard it, above the storm’s roar. It sounded like wings flapping. Her heart pounded harder. Not since her husband’s disappearance had she been so confused. She gripped the nest tighter, but immediately relaxed a little. It wouldn’t do to destroy her nest and the great treasure it held.

How could I hear wings flapping through all this?

Desperate to keep three leathery white eggs safe against the thrashing rain and waves without crushing them, she glanced up eyes wide open. The air swirled with a terrifying mix of sticks, stones, rain, thunder and lightning. She shuddered and again closed the milky protective skin over her eyes. Once more she heard the crackling of something that sounded like wings.

She twisted her head, trying to locate the sound and how far away it was. A pebble glanced against her protected eye. Angrily, she lifted her proud, crested head and roared, "KNOOOAAACK!"

As if to answer, a haunting sound cut through the storm’s roar:

"Aaahhnk . . ."

The voice, almost melodious, sounded like nothing she'd ever heard. Frightened, cautious but curious, she slowly strained her long neck to better hear.

It came again: "Aahnk . . ."

Coiling her neck back to strike if necessary, she flicked out a long, dark, forked tongue to taste the air. The melody returned, this time without breaking off, and seemingly closer.

Her keen hearing caught every word.

Ahnk . . .

        Ever soft you glow

Oh mother below

        To protect your brood

From evil so shrewd

        Have heart

Take part

        Treasure to dread

is a fourth egg

        Fear not his oddness

That’s his key to bless

        Ancient Mother’s heart

is his to unlock


Nothing more. Not even the flapping sound. Only a whiff of something that was so familiar to her that a cold shudder crept up her back. Then the smell was gone. She stretched out her long neck even more in spite of the whipping branches. A good mother, she sensed her belly pressing down too hard on her eggs, so she lowered her head and resolved to calm down. Cold, wet, and upset that she couldn’t understand any of this, she closed her eyes. Even through the thick, crusty outer lids, she saw the fierce white pulses of lightning and heard the cracking of thunder. She tried remembering how the day had begun as a way to relax.

By a woodland pond nestled in a valley a half day’s flight from the Sea, countless dragons of all shapes and sizes had filled the air with shrill songs and clicking. A gentle wind had caressed nest-filled trees, softly nudging the forest into a motion just like the waves sweeping the distant green sea. High above, the small and noisy tweedle dragons had zigzagged as they chased insects or simply played. Higher up, a hungry soarer had slowly glided across a cloudless blue sky. Full-grown, brown and green- scaled waddle dragons like herself rarely had to fear their kind.

She had squirmed a bit, fluffing her belly scales to expose her warm brood-patch to the three leathery eggs beneath. She remembered sighing deeply, wondering how her children from hatchlings in years past were doing, and what life would bring to these new dragons slowly growing in her eggs. This world, Nistala, was not always an easy place, she had reflected bitterly, having lost several young to the appetites of larger and fiercer dragons. Then the disappearance of her husband. She wished fervently, as she had all too often, that all of Nistala’s creatures would behave as waddle-dragons, and eat only plants, the sick, and those who welcomed death.

Stretching her curved neck to its full length, her large, friendly eyes had looked into a reflection of herself before drinking.

Turning her head up she had noticed again the soarer-dragon slowly sliding across the cloudless blue sky. She wished it would go away.

"Knooaack," she had said, squirming some more in her nest. Through her belly's sensitive brood patch, she’d felt the stirring of one of her babies. Inhaling deeply, she had rested her head on a gnarly branch, letting it scratch an itch on her scaly brown-and-green throat. She kept an eye on that soarer. When it had sailed out of sight, she exhaled and let her thick crusty eyelids slowly shut.

The sun's warmth had settled like a thick blanket of moss over her mind. Soon she was dreaming. She'd had this dream often: Eyes closed and a mild wind in her face, she drifted across the sky in a woven nest firmly grasped in the claws of the legendary flame-warriors. She heard the dull flapping of these Firstborns' powerful wings. Though she'd never seen any sort of Firstborn, the images of these immortal dragons lived deep in her mind through the stories her mother and aunts had told her of Creation. Even her husband, now but a memory, had spoken fondly of Creation.

