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The Last Dragon's Tears

                  Long ago,  in the village of Sarum on Avon,  in the year of our Lord,  1066,  lived a faire knight named Gwynne.  He lived alone in his castle which bordered the tiny village.  The faire knight had many things and wanted for few.  His tenants were fruitful farmers and his leige lord was happy to share the plunder from his numerous forays against the Saxons.  There was only one thing Gwyne needed and did not have.  His fondest wish was to have a lady he could love with all his heart.
              At the same time,  in the nearby village of Waithe,  lived a comely young maiden named Branwynne.  She was faire of hair and beauteous of face.  Her form was said to be fashioned after the angels'.  This young lady was of fourteen years of age and ripe to wed.  Her father,  loving her deeply,  did not wish her to wed.  He placed a condition,  almost impossible to fulfill,  upon all of her suitors.  Her father,  the Duke of Sarum and leige lord to Sir Gwynne,  had set a price of one dragon's head for the honor of her hand in matrimony.
              Of course,  everyone knows dragons stopped coming out of their dens and allowing humans to commune with them back in 700 or 800 AD.  If there were no dragons to be had,  Branwynne was doomed to spend her life lonely and unwed.
              Our knight of the realm,  having espied the beauty of  Branwynne, searched the countryside for 7 long years,  searching for a dragon to slay.  Finally,  his persistence was rewarded.  He stumbled upon a dragon's lair.
              "Eureka,  the shining star,  Branwynne,  will be mine,"  he shouted and plunged into the darkened den.
              "Hrummphh,"  yawned Sir Dragon.  He stretched all 45 feet of his shinning green body.  "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
              "I am here to take your head,  Sir Dragon,  for I need it to win my ladylove."  Gwynne advanced upon the waking being.
              Yawning again,  the dragon replied,  "young man,  I'm afraid I can not oblige you.  I am the very last of my kind upon this earth and once I am gone the majik will have departed from this world.  I would like to see you win the hand of your faire maiden,  but not at the expense of my head and depriving the world of majik and wonderment."
              "Sir Dragon,  I understand the world's need for majik but I need my lady's love more!"  With this,  Sir Gwynne plunged his sword into the mighty breast of the dragon. His single thrust pierced the stout heart of the last caretaker of majik and wonderment upon this earth.
              In the final seconds before death claimed him,  tears of sadness fell from his eyes like rain.  As they touched the ground,  they became solid and turned the many colors of the rainbow.  The kindly dragon's dying whisper floated like a feather upon the air,  lingering even as he drew his last breath.  "May the children of this earth wear my tears as adornment,  in remembrance of the majik and wonder the world once knew;  a time when dragons walked the earth and giants were there helpmates;  in hope that someday mankind will learn that once the last of something is gone,  it's gone forever."
                The mighty beast lay silent in the gathering gloom as Sir Gwynne stood over him with his bloody sword.

(C)Copyright, 1990-1994,  Gail E. Martin

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