Learn to Laugh

Submitted into Contest #78 in response to: Write about someone who keeps an unusual animal as a pet.... view prompt

56 comments

Fantasy Funny Happy

It is a well-known fact that dragons possess hearts of stone. Cold, cruel, and evil are just a few of the many ways to describe us. We no longer have feelings. No emotions. There is no happy or sad. No joy or anger. We don’t know how to laugh. We have forgotten how to cry. And love is only a distant memory lost to time . . .


There’s no going back. The clock cannot be unwound. Dragons are too far gone. Or so I believed . . .


But all that changed with a wail. A simple cry that turned my world on its head. 


I remember flying over the trees, so close my wings skimmed their tips. Then a howl, well, more like a sob. Startled, I had alighted on a tree branch and looked down to a curious sight. A small round object, green in color, was wriggling on the ground, partially hidden under a bush. I would’ve dismissed it as an abnormally large butterfly’s cocoon, but another wail caught me by surprise. Butterflies did not make a sound like that, nor do moths. 


Carefully, I jumped to the ground, trying to make the least amount of noise possible. Alas, when you have lived four-thousand years and have grown to a size as large as I, movement is anything but easy. I landed with an earth-shaking tremor and the thing stopped its squalling for a moment. Gingerly, I touched the object with one outstretched talon and it wriggled. Never before had I encountered anything of this nature. Mildly curious, I tapped it again and it rolled. 


Surprised, I remember taking a step back. But once turned over, the object revealed a spot of pink on its green cocoon. I lowered my head to get a closer look and it had made a strange warbling sound. I saw two odd eyes and a mouth shaped a way completely foreign to me. In all my days of travel, exploration, and discovery, I had never come across anything quite like it. The object wiggled again, warbled, and then trilled. At the moment only guessing, it seemed to be a young creature, possibly no older than a year or so. But still, I had no clue what to make of it.


I had taken a step away and scanned the surrounding area. I remember seeing a familiar symbol scratched on a nearby tree. It was the mark of Scarn’s hunting grounds. There were great furrows through the ground. And they were fresh. All at once, a few things clicked. The creature was a young one, and its caretakers must’ve been killed by Scarn. Oblivious of the little details, he had missed the camouflaged green object hiding under the bush.


Again, the little thing had warbled at me, then burst into tears. For some unknown reason, I remember picking the green cocoon-like object up, cradling it in my claws, then lifted off towards my cave high in the mountains. But I’m sure that, the instant I touched the creature, it ceased its tantrum and went silent in calm wonder.


Even to this day, I do not know what possessed me to take it. Perhaps it was curiosity, or maybe surprise. Boredom, or possibly even caution. But I think the most likely reason was the need to change.


And change it did. From that point on, my life was never the same . . .


When I had first reached the cave, I set the little thing down to roam, to explore. But it didn’t move. It wiggled, sure, but never actually got anywhere. Was it hurt? Sick? Or was it just immobile? That was when I realized that the green skin was not even a part of the creature. I remember my shock as the cocoon began to unravel in my claws and the little thing started to roll away. While mortified that it was falling apart in my hands, the thing was all the while warbling and, what I can guess, laughing, as it rolled away. It is amusing to tell now, but at the moment, it was horrifying.


After the whole scarring incident (on my part—the thing found it hilarious), it began to make sounds and signs to me. Although I have never had any dragonets of my own, I have learned enough about young ones to guess it was hungry. With a sigh, I remember tramping over to the alcove where food was stored and returning with various items. I presented each to the thing, but it turned them all down with a haughty look or by shoving them away. I had returned with a new assortment of food—plants, fruit, and even meat—and again each was a definite no. Finally, on the third run, one of the fruits had caught its eye. A small mango, bright yellow and orange. 


Fascinated, it had reached for it with little arms, clawless claws grabbing at it. As I watched, the creature rolled the fruit around the floor, giggling. “Mango,” I had said in the dragon-tongue. “Momo,” it replied with a huge grin. Startled, I said it again and the creature responded the same. Though we were drastically different, I a dragon and it who knows what, we could understand each other perfectly. The language of life crosses all boundaries.


And so I had cut the mango into smaller pieces with my claw in hopes of allowing the creature to eat it. That little mouth was most useless. All the while it had repeated, “momo, momo, momo.” When finally the creature had settled down to the mango, I got a moment of silence. “Mo,” I remember saying suddenly and it looked up. I could not keep calling it ‘creature’ and what it was was still unknown to me. So a name. I had given it a name. Mo, short for the fruit it so loved. A small name for a small thing. It fit her perfectly.