They sang as they flew in her dream:

  Beat, wings, beat

      Through wind, rain, and sleet,

  We'll never retreat

And their wings had roared. Oh, what a roar –

–That roar was no longer a dream.


She opened her eyes to the storm, a prayer in her heart flying to the Ancient Mother.

Without warning, piercing the storm, came a blood curdling screech:

  Scree! See me!


  All that you see

    will be for me

  Try you may

    this egg to lay

  My winds so strong and foul

    drives to disembowel

  Wind wind

    Rain rain

  Snatch smash that prize

    Never to rise

  My glee to see

    A yellow mess

  Never to bless


  See me!


  Nothing but ME!


"Knooaack!" she screamed, anger overcoming the knot of fear growing in her gut. That chant was horribly unlike the first one.

Her neck was so coiled back in a striking position that waves splashed against the top of her head. After long moments of only feeling wind and water, she relaxed her neck. Twisting it in a long arch forward, she stuck her nose under her belly and sniffed her three eggs. She kept her mouth open, mostly to better hear. Every tiny change in wind, even the subtle pulling of the swaying tree upon her needle sharp claws, worried her.

Lightning flashed, trees exploded. Her roost shook with each searing thunderclap. The mad wind snatched pebbles and branches, blowing them about like nothing.

Fish and small water dragons swam to the pond's bottom and hid in the mud, desperate to close lidless eyes. Wingless, scaly beasts trembled in their underground homes, wrapping sharp little claws over their ears to keep out the terrifying sound. Then . . .

Then the wind and rain stopped.

When the black clouds separated and the rains parted, it reminded her of a giant eye slowly opening. She settled a bit in the tattered remains of her nest, tenting her wings flat around her belly to better embrace her three eggs. A yellow sun peeked down on the wrecked pond.

It grew strangely silent.

From the circle of clouds, came a soft melody that had no words. The voice vaguely reminded her of something impossible. Immediately, on top of that melody, erupted a wicked screech.

"Eeeh eeeh eeeh eeeh, screeeeee!"

She held her breath, gulped, and remained absolutely still – as her mother had long ago taught her to do when danger was near.

Without warning, the clouds rushed together – like an eye closing – and the storm returned with increased fury.

Now she had to work harder to keep her three eggs in the roost. Suddenly the tree she gripped with one wingclaw blew apart. The wing then flapped out of control, a piece of the broken tree still hooked in a claw. She furiously exhaled out her nostrils, aware that too much exertion from her chest could crush her precious children. Finally, her whipping wing hooked itself on a large palm tree a bit too far away.

As lightning exploded and rain tore through to the sensitive skin beneath her scales, she wondered if the Ancient Mother had just sung to prepare her for death. Such was the legend.

The Ancient Mother . . . she who had created all life. She lived only in legend, because to see her, or hear her, occurred only in the moments before death . . . or birth.

"Give up and die," she heard, perhaps from within her mind – or above in the clouds. Yes, she thought, it might be easier to just give up.

No, not now. Not ever! Boldly, she knooaacked, "No!"

A bolt of lightning, so thick and fast it reminded her of a giant snake dragon, exploded against the tallest pine by the pond.

Her mouth opened wide and she flicked out her thin tongue, tasting the air. She slapped her tail hard against the frothing water, as if to say, "Leave me alone!"

The tree splintered and groaned and oozed puffs of smoke. Slowly it fell toward her.

She snapped her mouth shut, pushed her eggs loose from the nest with her thick snout, and let the wind blow them into the pond.

The huge tree crashed.

She didn't see but felt the explosion of water and the branches that clawed her deep down. She struggled for a while, thrashing her tail about and clawing.

Her lungs burned for air. No! she screamed in her mind.

She opened her eyes to darkness and cold. Sadness filled her mind and heart. Even her bursting lungs relaxed in their effort to keep out water.

Oh Ancient Mother, take me home. Please, no more suffering.

