So, it had been five hundred years, as usual, since the last meeting of the Dragoneers Club and at the most recent meeting Puff had caught some serious shade from his fellow brother and sister dragons. Sure he had been made famous in the Sixties because of that popular eponymous song, but that kid Jackie Paper had left him with a big problem and a reputation as a dysfunctional Hoarder. You see dragons were supposed to hoard gold in some form or other and all Puff had were strings, sealing wax, and other fancy stuff, none of which were golden. They berated him for his life choices and threatened to exile him from the Club if he didn’t up his game. We have standards here Puff, and even though you’re kinda famous, we still need to hold you to them. He thought it ironic that they would hold his feet to the fire.
So now, what to do? He would have to rid himself of all that sentimental clutter and direct his energies to amassing some gold.
The only thing was, he liked his stuff. It meant something to him, having been given to him with love by his
friend Jacki and love was something a dragon rarely experienced, especially from a human. Humans were usually terrified of his kind and sought to kill or drive them away. Stories abounded about the hideous attacks on small villages and the subsequent burnings of people and homes and the quests by Heroes to vanquish them. This was simply not true. In fact, at this last meeting a proposal was floated that would enlist the help of a renowned public relations firm to better promulgate their good character. It was to be called The Jackie Paper Project and it would try to put all dragons in a better light, a light that might even lead to mutual existence. He had hope.
But for now, what to do with his cache of emotional junk.
Puff turned to his favorite television show, Hoarders, in hopes of some new ideas but only learned about the mental conditions that led to the problem in the first place. His was not a mental issue, he hadn’t been the hoarder of all this stuff but had rather been the hoardee. It was like the biggest kitchen junk draw in the world. Then he had an idea. Storage units. He would bundle it all up and store it away in one of those large metal containers and if the manager wanted some kind of payment, he would offer up a little nasal brimstone, just for effect mind you. The next day it was done and as luck would have it, three months later his unit was to be auctioned off on Storage Wars since rent hadn’t been paid. Guess the brimstone fizzled, he thought.
The bidders got five minutes to look into each of the units up for auction and see if they could ascertain what, if anything, was of value inside. They all passed on Puff’s unit.
Puff gathered up the contents and returned to his cave. Now what? What if I just keep it all right here in my cave and also find some gold to hoard in addition. Would having two separate hoards be enough to assuage his brother dragons? It might. So now I just need to get my talons on some gold, he thought.
Let me look through all the fancy stuff in my hoard and see if there’s anything of use. Puff separated the piles and piles of accumulated things into three separate piles, strings, sealing wax, and fancy stuff. The string pile had pink and white striped bakery string, broken guitar strings, knotted ropes, metal picture hanging wire, twine, broken rubber bands, multicolored ribbons, spools of blue thread, and just plain old white string. The pile of sealing wax had, well, sealing wax, mostly used and in large amorphous dried globs but also some metal cans of unused wax. The fancy stuff pile had some interesting items, some were indeed fancy while others, well, not so much. There were colorful ceramic boxes, glass beads, silver picture frames, small figurines of ballet dancers and assorted animals, painted stones, gold candlesticks, feathered masks, gold coins, pine cones, wood carvings, and. . .wait, gold candlesticks and gold coins! Puff knew then what he would do.
He made a fourth pile of only gold things and surveyed the amount. Not bad, not enough to be considered a hoard but not a bad starting point and then he had an epiphany. He would use both the sealing wax and the gold to fashion his own version of a hoard. The strings
he might need afterwards to secure everything into bundles.
Puff gathered all the sealing wax both used and new into one giant lump, leaned back, inhaled deeply and snorted a little flame towards the waxy yellow mash, just enough to soften it but not fully melt it. He fashioned it all into brick and nugget shapes and let it harden again. Now for the gold. He placed all the gold objects into a bowl like indentation in the rock. This would be more difficult, requiring a lot more heat than the wax. Again he leaned back, girded himself and blew a powerful blast of fire and heat at the shiny pile. Again. He repeated the torching several more times before he was satisfied it was melted enough. Quickly gathering the reformed wax, he coated them with the melted gold and let them dry. He had to remelt the gold twice to keep it liquid enough to paint the waxen blocks. Done. He was exhausted after draining his hot energy reserve. Before him sat a pile of gold bricks and nuggets looking as real as any gold hoard could. This should squelch any snark from the Club and insure his position within it, he thought. He slept.
He dreamed of Little Jackie Paper and their adventures and awoke to a feeling of peace, knowing that the accumulation of seemingly random and odd objects had in fact been used for a good purpose and was still with him, albeit in a different form, and would be forever.