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Long ago, when the earth was barren and nothing was alive, fire storms raged over empty lands. Smokes and fumes were all there was and brilliant bright burning flames raced against each other. There were yellow and red fires rising from within the stone, cracking and bursting from deep within. There were blue fires, hotter than all other flames, they had a life of their own, and chased the green fires that burnt high in the sky in acidic air. And the most poisonous fires were purple and pink, moving in endless circles like hurricanes on a scorched globe.

All the different fires had minds of their own, raged on and within and above the earth but soon grew tired of their wild dances. Their fires became quieter and slowly vanished. The red and yellow flames retreated into the earth. The blue and green fires dispersed in the sky above and the purple and pink flames disappeared in the darkness of space.

The globe still glowed red and yellow from the fires within but the old dances of flames were long gone. From deep inside the blackness of space something came crushing down on the planet. White rocks of solid water rained down and cracked open the earth. The red and yellow flames were woken up and angry, they began to rage again and looked upon the rocks of ice that have disturbed their sleep. Soon the heat of the flames melted the ice and began to cover the earth in water. Outraged, the fires of the earth realised that they died once their flames licked upon the strange blue substance. Afraid, the old fires called for aid. They screamed for the hottest flames, blue and green, for the poison hurricane pink and purple but they did not answer. They were long gone.

And now the waters began a life of their own. They formed oceans, rivers and lakes. They infiltrated the earth in places were the fires used to rage and now water flowed cool and strong. They were carried by the winds into the sky and rained water upon the barren earth and soon, it was like magic, life began to grow within water and later on land.

The fires retreated deep into the earth, where it was hottest, afraid the water could end them forever. And there the fires lingered for eons. They listened to a growing world above and soon they forgot their fear and anger they had for the waters. Some of the hot burning flames were smarter and kinder than others. They became curious of the sounds of life and wondered if they could join. Those fires were of a wiser nature and believed battling water would only end in the destruction of the world above.

The kind fires wanted to break through the stone and see the life on earth they could constantly hear below. But they did not know how to protect themselves from the water that could mean their end. So, they fashioned a body that would be able to withstand the might of water. They fashioned a head with lethal jaws, eyes that could see into the deepest depths of earth and ears that could listen to the most remote sounds of the world. They fashioned a body covered in golden glowing flames, a long tail to whip water away if it might attack and four legs to run from water if it might follow. And they fashioned a pair of wings to fly away from water if it rained down on them. So, the first dragon was born, the fire of earth burning deep within its belly.

Ready, the golden dragon made its way to the surface and broke free of the ground. There the dragon opened her golden eyes and looked upon a world of wonders. There was a green landscape all around her, thick with the scent of vegetation and other creatures alive like her. There were rivers flowing strong through the land and in the distance the dragon could see her old enemy, the ocean. However, as it sparkled, there in the distance, calm and beautiful, the flames inside the dragon did not regard it as an enemy anymore. And then the dragon looked up and could see a blue sky and white clouds and even further away glowed a golden sun. The dragon could feel its heat, a fire, just like within her. The golden creature stretched out her wings and cast a shadow upon the trees below. She could feel the sun’s warmth on her scales and then, the dragon took to the sky.

She flapped her wings and rose higher and higher. She broke through the clouds and could feel they were made of water but it did not penetrate her body as her scales were impenetrable. Higher she rose and the dragon felt energised by the sun’s rays and drank up all its heat. Then her eyes looked down and she could see all shades of green, stretching on and within the woods there were all sorts of creatures. Then she flew on towards the ocean, a great blue body, but the dragon was not afraid. It could feel the sun’s protection above her and the fire within her. And there in the sea were even more creatures, all of them children of the ocean. There were also some creatures with wings like the dragon. But once they laid eyes upon her, they all fled as they have never seen such a beautiful and terrifying being.

Soon the golden dragon grew lonely and wondered whether its old enemy, the ocean was still awake. The dragon glided over the sea, opened its jaws and breathed fire for the first time upon the blue and silver waters. All creatures of the sea immediately fled into the cool depths but the fire went out instantly as it could not burn on water. Again, the dragon roared and shot flames but nothing happened. Circling above the endless watery realms the dragon realised that her old enemy, the ocean, must have gone to sleep like most flames inside the earth. She was sad about the ocean gone because she would have liked to make amends with the waters of old. Disappointed, she flew back to land and found a large comfortable cave on a mountain where she could see the sun rise in the east and set in the west. For the sun, far away was now her only friend. All creatures of land and sea who have witnessed her fire were afraid of her and fled once they saw her shadow emerge. Every day the sunlight fed her, glowing strong and making her scales shine bright. It was all the food she needed.

At night, there was someone else in the sky above. The moon sometimes spoke to her and sung her songs so she could fall asleep. The stars shone bright and beautiful but they never spoke to her. They were too far away. Whenever she fell asleep, she dreamed of the sun and of other flames dancing around her in the blue sky. She dreamed of green flames, of blue ones, red, purple, pink and yellow ones, dancing with her in the heavens. Every morning she woke up but no one was there.