In the dim light beneath the surface, she saw the sluggish movement of the tree's entangling branches as they swayed in the underwater storm currents. They resembled the nightmarish claws of the dreaded bladedragons. Fighting her growing desire to just give up and die, she searched for her eggs, briefly asking the Ancient Mother to not let her little ones suffer.

Then she saw something that took her breath away, what little she had left of it. She saw a golden glow. A strange egg. It couldn’t be one of hers. It actually lit up the murky mud of the bottom. From that glow also, she saw where her three eggs rested, apparently unharmed.

Her one desire was to warm the bodies she knew slept inside those leathery shells. But she was too trapped by the branches, and had no more strength.

She'd had a good life. There was nothing she needed to be sorry for. Just wait for the Ancient Mother's wings to smother all worries from her mind, and speak to her from within her mind – as the ancients had to one another.

She relaxed her body and waited.

It was that very act that freed her from the tangle of branches. Dreamily, she floated toward the golden glow by her eggs.

A mudflapper-dragon peeked out from his home's underwater entrance. His purple head-crest made him look twice as mean as he really was. He nearly drowned with surprise as he watched the mother dragon tiredly push the eggs with her wings and thick snout, streams of blood from her battered body merging into a reddish haze around her. She was paying no attention to the fact that she was drowning.

She would never make it – at least not without help. Of that, the mudflapper was certain. Against his better instincts, he swam to her aid.

* * *

Weeks later, as life in the pond returned to normal and three dragonlings in the waddle-dragon's rebuilt roost had hatched, the mysterious fourth egg began to split open. Proudly, the mother waddler – healed and the storm nearly a forgotten nightmare – loudly "knooacked" an announcement of this strange birth.

Pond and woodland dragons of all shapes and sizes crowded around the nest. Everyone, even the three babies, gasped as a strange-looking infant broke through his shell with the eye-tooth at the end of his nose. He was barely covered even by fuzzy baby scales and appeared paler than his sister and two brothers.

Groggy and wet, the newborn stared up to a strange mix of scaly, toothy faces. He looked out to the windswept pond flowers, dancing butterflies, madly swooping dragonflies, and hungry tweedlers. He listened to a wondrous mix of sounds. Looking past all this, he seemed to smile at seeing the gentle motions of the evergreens, the slow, graceful glide of a soarer, scuttling white puffs of clouds, and finally, the warm glow of a golden sun. In his mind murmured a curious feeling, like he needed to do something.

Seeing the sun, his tiny, wet body quivered. To everyone there, it seemed like he'd seen something familiar but frightening all at once. Weakly, he stuttered, "Ahn-ahn-sahala-anck!"

No one could believe their ears, least of all his mother.

"Oooo . . . hmmnnn . . . yes, the last dragon to hatch from a brood is quite often unusually emotional," whispered an old, triple-horned cowler-dragon who didn't eat baby dragons. "Sooo, let us not speak tooo loudly about his weirdness. Perhaps that awful stoorm hurt his mind."

"Hush," said the mother, a little angry. "You are speaking nonsense. And it’s no way to speak of a baby . . . my baby."

The cowler gulped, looked to a few of his friends, then said, "Oooh, excuse me. But, oooh, I’m just sharing my oopinion."

Soon, the neighbors began to fly or waddle back to their own homes.

"Wasn't that the name of the sun's daughter that the strange newborn knooaacked?" asked a wingless tattle-dragon as she strutted with her husband back to their roost.

"Of course not," said the tattler husband as he trotted behind her and nibbled on some low-hanging palm flowers. "That was just a funny sounding 'Knooaack'." He then muttered to himself, "Awk! You women believe in such strange stories."

"I heard that!"

"And I'll bet you also believe in a magical island where the females are the most beautiful and powerful?"

"In fact, I do. And I also believe that one night – in my lifetime, mind you – the moon will show his face again, and all life will change. So there!"

"Awk! There you go again. There's no such thing as the moon."

His wife slowly shook her thickly scaled head. "There has to be a Mother . . . and a Father . . . for all the dragons of the world. –Why do you insist on being such an old grouch?"

