The Creature

I saw a creature the other day. From the distance it looked like a Siberian Tiger, then as it came closer it seemed to shimmer. Thinking that this creature was dangerous I hide in a nearby bush. It walked straight to the bush where I was hiding. That was when I noticed that it had the body of a tiger and the colors but it wasn’t furry. It had hair but the hair was thin wisps that came from the back of it’s neck and poked out from under the scales.

I didn’t know I was holding my breath when it spoke to me. “You can come out if you like. I don’t particularly like the taste of fairies.”

Taking a breath of fresh air I darted to another section of the bush. “How can I be sure? How do I know that you don’t have a pair of hidden wings?”

Laughter, was that laughter that came from that frightening muzzle. “I may be strange looking but how do I know that you won’t put a spell on me? But you don’t need to fear because I only mean to talk to you. I don’t like to talk to bushes, makes me look crazy not just scary.” I noticed that the voice that came from the creature was masculine. He appeared to be waiting a response from me but when I didn’t he continued. “Okay, I guess I’ll turn over my meaning then you’ll trust me.” Such strange words. I hadn’t heard those in a century or two. “See I come from a region where my breed is looked on as repulsive brutes, and we are thrown out of our homes before we are able to know why.  As you can see I am a mix of dragon and tiger.” It took me a few seconds to realize that he was half tiger and half dragon.

Moving to where he could see me more clearly. “Why were your parents allowed to mate if you would be rejected?”

Laughter, again, “Ah, little fairy, they wouldn’t have been. My mother was dragon and father said he was dragon, what he really was, well, we’ll never know. He was executed for bathing at the water hole when it wasn’t time to do that. I know stupid rules but where I’m from you only bath with your kind and if you don’t, then they figure you’ve got something to hide. Sadly, they didn’t even let him try to explain from what I hear. I had asked around and the answers I got were from the other gremlins that happened to witness.”

As he described his tragic circumstance I had slowly come out of hiding and now that I was able to see him fully I could see that he was not the type of creature to eat any other. “Why did you come to this land where few had ever seen your kind?”

He got an excited look in his eyes. “Some of those I had talked to told me that my father had come from the land where he was descended from the rulers and that I might find answers there.”

“This land is ruled by the tiny folk of land, air, water, and fire. The ones of fire may be able to help but don’t count on their patience. They have not welcomed any in decades. I’d be very surprised if they allowed one of theirs to leave.”

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