After years of loneliness, the golden dragon had now ventured all over the green and blue earth. She had seen the highest mountains, followed every river to its source, counted every grain of sand on all the beaches and deserts and seen countless waves on the ocean that has whispered secrets of the deep to her. She had studied all creatures, plants and stones. She had listened to all the songs of the moon who told her about the dark spaces beyond earth. She had collected all the wisdom of planet earth in her solitude but she had no one to share it with, as everyone was afraid of her.

One night the moon talked to her again. This time the white orb in the night sky had exciting news. The moon and the sun had looked with sorrow upon the golden dragon and wanted to help her in her loneliness. They had both talked to many animals on land and sea and sky and convinced some of them not to be afraid of the dragon anymore. They had made them understand that the golden dragon was powerful and wise but not a danger to the world. The celestial lights could see a world where the dragon lived in harmony with nature. Where fire would not consume the earth but be its friend. Where fire and water would not battle each other like they did eons ago but be in balance, like moon and sun. The moon told the dragon that seven animals would bring the dragon seven stones of the earth the following day and the golden one should protect the eggs for seven years.

The dragon could not wait to see the sun rising and when the first light appeared in the east, a raven flew to her cave and bowed his head. In his beak he held a small red stone.

This is a raven stone, the black bird said.

With this gift, the ravens will be your friends now. May this stone bring you wit and happiness. The dragon thanked the raven and the bird flew away again, proof that an animal did not need to be afraid of the dragon.

Moments later, a stag, king of the forest emerged from the trees, in his antlers he held a green stone. The stag bowed his head and the green stone rolled in front of the feet of the dragon.

This is a green stone of the forest, the king said.

May this stone bring you peace and joy.

The king bowed his head again and the dragon bowed her head as well, proof, that the dragon knew the etiquette of the woods.

At midday, a thousand black ants came scuttling over the grass. Like a choir they sung, this is a gift of our Queen beneath the earth. May this stone let you know what loyalty is.

The ants rolled an orange stone off their backs and the dragon picked it up carefully, not wanting to crush any ants. She thanked the ants who made their way back to their Queen, spreading the word all around the little folk of how kind the dragon was.

In the afternoon, two seagulls landed by the dragon, one white, the other one grey. The grey seagull dropped a blue stone in front of the golden one and said, greetings from the whales in the ocean. They send this stone to bring you friendship.

Then the white one dropped a purple stone in front of her and said, regards from the fish in the deep. They send this stone to bring you luck and fun.

Thankfully, the dragon put the stones next to the green, yellow and orange one. The seagulls flew back to the sea and sung songs of a kind dragon living by the mountain.

In the late afternoon a brown snake made its way to the dragon’s lair. On her head she balanced a yellow stone and laid it down next to the other ones. Then she said, may this stone bring you health.

The dragon thanked the snake and quickly she slithered away back into the underwood but turned around one time to marvel at the golden scales again. She would tell all other creatures she knew how beautiful the dragon was.

Late in the evening, when the sun had almost disappeared, a salamander came crawling to the dragon, on her back a pink stone. The little creature dropped the stone next to the other six and said, may this stone bring you serenity.

The dragon smiled at the salamander and the little one said goodbye and wandered back into the forest. It would always remember the dragon’s charm.

Finally, the dragon arranged the seven stones in a circle, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple blue and green and rested on them for seven years. Her body, her warmth, her magic, her fire fed the seven stones and they grew into little eggs and began to sparkle like gemstones. During this time many animals came to visit the dragon and saw a sleeping giant by the foot of the mountain. She was wonderful to behold.

The raven often entertained her with riddles which she was always able to solve. The stag, the salamander, the snake and other creatures of the forest often came to chat and were amazed by the wisdom of the dragon. She had the answers for many little quarrels among the different animals. The choir of ants sung songs to her which she often listened to with delight. And from time to time, the seagulls paid her a visit and told her news about the far away ocean. The whales and the fish hoped that the dragon would soon come to visit.

In time, when I am not alone anymore, the dragon responded.

And time past by and after seven years of breeding, she could feel the gemstones had transformed into eggs and there was life inside. A fire, that used to be just within her, was now within the eggs. She could feel movement inside the eggs and for the first time in years she rose up, stretched her wings and looked at the seven beautiful eggs beneath her. Their colours shone brilliant in the midday sun and suddenly, a crack appeared on the red egg’s shell.

A moment later, a little red dragon hatched out of the egg. With flaming red eyes, it looked up at its golden mother and she knew her loneliness had ended. In no time, all other eggs hatched and the large dragon was surrounded by seven little hatchlings. A day later all animals came to visit the proud mother. And at night the moon glowed silver, welcoming the new dragons.

A week later, after the dragons had lain in the sun and grown from the warmth of the sunlight, the golden mother rose into the sky and her children followed her. Golden like fire, red like a rose, orange like the sunset, yellow like the sun, green like the forest, blue like the sea, purple and pink like flowers on a field ascended into a clear sky. The golden dragon showed her children the world they would live in and would learn to protect and cherish. And this is how the age of the wise and colourful dragons commenced under the sun and the moon.

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