"Good grief! I am a tattler-husband. So I know better. These ideas of yours won't make dragonweed grow. And they certainly won't stop the freezing snow from coming as it has these past several seasons, forcing us to fly south. Our scales don't protect us from that cold. So let's stop with all this nonsense."

The old female didn't reply but she looked up to the sun for a moment and smiled.

The newborn looked around, head wobbling from its weight, searching for the comfort it remembered from inside the egg. Instead, his huge mother began licking him clean.

Thank you, he tried saying, but wound up saying, "Than-than-thank you."

"You talk funny," knooacked his large sister.


"Why can’t you talk straight?" asked his brother, proudly fluttering his head up and down to show off the growing skin beneath his neck. The brother looked up to his mother. "Why mom? I mean, don’t all babies come out ready to talk normal?"

"That’s right, mommy," slowly said the oldest brother, not feeling the need to show off anything. "I mean, I’ve seen lots of babies get born and–"

The mother waddler noticed her youngest trying to creep deeper beneath her, almost sniffling. "Children, now why don’t you go along and play. One thing we must all learn is that there’s always something new to learn. Yes," she said as if to herself, "that was wisdom. –Now go along. Oh," she looked out to the pond, "there are the young waddlers from the other side. Swim out and play with them like good little dragons. And absolutely do not go off any of you by yourself."

As the three plucked into the water, she nudged her little one out from under her. They looked into each others eyes, and she saw something both fearsome and beautiful at once. She shook her head. That didn’t make much sense.

"My little one," she said as softly as possible, "What do you feel?"

"Mo-mo-mom, I-I-I can’t pu-put it to words. I’m sca-sca-sca–"

"Afraid?" She asked. "Of what?"

"Sca-scared and ha-happy all at once."

She remembered the strange way she had come upon the egg. "I–" She stopped. She didn’t want to burden him with her confusion about who he was. "Well, why don’t you go to sleep, my child. And I’ll begin by telling you a story about the Ancient Mother."

* * *

Weeks passed. As usual, the strange dragonling was off exploring by himself, when one of the neighboring dragonlings – wanting to see for himself just how odd this new one was – paddled over.

Looking very important, he asked, "So, have you seen any slimecrawler eggs? They're very tasty, you know."

The near-scaleless dragonling had been poking in the mud searching for cattail sprouts when he looked up, slime dripping from his head, to answer, "Th-th-there's just this dra-dragonweed."

"Knooaack! You are ugly!" the other young dragon said, twirling around with webbed, clawed feet and quickly paddling back to his family. They lived in the reeds near the domed mud hut of the crested mudflapper family.

The dragonling's feelings were easily bruised – he was always overhearing others whispering about his funny voice and odd-colored skin. Why am I so different from everyone? he thought. Why!? Why can't I just be normal? And why do I always feel like I have to do something, when there’s nothing to be done? In his mind, he never stuttered. He looked to the shore reeds swaying in the insulting dragonling's wake, and let the hurt sink deep into his heart. Tears mixed with the mud in his eyes.

Then he thought about the stories his mother softly told in the evenings as they cuddled in the nest. He best liked the story about the sun's daughter. She was also known as the Ancient Mother. He often fell asleep listening to these tales, and dreamed about the sun's daughter and the moon's son, and an ancient wedding, and the Firstborn.

"It was an awful thing that had happened long ago, when Moon-dragon, the Ancient Father, left," his mother had said one night to end the day for all four of her young ones. He was always the last to fall asleep, letting his mind slip far away to the incredible lands his mother described so vividly. "The moon grew dark, in sadness maybe, or even shame, never to be seen again."

"Where is the moon?" he had asked.

"Hiding," she had answered, not wishing to say more about that. "But the Ancient Mother still looks down on us. On special nights, or to answer a pure prayer, she throws fiery scales down from the sky. You've seen them."

"But surest of all," she had said on another night while nibbling at a loose scale on her leg, "the Ancient Mother will come ever so gently when you take your last breath, and she'll carry you to her island home. A place where creatures do not eat each other and storms never blow in."

Darkness came quickly and the evening's first star appeared. The dragonling looked up with sad eyes and stuttered a knoaack, which actually sounded like a haa-onck. Oh why can’t I ever say anything right?