From that point on, life had been anything but easy. Little Mo was a demolition squad in and of herself. I’m pretty sure I was chasing her around the cave more than half the time. Nothing was ever Mo-proof and she always found a way to get where she didn’t belong. She was adventurous, sneaky, and daring. Smart, too. I have taught her everything I know . . .


The first smile in thousands of years started with Mo and the mango. Ever since then, it has become a normal occurrence, growing more and more in number as time went on.


But laughing took a bit longer. I remember it clearly, every detail set in stone, I had returned from hunting and little Mo seemed to have been waiting for me. As soon as my claws touched the pebbled ground, she came barreling out of the back cave to greet me, something in her arms. Alas, on the two legs of hers, she tripped over herself and gravity took over. It was honestly quite amusing. I still do not know why she prefers walking on the two rather than all for like other creatures, but she is unlike other creatures. 


As Mo fell to the ground, the object in her hands flew up, almost seeming to defy the laws of nature. It had been a bowl of paint, freshly made from the looks of her hands. How she had managed it, I later found out. But at the moment, everything seemed to slow. Comically, the paint splattered all over Mo (and the cave I would have to clean up), the bowl landing on her head. Things seemed to stop. I braced myself for a squall or scream, but none came. 


Covered with blue, bowl over her eyes, little Mo started to giggle. Relieved another tantrum wasn’t on it’s way, I smiled. But, as I have recently researched, laughing is contagious. As Mo burst into peals of laughter, I felt a chuckle well up inside of me. It first came out as an odd snort, but as it was my first ever, don’t hold it against me. Together Mo and I had collapsed on the floor laughing, so hard I found tears were rolling down my face. I remember that moment as clear as day. The first laugh. The first dragon’s laugh. 


And now things have changed. Sixteen years later, the dragons of this world have made a comeback. Not only in numbers, but spirit, too. We are not too far gone. Mo has grown up also, and is the best friend an old dragon could ask for. Getting well on in years, I know my days are numbered. But before I go, I had to do one last thing—this. Now the world can know. Know how we have changed. Know why we have changed. 


Still, the clock cannot be unwound, but with each passing hour it brings new life into the old. 


“Always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life, but will surely add life to your years.” -Unknown


Live. Laugh. Love.

January 29, 2021 21:37

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

56 comments

21:52 Jan 29, 2021

Whelp, here’s... uh... something...? I was literally writing this on five hours of sleep, so it kinda sorta really stinks... XD The idea was cool! But then I tried to get it down on paper and... you know what happened. Meh. ANYWAYS, I’m open to all critiques/suggestions/advice, so ShReD iT! :D (Sorry, I’m reeeaaally tired right now... XD)

Reply

Show 0 replies

Hold up, there's some idiotic down-voter that's hanging around you.

Reply

15:09 Feb 09, 2021

Really? XD I’ve only got 500 points, I dunno why anybody’d feel the need to take that down... XD

Reply

I feel that too! Down voter's are just downvoter's though :/

Reply

16:31 Feb 09, 2021

Yea... I wonder why they do it tho?

Reply

Perhaps to make people sad?

Reply

18:53 Feb 09, 2021

Maybe? That’s a pretty pathetic reason if ya ask me...

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Michael Boquet
19:21 Feb 09, 2021

I like that you turned the prompt on its head and made the human the dragon's pet. I like the quote as an ending and think it stands up on its own. Don't think you needed the "Live. Laugh. Love" too. This is a fantasy story, not a forty-something lady's wall, lol ;) Regardless, fun little fantasy story and a quick read, too.

Reply

21:09 Feb 09, 2021

Oh, thanks! Yea, that actually wasn’t supposed to be there. XD I meant to delete it, but I guess I forgot until you brought it up. XD Whoops! Anyways, thank you! :D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Meg said to upvote the people she was following. Here we go. Also: ᴄᴏᴘʏ & ᴘᴀsᴛᴇ: ᴘᴜᴛ ғ♡ʙᴜᴀʀʏ 𝟷𝟺 ɪɴ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʙɪᴏ ᴛᴏ ᴜᴘᴠᴏᴛᴇ ᴀs ᴍᴀɴʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀs ᴘᴏssɪʙʟᴇ ᴏɴ ᴠᴀʟᴇɴᴛɪɴᴇ's ᴅᴀʏ. ʏᴏᴜ ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʙᴜᴛ ɪ'ᴍ ɢᴏɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ! ᴘᴜᴛ ᴛʜɪs ɪɴ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ sᴛᴏʀɪᴇs ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴇɴᴛs, ᴡʜɪʟᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴀᴛ ɪᴛ ᴜᴘᴠᴏᴛᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ᴀ ʙɪᴛ! ♡

Reply

15:08 Feb 09, 2021

Oh really? Aw! Okey dokey! Adding it now! :D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

Want to be in my story? It's about superhero teens and I need more characters. Just list your: Hair color, eye color, skin color, power (has to be either element-related or have some restriction, like you can fly, but only when the sun's out) age, and color group. Color groups are red, blue, violet, green, black, and white. They're like Houses. Reds are strong, blues are kind, violets are smart, greens are spunky, blacks are mysterious, and whites are brave. I'm going to give them animals, but for now they're colors. Your name can stay y...

