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Day in the Life of A Fire Lizard


An entertaining tale written from the perspective of a flying fire-lizard.


The roar of the ocean woke me. My nest was nice and warm in the morning sun. My wings were stiff though, so I stretched them really wide. I have big strong wings for a fire-lizard. I'm very quick too. I can catch a fish in half the time it takes someone else. I like fish. My favorite are the long yellow ones. They taste really good. Since I'm so smart too, I know that I shouldn't eat too many fish, because I will grow big and slow, like a human. Behind me I could hear the morning sounds of the big human nest. Why humans want to live so close to each other is beyond me. I think I'll go visit them! Humans always seem so happy when I come, they're always shouting. There was a good headwind, and I got a good take off. I love flying, I'm really good at it. Flapping up high, I could see a great veiw of the land. The ocean was to the west and the humans to the east. Far to the north was the Dragonspine Mountains. I had never been there, but fire-lizards who have told me that there are GIANT fire-lizards there! When I think of that I squeak, it makes me so excited! I want to go there someday. The ocean breeze gave me a good lift, and I got really high in no time. Tucking my wings in close, I dove for the human place, using my tail as a rudder. I zipped through a flock of birds, scattering them everywhere. When they started to scold me, calling me 'winged gecko' and other such mean names, I turned around and started chasing them. They dove for the bell tower squawking, and I left them alone. Gliding above the people's heads on the main street, I looked around. There was the lady who made human feet opening her shop, and beside it was one of my favorite shops. The bakery! Since I hadn't eaten my morning meal yet, I decided to drop in. The man who owned the bakery was really nice, and he liked fire-lizards. He had a flap over an opening above the door for fire-lizards even! Landing on the sill, I pushed my way in, chirruping hello. I heard the human moving around in the back room and coming out. I was so happy to be here! I liked humans so much, they're such fun to play with. I like the little ones best, because they don't mind if I swoop down really quick-like to sit on their shoulders. I reached over and tinkled the bell on the door frame below me. I could hear the human coming out! What was he going to give me today? Last time he gave me this little round sweetbreaded thing with little chocolates in it. I think he called it a 'cookie.' I heard the door open and shut and turned to greet the human, but I was surprised. It was a young one! Where was the old one? It jumped a little when I chirped hello. I guess I am pretty terrifying. It said something in greeting and looked at me. I didn't reply, I just cocked my head and tried to see behind him for the old man. Following my gaze, he spoke some more, another query from what it sounded like. Then the human pointed at me and at the flap behind me. Did he want to know if that was where I came in? I nodded, yes. I was very curious about him. Who is he? Is he a person that gives cookies? I didn't know. I wanted to see the old man, so I flew up and over to the top of the backroom door and started chirping loudly. I thought I heard something but it was just some female human coming in the door. The young one went over to help her. Now was my chance! I climbed down the doorframe using my strong claws, and pressed down on the latch. The door opened slightly and I slipped in. It was fairly dark in the storeroom because the only light came from a candle. Over against the left wall was a narrow stairwell, and I flew up it. I came out on a small room, and the old human was on its nest. He was sleeping face up, and I flew over to land on his chest. He woke up to the rasp of a fire-lizard tongue on his nose. His voice was rougher than it usually sounded and when he coughed I could smell sickness on his breath. Not knowing what was wrong with him, I churred and bumped his chin. It seemed to make him feel better, because he smiled. He spoke to me and petted me. I arched my back blissfully. Human hands can scratch those itchy spots perfectly! He looked at me and said something, pointing back toward the shop. Coughing again, he pushed me weakly off his chest and rolled over. I was worried, he had never been like this before. Maybe I should tell the little human down in the shop. Yes! I will! I zipped back down the staircase and flew over to the door. I pressed down hard on the latch handle, and the door creaked open. I had to pull hard to open it wide enough but I did it fairly easily because I am the strongest fire-lizard ever. I zipped back into the shop and flew over to sit on the young one's shoulder. I began speaking in his ear, telling him that the old one was not healthy, but he just swatted at me and scowled. I thought that he didn't like being surprised, so I landed in front of him this time and tried to tell him about the old human. He wrinkled his nose and said something very mean to me, but I won't repeat it, and then he took me and put me outside! Why? I flew up to the fire-lizard flap but I only ended up rapping