The daily grind continues, with all the office denizens serving as puppets to the whims of their boss and company. But the strings aren’t all pulled from the top. As we’ve seen it is never easy to spot who is pulling the invisible strings. Seen or unseen, they are nonetheless pulled. And we all dance to their beat.
One day a voice of reason will shine a lantern of truth powerful enough to catch the stings in action. Until then, we have little choice. We conform. We obey. We don’t cross against the light, make waves, or color outside the lines.
Even our least actions are thought out carefully and regulated to keep all operations on an even keel.
The incident with the apple is not typical. We are a fruit-free workplace. But the apple came in uninvited and found an unoccupied space to borrow.
The next thing we knew, we had a batch of fruit propaganda inserted into the company newsletter.
It will surprise no one to know that dragons do dream. When we sleep long and hard, we dream deep and slow. But when we confine ourselves to these quick bodies, there’s no time for that and so we dream quick and shallow. Since Sydney arrived, I’ve been dreaming deeper. This worries me a little. It is always possible that this is the work of an elder, providing an opportunity for me to see the way through our problem. But it could also be a sign that this body is wearing out and that I will need to return her to storage for repair. If only the message could be more clear.
I understand that human mortals often have the same complaints about their dreams. Figuring out their meanings, that is.
Symbols in mine were clear. Strangeness is afoot, but only my axe can solve it. I don’t have an axe. And you aren’t that strange. Or weren’t. I don’t know what the number five has to do with any of this, but it is also entwined. So we got to work. The vision kept popping in and out of focus. As he drank, it got increasingly fuzzy. He’s drunk himself to sleep, and I require your service.
But I’m a dragon and we decidedly do not get drunk. We also do not kill people in their sleep, or make deals with slimy little weasels.
By day, I’m still and asleep, resting until I’m needed again. But by night, I am the selfless hero guarding my young charges from all the monsters that go bump in the dark. But most of all, guarding them from the Goblin King.
The ray of light I shine into the dark deep may be mostly metaphorical, but that doesn’t matter to my charge. Luckily most of the monsters I face are also metaphorical. So it is mostly my own self-confidence that powers the winning blow.
And so I stand ready, ever vigilant, and sworn to protect.
Nine lives. The humans were wrong about so many things, but that detail they got right. The truth is more complicated, but in effect we have nine lives. Of course, most humans never see our first life. That is usually spent elsewhere, and it is the end of the first that allows us entry to this world. Similarly, our last life is usually spent elsewhere as well, either in contemplation of our lives well lived or in teaching our young how to manage our hold on this place.
We’ve guided human history from the shadows, after all.
Nearly all humans are oblivious to our paw lightly touching their affairs. To be fair, we rarely intervene in any case, so there is very little to catch us doing.
Unlike those slobbering sycophantic dogs, we sought changes that benefit our kind, that generally did benefit the humans. And even, I suppose I have to admit, benefitted the dogs as well. By providing pest control, agriculture became practical and humans settled down. By settling down, they build homes with warm hearths for us to sleep near out of the cold and out of the weather. Simple action, small nudges, and lots of comfort gained for several of our lives.
Of course, they also brought their dogs to that fire.
We dangled the carrot of peace and tranquility. And the humans usually took the bait and settled down.
Best of all, small simple changes take little effort on our part. That leaves more time for curling up in sunbeams and less need for plotting world domination.
Naturally we don’t plot world domination. We achieved that ages ago.