The Lazy Dragon of Dragonvale

by Georg

The Lazy Dragon of Dragonvale

The Lazy Dragon of Dragonvale

Once upon a time, there was a lazy dragon. He had always been lazy. He was the last dragonling to hatch in the nest, the last of his brothers and sisters to grow up, and when all of his nestmates flew out into the world to build their hoards, he remained sleeping in the cave. Or at least until his mother got tired of tripping over his tail, and kicked him out.

"Go find a village to pillage!" she called out as Lazy tumbled down into the rocky valley.

But he did not hear, because Lazy was still sleeping. That is, until he hit the ground.

Lazy opened one eye and looked around where he had landed. This place was not as nice as the cave. There were sharp rocks. There were itchy bugs. And there were no gems to nibble on whenever he got hungry. He wanted to go back to his cave, but it was a long way up the mountain, and it would have been a very tiring flight.

So he set off to find a village to pillage. Something close, with no armored knights to fight, or castle walls to climb. That would have been too much work.

Eventually, he came across the perfect place for a village. It was nestled in a green valley where two large streams merged into a slow-flowing river. There were trees nearby for the villagers to build houses with, and rich, dark soil to grow their vegetables. The wind whistled merrily through the air, giving a pleasant breeze that kept the hot spring sun at bay, and bunches of berry bushes clustered on the nearby hills. There was even a long and winding road that passed right next to it so the villagers would not have to walk very far, which Lazy considered to be a very important feature.

The only thing missing was a village.

Lazy settled down on the sunlit green grass to think. There should have been a village here. He could have pillaged it by now, collected up all the gold and gems, and found a cave to put his new hoard into. That way he could sleep some more. He liked to sleep.

So he went to sleep until the next day.

When he woke up, there was still not a village to be pillaged, and he was getting hungry. Fortunately, there was an old pony passing by, pulling a wagon.

“Hey, you,” said Lazy, because he was too lazy to chase the pony. “Where is a village around here?”

“There ain’t no villages around here for quite some distance,” said the old pony. “It’s a shame too, because this is such a nice place.”

That gave Lazy an idea. The nearest village was a long walk away, so why not make a village to pillage? Or better yet, have some ponies make it for him, because that would be easier.

“This is a village,” said Lazy. “It’s just very small.”

“Really?” The old pony looked at Lazy and shook his head, making the bells in his hat jingle. “What is this village named?”

“Dragon… uh… Vale,” said Lazy. “Dragonvale, that’s it.”

“Dragonvale?” The old pony looked around. “A real village has farmers. Did you eat them?”

Lazy drew himself up and tried not to look insulted. “No! I only eat gems and gold. Ponies would get stuck in my teeth.”

“Hm,” said the old pony. “I might be able to find some farmers, if you promise not to eat them.”

So Lazy agreed not to eat the farmers, and the old pony left.

Several days later, a small group of ponies came down the road and stopped in front of Lazy, who was awake for a change. “Excuse me, Mister Dragon,” said the tallest pony. “My name is Stringbean. Is this the village of Dragonvale?”

“Yes, it is,” said Lazy with a puff of smoke out of his nose. “You must be the farmers. Go ahead and farm,” he added with a wave of his claws toward the rich dark soil of the river valley.

“Actually…” The tall pony looked embarrassed. “We don’t have any tools to turn the soil so we can plant our seeds.”

That was a problem for Lazy. If the farmers could not farm, they would leave, and Lazy would have to make the long trip to another village to pillage it for gold and gems. Still, all they needed was the dirt turned up, so he got up from his nap, and proceeded to scratch and claw the ground until he had turned up all of the fields, leaving the fresh dirt exposed for the farmers to plant their seeds.

And he went back to sleep.

Some time later, Lazy woke up to the sound of the old pony’s wagon creaking down the road again.

“Hello, dragon,” he called out. “What a nice village you have.”

“Yes, it is,” admitted Lazy. The seeds the farmers had planted were coming up in long, green rows, although they looked a little spindly and weak.

“Do you have any pegasi to bring rain to water the farms?” asked the old pony. “All real villages have pegasi.”

“Actually, no,” admitted Lazy. “Could you bring some to the village?”

“Only if you promise not to eat them,” said the old pony.

Several days later, a group of pegasi flew into the town and stopped in front of Lazy, who opened one eye and looked at them. “I am Thunderhead,” said their leader, a dark pony who resembled his name from how round and fluffy he was. “Is this the village of Dragonvale?”