my nose on it. Picking up the flap, I saw that the someone had put a heavy board over the opening. I couldn't get in! I was really worried but then I saw throught the window that the young human was going into the storeroom door. I squeaked in relief. So the human DID understand me and must be going to look at the old one. I felt happiness at myself. I had done something good! I hopped off the perch and went to visit another of my human friends, the butcher. He sometimes gave me a peice of meat if I asked nicely enough. He was in the next street over do I flew up high and over the buildings. I could smell his place on the breeze from here. I was about to swoop down when I saw another fire-lizard with him. Cross that he would try to steal my human, I flew very fast at him, hissing and spitting fiercly. He chattered and said that a human is to share, but I replied that the humans I knew weren't, so go away! He flew up high and from that vantage point began to tease me. I'm the smartest fire-lizard ever, so I had better insults than him, and if my insults didn't work, I had the sharpest teeth and strongest wings! After a while he flew off to heckle the birds. I sat on a shelf and chirped to get the human's attention. When he looked up, I tried to look cute and appealing to get a peice of meat. He smiled and gave me one. As I ate it, he talked to me. I cocked my head and even if I don't understand human speech, I pretended. I'm a very clever actor. He talked and talked, showing me a pretty ring and motioning toward the sweet shop and the female human inside. I think what he was trying to say was that he wanted to give it to her, but he was afraid. I chirped that he could give it to me! I am a very brave fire-lizard! I would do it for him! When he stopped talking, he laid the ring down on the butcher block beside him and began to work on a lamb someone had brought in. I knew what he was trying to do! Since he was afraid, he pretended that he wouldn't give it to her, but set it beside him so that I could sneak up, take it, and then go give it to the girl! Oh, I am so clever. When his back was turned, I zipped over and picked it up in my front claws. I flew straight for the sweet shop. I liked that shop too, but not too much, the foods sometimes gave me stomachaches if I ate too many. I was flying across the green when I heard shouting behind me. I looked and saw it was the butcher! Oh, what a smart human! By chasing me, he could make it look like it wasn't him who wanted to give the ring to her! Sometimes humans surprise even me, the most unfazeable fire-lizard there is. I dodged and darted, but I didn't exert myself too much, because then he would lose me because I was so fast. Other humans started to stop and watch. Most cheered me, but some cheered the human. The door to the sweet shop opened and when the curious female walked out, I flew over to her, dropped the ring in her hands and flew away. The crowd, seeing the show was over, began to go back to what they were doing. From a hiding spot nearby, I saw the butcher come puffing up and when he saw the ring in her hands, he turned a funny shade of red and shuffled his feet. They began to talk in low voices and giggle. I was fascinated, was this a human mating ritual? Fire-lizards toss earth and show off, but this way of humans wasn't very interesting. All they did was talk, giggle, and act silly, so I got bored. I didn't know what to do so I just flew up high to watch the humans' nest. I had the sun on my back, warming it, when I felt a patch of cold slip over my shoulders. I looked up just in time to see a strange, orange fire-lizard bombing me! Ah! An upstart dares to challenge the mighty me?! I waited until he was about on me, then I flipped upside down and tried to bite him. I hissed fiercly, telling the foolish male how much stronger I was, how much faster, how much more clever and quicker than he, but he kept insisting that HE was better! This made me mad so I bit him on the ear and arched my back spines. I fought fiercly, taking much blood from him. He took blood from me too, but only a little. I am faster! After a furious battle, he flew off, cursing me and threatening me, saying that he would come back and beat me. I laughed at him and told him that I would always be better than a MALE and he screeched at me angrily and flew off. Feeling proud and brave, I decided to go tell the blacksmith about it. I flew down to the open area that the dwarf worked in and landed on his shoulder. He was one of the humans that didn't mind me surprising them. I began to tell him how brave I had been, how strong, how quick, and how clever I was in my mighty battle. I told him how this mighty, black fire-lizard was so strong, that she beat an orange male! I'm sure that he was very proud because he nodded every so often and stopped hitting the hot metal on the anvil to scratch my chin. After I finished, he put the metal in a bucket full of water. The metal hissed loudly and it startled me--only for a moment though! I am very brave, and not afraid of anything. I hissed back at the bucket and the smith laughed. I stayed on his shoulder and watched him take the metal out of the bucket and put it on a table. I hopped off and walked toward the evil metal bar, hissing very