"You ugly thing," suddenly screeched Rass-the-bellydragon from behind. "That's a disgusting sounding 'knoaack' if I've ever heard one." Rass was very respected by everyone in the pond. Why wasn’t clear. His long, slinky neck and small head made him look rather stupid in comparison to other dragons. But at least he didn't eat dragonlings.

At that moment, something with a fiery tail raced across the treetops and plunged out of sight. The dragonling hadn't been looking up. Out of the corner of his eye, the bellydragon did see it, and he grew jealous.

The dragonling, his face all twisted with confusing feelings, said, "I’m-I'm praying to the An-An-Ancient Mother. I-I asked that she make me beau-beautiful."

"Ha! Why should the Ancient Mother help a silly stuttering ugly dragon like you? In fact, I don't believe she exists. I once prayed to her like you did. And I had a broken wing and couldn't fly south that first time the snows came. I nearly starved and froze to death. No! She's just part of an old story invented by mothers to make their children go to sleep. If you really want to be beautiful, you'll have to wait a year or so. Then you should fly through the morning mist for three days in a row."

Later that night, as his brothers and sister snuggled for warmth beneath their mother's wings, he said, "Mo-Mo-Mom, I had such an awful day. Som-som-somebody else told me I was ugly."

She turned away from him and let a lid slowly close over an eye. "Who this time?"

"One-one of the newborns who-who-who lives by the mud-mudflapper dome."

She tightened her wings around him and said, "My child, never pay attention to what another baby dragon will say, especially if it's not nice."

"Bu-but look at me, Mom. I am ugly." With that he flicked his little tail.

She shook her head. "You are not." In a softer voice, she added, "The Ancient Mother has never made an ugly creature."

"But Rass-the-be-be-be-bellydragon said the Ancient Mother do-do-doesn't exist!"

She jerked her head back and forth a few times. "My son, please be still now. Your brothers and sister are trying to sleep and you really mustn't be so negative all the time."

The dragonling buried his head beneath one of his growing wings and brooded. Finally, he fell asleep.

He woke up to a cold and gray morning. His brothers and sister had already gone to play. Typical, he said to himself. They never do anything interesting with me. Yawning, he paddled out to the middle of the pond. He looked into the water. Why am I so ugly? he asked his reflection. Everything always seemed to point to how ugly or strange he was. Even water. The noise of several small dragons playing near the mud hut made him look. They're having so much fun. My own flesh and blood; probably even making fun of me with the neighbors. He angrily flapped his tail hard against the water. With reckless abandon he splashed hard – the very thing his mother had told him never to do in the middle of the pond by himself. Tears clouded his eyes. He wanted someone to pay attention to him.

A shadow grew large in the water around him. He stopped being stupid and looked up.

Too late!

The water exploded! Claws roughly grabbed him. He was yanked down. He tried to scream, tried to struggle, but quickly stopped all that as water rushed into his lungs.

Slowly, everything faded out. The last thing he felt was the mad churning of water and being pulled into the cold depths. An empty blackness, like a blanket of rotting leaves, settled over his mind.

He dreamed. Of warmth and bitter scents. Of a dark world filled with squirming, scaly creatures that nibbled at him. Of gnawing sounds.

Then he was awake. A tingle ran up and down his neck. Trembling with fear and cold, his eyes opened to a huge toothy face framed by purple scales and a tall crest which, though dripping wet, did not seem waterlogged. Behind him gazed three curious babies and a nursing mother. This was the mudflapper-dragon family, a distant, wingless cousin to waddle dragons but whose mothers actually could feed their young with milk.

"Well, so nice of you to return to the living," the mudflapper father said with a toothy smile as he nibbled on a green twig.

The young dragon could say nothing and simply snapped his mouth shut and flicked his tail. Deep inside, he gulped. Now here was a new tale about his strangeness soon to be spread like wildfire by gossip. He shook his head again.

"Tee-hee-hee," snickered a baby mudflapper.