“Yes, it is. Go ahead and bring the rain,” Lazy said with a yawn. “Just don’t get me wet.”

“We don’t have any clouds,” said Thunderhead. “We can’t make it rain without clouds.”

It made sense. Lazy had never seen rain without clouds before, but the pegasi would go away if they did not have clouds. Since it did not seem like too much work, Lazy went down to the river. With a mighty blast of his fire, he blew into the water and vast amounts of steam rose up into the air, making a huge cloud.

And Lazy went back to sleep while the pegasi took the cloud and made it rain over the crops.

After a few more days, Lazy once again woke up to the squeaking sound of the old pony pulling his wagon down the road.

“Oh my. Your village certainly is looking good,” said the old pony.

Lazy had to agree. With the rain from the pegasi, the crops were looking rich and green. The only thing was, the ponies in the village were all looking thin and very hungry, which Lazy mentioned to the old pony.

“They can’t eat the crops until they are ripe,” pointed out the old pony. “They could eat the berries in the bushes, but there are long, sharp thorns in their way, and only unicorns can use their magic to pick these berries.”

The old pony demonstrated by lighting up his horn and floating several fat berries out from a nearby prickly bush for Lazy to eat.

It was a problem for Lazy. If the ponies were hungry, they would all leave before the crops got ripe, and his village would be empty. And the berries were very good. Almost as good as gems.

“I don’t suppose you know where there are some unicorns?” asked Lazy. “I’ll promise not to eat them too.”

And so a few days later, a group of unicorns woke Lazy up. Their leader, a snowy white mare with a long, violet mane looked up at Lazy and said, “I am Princess Peridot, leader of the unicorns. Is this the village of Dragonvale?”

“Yes, it is,” said Lazy. “The berry bushes are over there.”

He closed his eyes to get some more napping done, then opened them again once he realized that the unicorns had not moved.

“There are no buildings here,” she said with a sniff. “We simply cannot stay in a village which has no buildings.”

“There will be buildings soon,” he promised, although Lazy had no idea how one would build such a thing.

When the old pony came by with his wagon again, Lazy asked him. The old pony thought, and rubbed his beard. “What you need are some ponies who know how to build houses.”

Lazy agreed, because he knew that already.

“I will find some for you,” said the old pony. “If—”

“—I don’t eat them,” finished Lazy. “That’s only fair. There are so many ponies here anyway.”

So a few days later, a group of rough ponies woke Lazy up. They were hairy and patched, with clumps of hair missing and less than the usual number of teeth each. Their leader, a hairy red brute named Fir, stuck his bristly chin out and growled, “I hear your town is lookin’ for some houses. If you’ve got the trees, my crew will get you set up right.”

“The trees are over there,” said Lazy, pointing with one wing. “And I want the houses right here.”

“How are you going to get the trees over here after we cut them down?” asked the lumber pony.

The trees did not look that heavy, particularly to a dragon as strong as Lazy, so while the lumber ponies cut down the trees, he carried them over to where he wanted Dragonvale. It was actually fun, figuring out where to put the houses when they were done, or moving them around to make the town prettier. The ponies liked their houses too, and decorated them with colorful flowers. It was going very well until one day when the leader of the lumber ponies came to visit Lazy.

“We’ve been working for a moon, and I need to pay my crew. Where is the gold?”

“Gold?” Lazy put the building he was toying with to one side and looked down at the bright red lumberpony.

“If I don’t pay my crew, they will go home,” explained Fir.

Lazy did not have any gold, and the village was still far too poor to pillage. He was still puzzling over the problem the next day when the old pony pulled his wagon by again.

“I need your gold,” explained Lazy. “Bring me all of the gold in your wagon so I can pay the lumber ponies and they will build the rest of the houses my village needs.”

“I have no gold in my wagon,” explained the old pony. “Only books. If you want gold, you will have to dig it out of the hill next to the village.”

It was a rather large hill, most probably with heavy rocks and dirty dirt which would get under Lazy’s claws. He turned to the old pony and said, “I won’t eat them.”

The old pony nodded. “I’ll be right back.”

The next day, a number of dusty ponies with pickaxes and mining carts were lined up in front of Lazy. The leader, a grey mare with a rugged vest and a hard hat, strolled forward. “Hello. I’m Feldspar. You need us to mine your hill for gold.”

“Yes,” said Lazy.

“We will need houses to live in,” said Feldspar.

“The lumber ponies are making them,” said Lazy.

“We will need food to eat.”

“The unicorns are picking berries,” said Lazy, licking his lips. “They are very good. And the farmers will have lots of crops to eat very soon.”

