The Christmas Dragon, by Kathryn Hart Teixeira

The Christmas Dragon                                                                                    December 20, 2020

There is a tradition I would like you to know about.  The elves told me it is time. The elves you say?  Why not Santa?  Well, Santa, as it turns out, will also have his say.

Who am I?  I am the witness. The witness of this story and the witness of the events that have unfolded recently, enabling me to bring them to you.  My name is Johanna Swift.  Elves “can” use computers, but in their free time they prefer to do their type of play, which has to do with what some humans refer to “gardening”, yet many would simply observe as watching the grass grow.  So, the elves, and in particular one elvin family, asked me to write on their behalf, and I said “Yes”, for, everyone must have some downtime, after all, even the elves I suppose.  I can hear Santa laughing now, since he knows how much work is still left before Christmas day, and does not begrudge any elves taking time to relax before the final push. 

Now to the Tradition:  Santa is looking at me over his reading glasses and telling me, with a twinkle in his eye, start writing, and I am heeding his request because who can resist the jolly face and sweet countenance of St. Nick, as he is often referred to in antiquity.

Ha!  I hear him correct me, smiling, the dimension in which we exist in, remember, there is no time.  Only the present moment exists where we work and play, which is why we are the number one manufacturer of Presents!

Yes, Santa, I nod, I know, I know.  And as he returns to his book while he sits by a cozy fire that has been recently tended to, I observe the soft snow falling outside the picture window of his living room.  There is a warmly dressed elfin family – mother, father and daughter, looking at me with excitement and anticipation: Come on!, and so I bid adieu to Santa, take a warm mug of hot spiced-cider lovingly prepared for me by Mrs. Claus, and exit the Claus’ home to begin a trek up the mountain with my able and eager guides.

They remind me that what we are experiencing, while we tromp through the snow along the rocky trail that winds around the mountain, is an unconventional reality.  I tell them this is all a bit above my head, and they nod.  Humans can use their imaginations, they acknowledge, and now is the time to let that ability soar!

As they communicate this to me, I see something off in the distance approaching us very rapidly:  it is winged and white and as it approaches, I can see that it has a luminescent quality that seems to sparkle in the light ~ yes ~ are those, scales?  My eyes are adjusting to the white on white to secure for me the images, the rapid photo qualities of a movie, yet this is real!  There is a dragon with several wings approaching us from the top of the mountain!

I feel a slight thud in my stomach, wondering if it is fear.  The elves eye me curiously and with the sort of second-hand delight of seeing, through my eyes, what is extremely familiar to them.

Familiar.  As in family?  Yes, they say.  And the dragon comes to heal at their feet, landing quite gently and soundlessly for its apparent size, like a small car, and looking fierce yet somehow a bit puppyish in its adoration of its elfin kin. 

As for me, it has come to my attention that my mouth has come unhinged at the jaw, and that I have, somewhere in between sighting the dragon and witnessing its landing, dropped to my knees.  My heart is now in my throat, so I cannot speak, yet what would I say if I could?

We all sit there silently and I can see Santa laughing in my mind’s eye, with Mrs. Claus admonishing him “Santa there is plenty of cider for him when he returns”.  That is when I notice that I had spilled the sweet beverage all down the front so that my coat was emitting steam.

The elves chuckle and the Christmas dragon, as they call her, snorts, revealing two large snouts that also emit steam, so I feel, somewhat, in good company.

She is glorious with wide set eyes, a huge fanged jaw, pointy ears and icy looking spikes along her back.  The scales are a curious geometric pattern that is also luminescent, somewhat like the scales of a fish, yet with a skein able to contain massive muscles and bones while being, simultaneousy, fire resistant. I am aware that I am staring.

Being in her presence, it is hard to wrap my mind around, yet I am feeling a sense of relaxation and depth that I usually ascribe to a peak experience.  In other words, holy %$$#%@#$%!

How?  I begin to manage to stutter out, and almost as soon as I speak, as if an admission had been heard, the dragon and elves beckon me to  join them on a sort of saddle, though it looks much more precarious, that sits on the top of the dragons back, where some of its large spikes had shifted to make room.  I cannot wrap my mind around this, either, yet manage to enough to join my friends on the soft fabric padding which, surprisingly, feels like a gentle but firm hug, as we are lifted off the ground by the dragon’s massive wings and transported into the air above the scene of our meeting.  Again, the sound of Santa’s laughter stirs me to wonder as I tell myself:  you will have time to contemplate this all later, just hold on and go . . .

As if reading my thoughts, my friends tucked in around me look up (since of course, being elves, they are less than half my size) and give me a knowing glance that seems to also say “remember”, and a portal opens up on the other side of the mountain, effortlessly swallowing us as the Christmas dragon bore us, soaring and pumping, through the portal into what seemed like a worm hole – and although there was no friction – I could make out a swirling  that seemed both within and around my vision.