The father's smile grew wider as he handed his noisy infant the tender twig. A wrinkle grew in the father’s scaly forehead as he turned to the dragonling and asked, "Why did you to act so foolishly?"


"The soarer! Hasn't your mother trained you to always watch what's above you? And good grief! Never splash around so stupidly in the middle of a pond by yourself. Not at your age." He scratched his ear hole with a long curved claw. "If I hadn't pulled you under, your mother would have found only a few bloody scales remaining of you. And you haven't many scales to begin with. – You weren't actually trying to die, were you?" He reached back with a fore-claw to scratch his big flat tail. Two of his children imitated their father, and the third snickered again. The fourth was still suckling furiously his mother's milk.

The dragonling took in a deep, painful breath, and began to cry and cough up water.

The old mudflapper forlornly cast his orange eyes up, noticing that the sun was out. Light streaked in through a few cracks among the tangles of twigs and mud. The babies and their mother sat wide eyed as the father padded closer to the young waddle-dragon and roughly shook him.

"Now, why these tears?" he asked. "We aren't supposed to cry."

The dragonling looked into the mudflapper's eyes. "I-I..." What a fool I am, he thought. To even be ridiculed by the babies of flightless dragons!

"I know. I've heard the rumors." A ray of light hit the mudflapper's face as he scratched the loose scales under his bulging belly. "You're supposed to be a little strange. Who cares? Certainly not me. Just be happy with who you are. Is that not simple?"

The mudflapper took in a deep breath, and then continued: "Look, I'd better get you back to your mother. She must be very worried."

He was about to add something but changed his mind. The young mudflappers snickered for the third time as they watched their father force the nervous dragonling into the dark water and through their underwater tunnel.

Later, as the young dragon was safely asleep in his roost, the mudflapper took his mother to one side and said, "I will never forget how you fought for your eggs that day of the storm."

"I remember only your help," quickly knooaacked the dark green dragon as she whacked away a pesky fly with her long tail. "But I have nearly forgotten the mysterious songs." She nervously nibbled at some mud caught between several scales. "All except a couple of phrases. And that the second song was frightening."

"Songs?" asked the mudflapper, letting his broad tail rise as if to splash down and sound a warning.

The mother dragon shook her head. "I'm sure it has to do with my son. I just don't understand. For a moment, I thought it was my husband singing . . ."

"What's to understand?" He lightly tapped the water with his flat tail. "And you don’t want to let your mind go back to that awful place after he, well, died. You were so depressed for so long. The Ancient Mother has him in her wings now. -Just be with your youngest as you would any dragonling. Nothing more would be good for him. But be careful," continued the crested creature, scratching his puffy purple cheek with a long claw, "he is a danger to himself, and to those around him." He cast his orange eyes knowingly to the dragonlings playing nearby. "Though I have never seen a dragon like him, he reminds me of something . . . something quite old. -Ahh, forgive me for rambling." And with that he noisily splashed his tail against the water and dived.

The mother dragon turned to look at her sleeping youngster in the roost. My, he seems to be losing scales rather than gaining them, she thought. But he is growing unusually fast. Unusual. There is that hateful word again. She looked to the sky. Oh Ancient Mother, I don't know how much I believe in you, but I hope you are watching his progress carefully. She snapped her head back and forth a few times and swam to the three playing in the reeds.

Later that evening, as she told another tale of ancient times, her youngest, remembering the mudflapper home, interrupted her sweet story by asking, "Mo-mo-mom, why do-don’t I have a father? Everyone else see-see-seems to hav-" The look on her face at that moment made him wish he hadn’t asked.

She saw his fright and grew soft again. "Son. Dear son . . . Someday, maybe I will tell you. It’s a sad story. But not now. And I ask that you please never ask me that again."

It took a long time for him to go to sleep that night.


"Dragon's Moon" Copyright © 2001. Bent Lorentzen. All rights reserved by the author. Please do not copy without permission.


Dream Realm award finalist




Author Bio

Bent Lorentzen was born in Roskilde, Denmark, ancient seat of the Danish Kingdom. He lived in Montreal for seven years, BS in biology, four years graduate education in cultural anthropology and neurobiology. He taught science at River School in Florida, was associate editor to North County News and book reviewer and photojournalist in both Denmark and USA. Bent is currently writing a syndicated column and three books.