scarily. I think I scared it a lot because it didn't even make a move. I danced warily around it then, furling my wings and lashing my tail and jabbering insults at it. The smith was encouraging me, too! I felt brave and fearless! Ha! Cowardly metal! And then I tried to bite it. THE METAL BIT ME!! I shrieked in pain and the smith grabbed me. While he put a salve on my mouth and tongue, he scolded me. I guess he thought that the metal was frightened enough without such a terrible and fierce fire-lizard biting it. After he finished, I stayed far away from the table and its metal bars. Don't think I was afraid of the metal though!! I wasn't!! I'm the bravest, fiercest fire-lizard there ever was and is!! I just didn't want to annoy the smith. I had been dozing off in the nice heat of the forge when the noon bells rang. I woke up with a drowsy chirp and saw that the dwarf was having his lunch. I went over to him and sat at his elbow. When he wasn't looking, I would take a bite of his sandwich to make sure it wasn't poisonous. I don't want my humans getting sick, I couldn't play with them then. I am a very healthy fire-lizard, so poison would never affect me, I'm quite sure. I was able to get about three bites before he saw me. When he did, he pushed me away, chiding me. I chirped at him that poison wouldn't affect me, but he didn't understand me. Humans rarely do. He glared at me for the rest of the sandwich. When he finished, he smirked at me and went to get some more mead in his mug. That's when I found out he had a !COOKIE! in his lunch bag! It was as big as my stomach and as thick as my fingers stretched out! I was so happy! I tried to pick it up and fly off, but it was big and heavy. Then, being the brilliant fire-lizard I was, I got the idea that I could eat some of it and then fly away with it. I had eaten about a quarter when the smith came back. He roared and charged at me. Oh, did he want to play? I grabbed the cookie and hopped into the air. He was so short, I could fly up high and he couldn't reach me. I didn't want to be mean and not play fair, so I flew low. I had such fun playing with the nice human! I would go flying around a pot at full speed, but he would have to slow down. I would slow down too so that he could almost catch me, then I would speed up again. We flew in circles all around the forge and had lots of fun! I was chirping in excitment and he was shouting. I flew behind an iron pan on the top shelf and hid. When he came close, I bombed him and sat on his shoulder. When I offered him the rest of the cookie, he took it and glared at me. I looked back innocently and after a while, he grinned ruefully and offered me a peice of the remaining cookie. I said my thanks and flew off. I was bored with the humans, so I decided to fly back to my nest. I took the long way, and by the time I got there, the sun was going to bed too. I hadn't eaten the cookie yet, I had been saving it for when I landed, cookies must be savored. I was tired but happy, and I ate the cookie slowly, picking out the chocolates to eat last. I licked my fingers clean and settled myself in my nest. I have a good nest. It's under a rock and has sand under the sticks and fur and soft stuff I used to make it with. It almost never gets wet. The only time it did, it was a hurricane and THAT was scary! I couldn't fly at all! The wind was really in a bad mood then. Another good thing about my nest is that it has an alcove behind it that I can put my treasures in. I have a shiny gold coin and a shiny silver coin I got from the humans, three pretty seashells, one purple, one green, and my favorite, the blue. I also have a ribbon I got off a human chick when it was in it's crib, and I have a really neat rock that will show you yourself! I think humans call it a mirror. *Yawn!* The breezes blow past my nest too, so I'm never too cold or too hot. Sometimes the north breeze will talk to me, speaking of these weird things called 'dragons' and how they look like us. I think that's silly, how can they be like us if they are called dragons? If they were like us, wouldn't they be called fire-lizards too? The south wind always spoke in rhymes and riddles, I listen to it a lot, even if the other fire-lizards think the south breeze is silly. I have learned a lot of things from it too. Like for instance, is a man in the South Sea Islands allowed to marry his widow's sister? Of course the answer is no, because the man would have to be dead for his wife to be a widow. The east breeze speaks by scents. This morning, I smelled a wonderful new scent, something called 'rabbit tobbacco.' The north wind tells me that this is a weed, I must find some and put it in my nest, I loved its scent. The west wind is my favorite. It speaks with music and I have never heard it repeat itself even once. Right now, it was playing a dazzling symphony of deep ocean crashes.. and high, soft pipes, the sound... of growing things, and..... a heartbeat keeping tempo. It always plays a... beautiful song to.. put the sun to bed...I goto ....sleep... with th'.... sun *yawn*....an' th' wsst breezzzzzzzzzzzz............*snore*



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Thanks to Kate Shenk for this contribution!

 


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