What is this?

The elves let me know that they would tell me, but that I had to suspend my belief.  As if I have not suspended everything that has made life make sense up until this point, but then, was there something in the cider that Mrs. Claus gave me?  Yes that must be it . . .

No!  Father elf said, you are not imagining this.  We ARE in a time machine.  How else would you understand the Christmas Dragon if it were not so? 

I shut my mouth at that.  And held on, apparently for dear life.

After some landed and the elves said they knew the year was BC 40,000 because they had been there before.  Please don’t tell me how you know, I said.  I don’t think I want to know.  The Christmas Dragon lowered her head and we climbed off of her back and onto the ground.  An image appeared to the left, written in the dirt, and it said 40,000 BC.  I looked away and when I returned my head, the writing was gone!  I sat down to take a few deep breaths.

I looked around as it appeared that dragons and humans lived together quite harmoniously – they flew their humans as transportation, of course, but when I observed from above, I had couldn’t help but notice that it seemed there was a dragon for every human, even children!

Oh yes, mother elf said excitedly, each human receives a dragon at birth for companionship, travel, protection, and survival.

Am I dreaming? I thought, and little elf took my hand, pointing to a family that bore, somehow, the resemblance of my friends.  My eyes, which I did not believe could widen any further, betrayed my incredulity as I looked around at the scene unfolding ~ houses, people and their dragons, commerce, other somewhat familiar animals, yet as it became clear that they could not see us, I suddenly understood intuitively that I had been here before, as well. 

The dragon that had brought us to this scene looked at me as if to say, Cool, huh?  I nodded. 

We walked around invisibly for a while taking in the sights and smells and enjoying ourselves immensely.  Father elf told the story that this period of friendship with the dragons is now returning.  There had been a period when the dragons had to remove themselves from our presence while we learned to cultivate our sense self-sufficiency within the earthly realm.  He explained that it is an experience that the specie had requested on behalf of time.  My heart-sank as I imagined what it would have taken for this relationship to shift so the earthlings learned how to navigate and evolve without the support of their friends, yet at the same time, I took stock of my life and felt a surge of pride at the strength of the abilities of my knowing, tens of thousands of years later.  My Mind then somehow was able to perceive the many paths that have been proven viable on behalf of humans as a result of this experience, and the learnings had been profound. 

The dragon turned suddenly and winked.

This realization acted as some sort of cosmic cue, for as I recalled the many connections afforded this experience, in the blink of an dragon eye, the present moment changed and became the mountain again, as the Christmas Dragon, now flying back to her, what is it called?  Lair?  Turned with a wink and a nod in a fashion now utterly familiar.  In fact, at the expense of losing my readers through incredulity, I suddenly knew that I had been with this elfin family so many centuries ago as one of their companions and guardians ~ in Dragon form! Yes, my dear readers, in that instant, I knew, and since then, my life has been changed forever. 

Mother Elf held my hand as we slowly made our way down the mountain and the escorted me to Santa’s Door.  Standing for a moment at the threshold, uttering no words, needing no words, they each gave my hand a squeeze in a silent Thank you.

For what, I wondered?  But deep in, I knew: we had been together before, and had met again in these circumstances to remember together and bring the story of the Christmas Dragon to all willing hearts, now, in 2020. 

Santa greeted me in his pj’s when the elf family, my new friends, bid my goodbye to return to their home in their community.  As I searched Santa’s eyes, what did I see? 

 Did he know that I felt a bit like a bewildered child at that moment?  I imagine he did, for he took my hand as I crossed the threshold to warm myself and, finally, at last, to contemplate all that I had seen, heard and experienced.  As I sat in an adjacent chair to Santa’s by the fire, Mrs. Claus setting a tray of food and drink by my side table, I saw in my mind’s eye my new friend, the Christmas Dragon, settling down for a night’s sleep in her lair with her family, up on the mountain, after their feast of snow and ice and frozen tundra and other apparently ethereal elements.  I heard her say

 On behalf of all the dragons in every realm that the human imagination may touch we solemnly greet you.  We honor you, Swift One, for building the bridge upon which many humans and dragons will delight in meeting, in the name of Friendship.

Standing upon this bridge my friends, is where my heart remains, even as I type to you this story in the comfort of my home here in the heartland of the United States, sipping my tea and basking in the lights of the Christmas tree.  They seem to twinkle a little more mysteriously and with an animation previously taken for granted before hearing and knowing the magic of The Christmas Dragon.

My name is Johanna Swift, and this is my story of the Christmas Dragon.  May all hearts be nourished by the words of friendship and remembrance on this page.

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