Having written for several governments, including Denmark, Israel and the USA, Mr. Lorentzen has had his works translated into over thirteen languages. He has also studied journalism (Goddard College), photography (beginning in 1976 as an undergraduate with the Alice G. Wallace Planetarium and completing in 1998, photography certification in Copenhagen with Skolefoto Asb), and editing (Associate Editor for a newspaper syndicate and founder of the magazine, Many Leaves One Tree).

Additionally, much of Mr. Lorentzen's cultural journalism takes place through his unique ability to view and report elements of society from atop a bicycle. He has raced in Denmark and in America as a captain of a USCF cycling team, and has authored a three-year syndicated column on bicycling culture. He recently completed a 2500 kilometer bicycle ride along the mountains of eastern USA, in the dead of winter, for a book on American culture and on behalf of the mental health advocacy group, M-POWER.

Bent is available for speaking and promotional engagements worldwide.

More information on his writing can be found at his web site.




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A mother waddle dragon, finds a strange golden egg among her brood, but doesn't remember laying it. When the young dragon emerges, he is different to all the other waddle dragons, he hardly has any scales and when he talks, he stutters.

Everyone teases him including his brothers and sisters and he is very depressed. The only happy times are when his mother tells him stories of the Ancient Mother and Ancient Father. When his mother is attacked by a soarer dragon, he decides it was his fault and he tries to kill himself.

He is rescued and is told that he should seek out the wise queen, who will perhaps know the answers to all his questions. At the queen's court, he asks to find his beauty, and is told that he must go on a perilous journey in order to find it. What he finds was not at all what he imagined...

This is a lovely fantasy, reminiscent of Watership Down, with a dash of the Ugly Duckling thrown in. Magic, quests, the fight between good and evil, they are all here, with dragons as the protagonists, but with all too human emotions. The young dragon's treatment is heartbreaking, but his quest is also a quest for his identity, who he really is and what he is.

A great read for any age.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby, author of Writing the Dream available from

The land of Nistala is a wonderful place to be a dragon. She is sitting on her nest on the pool. She is a Waddler Dragon and has three eggs. She misses her husband terribly. He went on a journey and never came back. She has come to accept that he never will.

Her eggs finally hatch. She has two boys and a girl. She also has another dragonling. This one is a strange one. He stutters when he talks and is different than the other Waddler Dragons. He barely has any scales at all. All the other dragons in the pool call this little one ugly and strange. He doesn't feel that he belongs here and starts spending more and more time by himself.

Finally, they fly south for the winter. On the way, the strange little dragon keeps having the feeling that he should be going somewhere else. They settle into their winter grounds and life goes on. His mother is beginning to pull away from him and trying to make him become more independent.

Then comes the day when he sees his mother get killed. He decides to end his own life as well and flies higher than he's ever been before. He keeps going higher. He decides to fall. Does he die? No, he ends up being saved. He is sent to Queen Nijameeno.

He is in awe of the Queen's beautiful and huge castle. There all kinds of dragons in her court. The Queen tells him that if he is to find his beauty, he must go to the mountains in the north. That is all that she can tell him. She sends a Sprint Dragon along with him as guide.

When the two of them stop at Prince Rapazo's castle to spend the night, they learn of the evil Ewot. He has murdered the Prince's historian. He has magic. He is a strange little creature, a little furball and not a dragon at all. He has his own castle, which he keeps enshrouded in mist. He is evil and slowly taking more and more territory.

Thus begins our little dragon's adventures as he travels to the land that is under the control of the evil Ewot. He finds many friends along this dangerous path to his own destiny.

This is an amusing young adult tale. It is full of wondrous creatures and adventures. As our little dragon is constantly being led by his conscience, this is a wonderful tool for children as they learn to recognize wrong from right. The characters are all fully developed and the land of Nistala will definitely engage a child's imagination. This is a story that I recommend to all children that love tales of fantasy.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver for Timeless-Tales Reviews.





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