Reply

21:24 Feb 03, 2021

oOoOoOo! That sounds really cool! Sure! Uh... Hair - Blonde : Eyes - Blue-Gray : Skin - Lightly Tan? : Power - Geokinesis! (can control earth/rock) : Age - Around 15-17? : Color - Hm... I’m debating between Green and White... Uh... You choose! XD This sounds totally awesome! Tell me when the story’s up, ‘cause I wanna read it! :D

Reply

Yay! I just reached a point where you needed to come up and was stumped. How about white? I already have enough greens. :)

Reply

21:29 Feb 03, 2021

Oh, haha! Okey dokey! White sounds good! Oooh! I’m brave! XD Well I I guess I am Fearless, so...? Nvm. XD Sorry, I’m running on less than three hours of sleep. Nothing I say makes any sense at the moment... XD

Reply

It's ok, I've been on the computer since, like, five in the morning-- kidding. i took breaks. But I was on early and now it's late.

Reply

21:39 Feb 03, 2021

XD Oof. I’m totally over here procrastinating yet also stressing over a whole bunch of schoolwork due tomorrow... XD

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

Yay Fearless! This rocks.

Reply

21:19 Feb 03, 2021

Aw, thanks! :D

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

I'm so sorry I didn't upvote you that much. I'm creating another account. There's a few down-voters-well-down voting you.

Reply

15:10 Feb 09, 2021

Oh, that’s totally ok! And it’s fine. :) Those downvotes are just bein’ big ol’ noodleheads. XD

Reply

Yesssss lol

Reply

16:31 Feb 09, 2021

XD

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Frances Reine
13:06 Feb 02, 2021

Oh my gosh. I love dragon stories but I haven't gotten to read any for so long. Love this.

Reply

15:22 Feb 02, 2021

Aw, thanks! :D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
13:59 Feb 01, 2021

This was really uplifting! Nothing felt out of place, and it all tied up nicely, with an amazing last line!

Reply

14:12 Feb 01, 2021

Oooh, thank you!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

I love this story so much! :)

Reply

21:05 Jan 31, 2021

Aw, thanks! :D

Reply

No problem! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Mary Kate
10:02 Jan 30, 2021

This is a fantastic idea- I have never seen a story written from the point of view of a dragon. I did guess at the start that it was a human baby, but that didn't matter as I knew what the dragon didn't (at the time), that the dragon was going to have a big job to do! Great stuff.

Reply

16:09 Jan 30, 2021

Aw, thanks! I started with the idea of having the human as the dragon’s pet, but then it kinda derailed... XD But thank you!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
23:46 Jan 29, 2021

This was really good! Such a cool take on the prompt. Great job!

Reply

00:03 Jan 30, 2021

Aw, thanks! :D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Nainika Gupta
21:52 Jan 29, 2021

ACK THIS WAS SO GOOD from the title to the actual story, awesome job, Fearless!

Reply

21:53 Jan 29, 2021

Oooh, THANK YOU! :D But I honestly didn’t think it was all that great? I mean, the whole thing is kinda flat...

Reply

Nainika Gupta
21:54 Jan 29, 2021

No it was!! I wrote my story, 'the heirs of man' and it was kinda flat, but honestly it worked, so it was still amazing!!

Reply

21:55 Jan 29, 2021

Oh, well thank you! :D (And I think I forgot to comment on that one, but it was sooo good!)

Reply

Nainika Gupta
21:59 Jan 29, 2021

Aww, thanks! :D:D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Radhika Diksha
11:46 Feb 21, 2021

2 new stories would love your feedback on it.

Reply

15:39 Feb 22, 2021

Of course! Heading over now! :D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Radhika Diksha
05:31 Feb 16, 2021

Shout out writer ✨Cookie Carla https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/cookie-carla/ ✨Cherri Joanna https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/cherri-joanna/ Shout out story 🧨By Frances https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/80/submissions/54265/ These are this weeks writers and story, in you free time please check them out.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Arwen Dove
07:05 Apr 26, 2021

Wonderful story! I loved the quote at the end: “Always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life, but will surely add life to your years.” It's so true! Great job on another amazing story!

Reply

20:30 Apr 26, 2021

Aw, thanks! I know, I totally love that quote too. XD

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply