Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Surplus Dragon

It was a Big Day for the dragons - they all had a meeting with the Dragon Keeper about their jobs for the next year.

All the Dragons waited for their turn in the Dragon Keepers office, passing the time by making toast and playing with fire.

Eventually, it was Drake’s turn, and he went into the office.
“Hello Dragon Keeper.” said Drake “You’re looking well.”
“Ehm...yes...hello Drake.” said the Dragon Keeper.
“So what’s my job this year? Guarding treasure up a mountain, helping out at the coal mine?”
The Dragon Keeper shook his head.
“Not this year Drake.” he said “There’s just not enough gold left to guard. Not enough work to go round.”
“Are you sure?” asked Drake, “Only I’ve got some friends who are Chinese Dragons and they seem quite busy.”
“Ah well, it’s all about economy of scales isn’t it.” said the Dragon Keeper, and showed him out of the office.
“Right.” said Drake, “Now what?”
He flew down to the Job Centre to speak to someone about getting a new job.

“What was your last job?” said the Job Centre Man.
“Dragon.” said Drake.
“And what did you do? What are your skills?”
“Well I was mostly guarding treasure.” said Drake.
“And what about the job before that?” asked the Job Centre Man.
“I’ve always been a Dragon.” said Drake.
“Really?” said the Job Centre Man, “We might need to look at some re-skilling then.”
“I’ve got skills. Dragon skills. I’m a Dragon.” said Drake.
“Yes...” said the Job Centre Man, “but there aren’t many jobs for Dragons.”
“What are there jobs for?” asked Drake.
The Job Centre Man shuffled some pages on his desk and coughed.
“We’ll get you booked on some training.” he said, “You’ll get a letter sent out to you in a few weeks.”
“Right.” said Drake, and he flew home feeling rather glum.
He had some toast to cheer himself up, then he went to bed.
And he woke up the next day with an idea...

Drake went to the town square and put out one of the folding tables he’d bought for his jubilee garden party. On the table he put a few loaves of bread and a butterchurn. Then...and this was the cleverest part of his plan...a sign which read “Hot buttered toast. Made fresh for YOU.”
A man stopped at Drake’s stall.
“Where’s your toaster?” he asked.
“Ah hah!” said Drake, and he blew gently on a slice of bread, “Dragon toast!”
Drake handed the man the toast.
“Fantastic.” crunched the man.
In no time at all, Drake had a big queue of people who had rushed off to work without breakfast. Everyone loves toast.

Later that day, a giant stopped for some toast.
“Marvellous toast.” he said.
“Thanks. It’s been going well.” said Drake, “But I’m running out of bread.”
“Oh....I could help make you some nice bread.” said the giant, “I’ve got a flour grinder.”
A witch had just stopped for some toast as well.
“Delicious toast.” she said. “I could help with the bread too. I’ve got an oven I’ve not used in awhile.”
“Really?” said Drake. “That would be great. Do you think you could bake me some for tomorrow?”
“Of course.” said the giant and the witch.
“You can get an equal share of whatever we sell.” said Drake.

Next day the giant ground the flour, the witch baked the bread, Drake made the toast and people came from all around.
A werewolf stopped for some toast.
“Brilliant toast.” he said.
“Thanks. I’m running out of butter though.”
“Oh...I could help you there. I make cheese.” said the Werewolf.
“Really?” said Drake, “That would be great. Do you think you could bring some along tomorrow? We could do cheese melts.”
“No problem.” said the Werewolf.
“You can get an equal share of whatever we sell.” said Drake.

The next day, the giant ground the flour, the witch baked the bread, the werewolf made the cheese and people came from all around.

Soon, more of Drake’s friends were helping out with the stall; the trolls made rock cakes, the Three Sisters made some lovely Golden Apple juice and the vampires made some blood orange marmalade. The stall was so busy, that the fairies started helping out with lunchtime deliveries and the ghouls started opening the stall at nights for people coming back from the disco.

One day, the Dragon Keeper came for some toast.
“Splendid toast.” said the Dragon Keeper. “Everyone really likes it.”
“Yes.” said Drake, “Everyone loves toast.”
“I suppose you must be getting a bit fed up with it though.” said the Dragon Keeper, “I was wondering if you would like me to help. I’ve some great ideas.”
“Oh?” said Drake “What sort of ideas?”
“We could go international! A toast bar on every corner of the Kingdom! Pre-packed toast for supermarkets! Toast teeshirts! With just a few changes, your stall could be world famous.”
“Hmmm.” said Drake, and he looked at the freshly baked bread, and the cheese, and the apple juice and rock cakes and the marmalade.
“It’s not my stall.” he said, “It’s our stall. No thanks.”

Drake and his stall stayed in the town square, and people kept buying his toast. People didn’t buy it all over the world, and there weren’t toast franchises or teeshirts, he just did what he did well and was happy.

 No one is quite sure what happened to the Dragon Keeper, but I’d bet he tasted very nice on toast.

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