Look, I had pica, ok? Oh sure, Aesop tried to disguise his retelling and pretend it was just some "random" fable he "suddenly" invented, but everyone knew who and what he was really talking about. Thanks to him, I've never heard the end of it at our volcanic-barbecues-slash-virgin-roasts.
I'm Larry. That's right, Larry the FireLizard, go on and get it out of your system. My folks weren't very creative when it came to naming their whelps. To be fair, there were about 200 of us, and pretty soon you kinda run out of the interesting stuff. At least I wasn't a girl – I was going to be Lizzy the FireLizard. Anywho...
It all started when I had finally reached my 250th birthday, the proper age for a young dragon to leave his thunder and begin his lifelong hobby of treasure-seeking.
Only, for me, it wasn’t just a hobby. It went deeper than that, man: it was a calling. I loved gold. The way it sparkled and shone, the way the melted stuff poured, the way it shimmered as it flowed through my claws. It was mesmerizing. I wanted to bathe in it, marry it, become One with it.
Yeah, that all sounds wrong now, but I guess you’d have to have been there. And been dragonkin.
Now, that’s not to say I wasn’t an aberration amongst my kin. But, see, we didn’t have all these sissy therapies back then like you have now. Can you imagine? “Tell me about your mother.” “She ate a kingdom. No, not a king, the entire kingdom. Don’t believe me? Do you remember Schlendia? Nope? See, wiped it clean off the map.”
(Don’t even get me started on how that "makes me feel”... “You look pretty tasty,” is how it "makes me feel.")
Anyway, so that birthday, I was super excited to get started. I began with the little stuff, roasting a wealthy traveler here and there, maybe an occasional bordello flambello. I particularly loved gambling runs: the gold always smelled filthy, but it came with a side of beer if I was careful not to cook it off in the initial volley.
There was a lotta competition, mind you. The countryside skies were so thick with me and my kind, you could hardly see daylight. I started going further and further afield, just looking for that delicious hit of mellow yellow.
Flying over the sea one day, I chanced upon something novel: floating buffets. I later learned they were actually called “ships,” and they were built by the Phoenician people whom I had menaced regularly. I guess I never thought to check, before then, if they were fleeing me by water. They were extremely tasty, so I feel kinda stupid that it took me so long and had to happen purely by chance.
Soon as I got hip to that floating action, I didn’t rest on my laurels: it turned out they had no way to warn each other when I raided them at sea, so all I had to do was camp out at a spot on their route – a little tucked-away island with the most delightful cave – for a few months, and before I knew it, hey presto! My cave was full to the brim.
I know what you’re gonna say, but do you know why the history books think the Phoenicians were only trading in tin? Me. I made sure and stripped those suckers of every bit of the good stuff and kept going back for more.
(...Excuse my wings, they do that little flippity flip flip thing when they're happy.)
Now, I’m a collector, yes, but more than that, you have to take some time and smell the roses, know what I mean? By the time I finally stopped savaging Phoenician ships, I was ready for a nap. I buried myself up to my neck in my golden lair and fell into a deep, soul-satisfying sleep that lasted until a new era had dawned.
By that time, the planet had grown more crowded, and my kind had been chased away from the populated routes by weapons the likes of which I had never seen. I couldn’t find much to raid that was safe, so I ended up mostly killing time on my island.
It started off harmlessly enough: I loved gold, and I was bored. It smelled good, looked good… you can see how it might happen, right?
I tasted some. Don’t judge – have you ever tried it? I know you have: you people have gold-flake-topped cakes and liqueurs imbued with the stuff. Delicious, right?! Awww yeah: guilt-free gilt!
Look, I’m a beast, I have huge appetites. What happened next was the natural progression of things: I ate it. All. Thing is, it was kinda like Chinese food... I was hungry again 2 years later.
That stuff doesn’t digest well, apparently. When I was forced from my lair in order to find more of anything to eat – which, oh, musta been around 600 BC, in retrospect – I happened to be over Greece when my first “accident” occurred.
(Hey, that guy in the back: show him the door if he’s going to be juvenile about this.)
Anyway, upshot is, I accidentally buried a small town in golden deuce. I don’t recall the town's name, being as I was too mortified to stick around. Obviously, reclaiming was out of the question: I have pica, not scatophilia.
Well, what can I say after that? Once the dam breaks, it’s on, and it’d been a couple centuries in the making. Pretty soon, much of the Greek and Roman countrysides were buried in my piles of filthy lucre, and I was helpless to do anything about it. (I understand those “hoards” are still being found to this day. You’re welcome.)
Turns out, stories started going around everywhere about some “goose” who “laid golden eggs,” but unless all those villagers had sh… bad eyesight, I knew they were punchin’ down on me.
I was at one of my kin’s get-togethers not long after that, and it happened by accident. Once. ‘Course, they put two and two together, and … well, there you have it.
“Larry Loosie Goosie,” “Goldie the DungLizard,” “Izzy” (Izzy or Izn’ty Gonna Crap Gold on the Populace) – I’ve heard it all. My reputation was in the toilet, both among my kin and among the countryside. I could hear the laughter coming for miles.
Naturally this Aesop dude heard the "goose" tales, too, and – being appropriately terrified of naming and shaming me, specifically – decided to make it one for the history books and wrote it down for all time.
So, people, all I’m saying is: please stop telling your kids that stupid goose fable, ok? You’re gaffelighting my serious mental and physical issues, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.