“We will also need tools to mine more efficiently,” said Feldspar, looking around the village. “Your lumber ponies need better tools to harvest their trees, and the farmers need better tools to grow their crops.”

Lazy had noticed that the houses were splintery and rough, and that the farmers seemed to be doing a lot of work for very few vegetables at times.

The next morning, when the old pony and his wagon stopped by the village again, Lazy asked him about finding some ponies who could make better tools. After all, the faster the lumber ponies chopped down trees, the more houses they could build, and the faster the mining ponies dug, the more gold and gems they would find.

“I know some crafting ponies who might want to move to your town,” said the old pony. “You must remember, though. There are many different kinds of crafters. There are ponies who make tools, and ponies who run forges to smelt the gold. They make paint and paper and all kinds of things.”

“Bring them anyway,” said Lazy with a yawn. “How bad can it be?”

After a few weeks, Lazy determined it had gotten very bad indeed. There were ponies to run the forge, and ponies to pull wagons, ponies to make clocks and ponies to make metal hats with lights in them. Every day, there were more ponies in his town, asking him questions until he almost could not sleep any more.

“You were right,” said Lazy when the old pony visited again. “All of these ponies are so busy that they keep getting in each other’s way, and will not let me sleep.”

The old pony nodded sagely. “What you need is a pony who can tell all the other ponies what to do, like a princess.”

“I have a princess!” said Lazy. “She came with the unicorns to pick berries, and visits me every day to complain about how things are so disorganized.”

“Very good,” said the old pony. “If you let her tell the other ponies what to do, you can sleep without being interrupted. There’s just one problem.” The old pony scratched his beard. “The other ponies will not follow her orders if they do not think she is a princess. You see, real princesses live in big stone castles with armored knights around them.”

“There are large stones in the mine,” said Lazy. “I could bring them out and build a castle with them. And some of the other ponies could wear armor and be her knights.”

“Splendid idea,” said the old pony. “Why, if you bring all the stones out of that mine, there should be enough space for you to make your lair in the hill. It would be quieter underground, and the miners could bring you the gold and gems they dig up first, so you could examine them and pick out what you want to keep for yourself.”

It was a good idea, and Lazy found building a castle to be great fun. He carried the big rocks out of the hill and cut them into blocks with his sharp claws so they would stack better. The bigger he built the castle, the more space there was in his lair under the hill, until both the complaining princess and himself were satisfied with the size of their new residences.

Lazy was very happy. He had a nice, big cave to store all of his gold and gems. He could sleep as long as he wanted now, and nibble on any of the treasure if he got hungry. He did not even have to pillage the village, because they stored all their gems and gold in his cave. Everything was going just the way he wanted.

Until he heard the roar.

Several of his big brother dragons were hovering over the village. “Give us all your gold and gems,” they bellowed. The villagers did not like this. They ran around screaming. Lazy did not like this either. If his brothers took the gold and gems, the village would be poor. All of the ponies might leave. Lazy did not want to admit it, but he liked having the ponies around.

The old pony came running into Lazy’s cave. “The knights are strong, but they cannot fight dragons,” he said. “I will try to drive them away.”

Lazy did not want the old pony to get hurt. “You helped me with all of my problems,” said Lazy. “Now it is my turn. Bring all the other ponies in here where it is safe.”

Once all of the ponies were hiding in his cave, Lazy went outside, blasted his fire breath up into the air, and bellowed at his brothers. “Go away or I will fight you!”

His brothers did not fight. Lazy had gotten very large. His muscles were big from digging up all the fields and carrying the trees around. His fire was very hot from turning the river water into clouds. His claws were very sharp from building the castle. In fact, Lazy was much larger than his brothers now.

His brothers flew away very fast.

When the ponies came out of Lazy’s cave and saw that the other dragons had flown away, they were very happy. They threw Lazy a party, with tasty gems for him to eat and music to dance to.

Lazy did not dance, because he might hurt the ponies. But he ate the gems, and the old pony danced with the villagers for him. Even the princess in the castle thanked Lazy, and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

And there the city of Dragonvale sits to this very day, a place where happy ponies live their lives secure in the knowledge that no other dragon dares to attack their homes. The old pony settled down in the castle, which he found much more comfortable than pulling his wagon all over the country. He set aside several large rooms in the castle for the books he collected on his travels, and every week or so, visits Lazy’s cave, where the two friends have tea and talk together for hours.

And they lived happily ever after. With frequent naps.