Posted by: David Weimer | September 2, 2013

Ben and the Dragon! (book excerpt)

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Ben hopped off the stool and went over to the side of the stove where he placed one hand on the stove’s edge and one hand on the counter top above the silverware drawer. He pushed himself up, doing body lifts like a gymnast on parallel bars.

Ben!” his mother said. “The stove is hot. Be careful.”

He did a few more lifts, and then hung with his feet swinging. “Mom, do dragons exist?”

The woman tapped a spoon on the edge of the bowl. She wiped her finger on the spoon and licked it. She was accustomed to questions of this sort from her younger son.

There are stories of dragons in history,” she said. “In Great Britain, France, of course, China, Ireland and many other countries. They all have legends that describe these creatures.”

Ben frowned. “Yeah—but do they exist?”

I’ve never seen one,” his mother replied, “yet.”

Okay, Mom. Thanks!”

Ben dropped to the floor and ran into the living room where he’d been playing with Charlie, their neighbor, who was visiting before dinner. Charlie would go back home as soon as the Weimers began to eat. He lived two houses away. Charlie’s family already ate their supper.

Having played for a while with their Lego City, which dominated the family’s dining room, Gui asked his mother for permission to toss the football outside with Ben and Charlie for a few minutes before dinner. Once in the front yard, Ben took the opportunity to ask his brother whether or not he thought dragons were real.

No,” Gui said, quite sure of himself. “Maybe Komodo Dragons, but real dragons don’t exist.” Gui was twelve, and felt sure about what he knew.

Later that evening, after his shower, Ben trotted down squeaking wooden stairs to his father’s office corner in the living room.

Hi, Dad!”

The boy’s father finished typing a sentence he was working on and swiveled his chair to face his younger son.

All showered up?”

Yeah…” Ben picked up a plastic letter opener from the side table where his father, a bookseller, packaged books for shipping.

Dad?”

Hmm?”

Do dragons exist?”

I hope so.”

No, I mean really.”

His father leaned forward to tap Ben’s chest. “My favorite stories are about dragons. But why are you asking me this?”

Umm….” Ben was a little afraid to say but decided to tell his father. “I don’t know—I guess I kind of saw one in the water today.”

You saw a dragon in the water? Now that’s something.”

What do you mean?”

It’s not the usual tale. I’d be very interested to hear what happens next.”

What’s going to happen, Dad?” Ben asked, somewhat worried.

His father smiled. “Probably an adventure. That’s my guess. And this one starts with you seeing a dragon in the water… hmm.”

The boy put the letter opener down. “Yeah,” he sighed. “Well Dad, good night.” He hugged his father longer than usual.

The man hugged his son, and then patted his back. “’Night, Ben.”

Ben ran upstairs to his bedroom. He shared it with Gui now, while his dad was fixing and painting his brother’s room. Mom was waiting there, too. They said their nighttime prayers. After the door clicked shut, both boys laid side-by-side in their separate beds, Gui thinking about his favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Ben thinking about Ambroise. He was determined to meet the dragon again the next day after school. He wasn’t quite sure it had really happened….

 

Order this new One and Only Press title on Amazon.

 

 

 

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