It was a quiet afternoon in 1936. But from the looks of things—dark clouds and all—the Dales of Central England would soon be getting a drenching!
Reginald Peachy Carnehan—retired from service in India moved back to the family residence he inherited; in the Dales of Central England.
After twenty-five years of keeping the peace in India...and a wild adventure in conquering a few smaller kingdoms—then making the mistake of letting his friend, Daniel Dravot talk him into helping to conquer the tiny kingdom of Kafiristan.
Peachy wasn’t fooled by any excuses his like long friend gave him for such a crazy endeavor. Dravot had seen the hottest female in all Central Asia...and he wanted to be a king...for the express purpose of having her as his queen.
During a quarrel...or a misunderstanding...whatever it was, the future ‘queen’ lost-it...screamed...and...
The latter incident ended up nearly killing Peachy...and resulted in his best friend Daniel Dravot’s head being wrapped in a towel and used as a ‘polo ball’. Seems the locales didn’t care much for Englishmen wanting more than a look at their women. To this day...I have no idea how I came out of it all...alive.”
(With my apologies to my favorite author – R. Kipling...)
On the topic of ‘wild adventures’... Peachy’s ancestry went back eons. Even back to the times when battles with Dragons were in vogue. ( Particularly in the pubs when men were known to drink until their brains exploded...or the ilk.) In fact the mantle over a huge fireplace that heated half the house—had a couple of ‘replicas’ of dragons with wings...assembled-created by a local taxidermist.
A couple of his old army buddies suggested that he toss the ‘old-flea infested ‘creations into a bonfire. “Getting rid of ‘em...might help you forget about going out and doing battle with’em.”
Leaving the house, still feeling the effects of more-than-usual amounts of a variety of alcoholic beverages...he staggered out past a barn—long since used—and into a field with stones similar in size to those found at Stonehenge and lesser stone-pilgrimage-sites.
Obviously picking up from where he left off in a ‘bad dream’ Reginald continued with his rant: “Me thinks I should slay a dragon.” Reginald thought to himself... Or did I already say that...aload?” Reginald pondered. Then, to possibly bolster his drunken courage, he shouted “ME THINKS I SHOULD SLAY A DRAGON”
From behind an extremely large, oblong rock came an extremely loud BELCH...followed by a semi-sarcastic “I gehȳrde þē ærest tīd.”
Reginald's look was accompanied by: “YIKES! Where did that come from?”
Reginald glanced about...but seeing nothing out of the ordinary, he made his way to the other side of the huge rock, to have a look.
Another “YIKES!” followed...by an even louder, if that were possible...
“WHAT THE &*#$%^&!!! IS THAT? Never mind...I know...”
Reginald was suddenly face to paw with an apparently live DRAGON.
And a dragon that or who (whichever is correct for dragons)...could talk.
“I must beg your pardon, Reggie ol’ bean... Do you, of all people, actually think you would be capable of slaying a dragon?” the Dragon articulated quite nicely for a dragon, Reginald considered.
The GIGANTIC DRAGON belched, then flapped his wings...followed by a second, even louder BELCH and a blast of fire, comparable to any Reginald had ever seen as a boy, coming from his father’s smithy.
Reginald appeared to be considering—as best he could in his drunken state—what his chances would be against the dragon. He settled on: “Before I slay you... What should I call you? How about Falkor? It sounds a little bit like a small bird that loves to hunt for its prey.
“I swatted at one, once...when it was pestering me.”
“Did you kill it?”
“I’m not sure. It was pestering me...and I gave it a ‘swat’... Not sure if I killed it or not. I was in Paris at Notre...something or other, whatever they call it. And the last I saw of the falcor, it was flying, out of control, through the middle trusses of the Eiffel Tower.”
The dragon appeared to be smiling: “Ohh...yeah... My name... I’ve been called by a lot of names: Arman’s not my favorite, for certain.
“I think my favorite is a name given me...by a Japanese warrior...just before I torched him to a crisp,” the nameless dragon said, then made a sound...barely recognizable as a laugh.
“I once read about a very vicious dragon...Saphira.”
Harrrumphh was the immediate response. “Much too feminine for my liking. They’ll kill ya’ with no problem, if you get on their bad side... But, nah...too feminine”
“It was reported a couple of hundred years ago...that my great-great grandfather fought a dragon named Falkor.”
“Who won?” the dragon inquired.
“My Great-Great grandfather, of course.”
“What’s odd?” Reginald inquired.
“Well... As you know, dragons never die.”
“True...and I just saw Falkor a few months ago...over in what you earthlings' call, Denmark...or was it Sweden...one of those...funny talkin’ countries.”
Reginald yawned. “What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Why... Think you’ll be any more...think you’ll be sobber?”
Reginald appeared to be thinking...straining to think, but nevertheless, thinking. “No... But I never expected to run into an intelligent dragon, so why would I want to kill one?”
“Oh... I’m not intelligent... You should meet my cousin Dagahra.”
Reginald yawned, then gave a wave to...whatever his/her name was.
Suddenly it hit him. “Do you...or do you not...have a name?”
“I thought you‘d never ask.
“What is it?”
“How about a deal?”
“What kind of deal?”
“Well...Maynor... If you can guess my name, I’ll fly off to France or Germany...or maybe to Australia or New Zealand...and never both you Brits again.
“Oh... You mean something like the challenge the little guy offered.”
“What little guy? What offer?
“I’m not sure of the pronunciation...but Rumpel something.”
Maynor smiled...like he’d just won a big prize. “Rumpelstiltskin, eh?”
Old English: I gehȳrde þē ærest tīd = I heard you the first time!