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Once upon a time, in a faraway land, behind seven mountains, and seven forests, and seven lakes there was a beautiful garden. It blossomed out of sight and beyond the troubles of mortal men and women.

This garden was tended by a gorgeous lady dragon named Zelebeith. Her scales shimmered white and bronze in the sun. Her wings and horns gleamed golden, and her eyes sparkled light green, like the grass growing all around her.

Most of the day, she rested in the shade of the giant oak tree that stood at the centre of her garden. When evening came, however, she spread her wings and danced in the sky above her flowers and herbs. She showered them with her sunlight magic that only a dragon possesses, so the plants would survive the cold darkness of the night.

When she was done, she landed by the roots of the tree, folded her wings, and looked upon her garden with pride and joy. She was the Queen of her garden. The last rays of the setting sun dipped her precious plants in the most enchanting light.

The bees hummed around the purple lavender, that grew next to ancient stones that once belonged to an old ruin. Nothing more than dark grey stones, corroded by wind and weather were left. The busy working bees collected the last honey before the night. The sunflowers, the largest of all her protegees, stretched out towards the sun, trying to soak up her fading warmth. Sage, her favourite herb, sparkled silver in the fading light. The advancing shadows made the roses shine blood red and her lilies and tulips glittered in all the colours of the rainbow before the night and the absence of light would turn them grey. Butterflies danced around the flowers before they would fall asleep, taking in their sweet scent, so they would dream of all the colours in the black night.

One day, when Zelebeith watched the red ladybirds feast on a group of aphids that had bothered one of her most beautiful tulips, she heard the sound of wings in the sky. She had always loved the colour of ladybirds, always enjoyed watching them and was annoyed by the disturbance. She looked up. Her bronze and golden horns glittered in the sun’s light, and her green eyes caught sight of a dragon in the sky.

She sniffed and knew it was not a lady dragon but a male one. She looked at him as he circled thrice above her garden. His wings shone light green in the sun. His scales glimmered green, white, and bronze, and his large horns were of a deep bronze colour, one Zelebeith had never seen before.

When he landed before her, he looked at her with golden eyes. She was impressed and wondered what he wanted. She asked him what he was doing here. He answered that he had caught her scent and the scent of her beautiful garden far away and decided he had to find her.

He had flown across the seven lakes, had ventured over the seven forests and had journeyed over the seven mountains, seeing the earth far away below him.

And now, once he had beheld this dreamlike image of her and all her flowers, an image that surpassed his wildest dreams when travelling here, he said he wished to marry her.

Zelebeith was flattered and asked the dragon’s name. His name was Careich, he replied. He was a dragon of the green fields, and desired nothing more than to be with her and love her.

Zelebeith was not displeased by his proposal, but neither was she convinced.

Behold my garden, she said. My dragon magic has created all of this. Can your magic keep up with mine? I would only accept a mate who is equal to me. No one should ask for less and for nothing more. Create flowers that reflect my beauty and maybe then, I might agree.

Careich took to the sky and commenced dancing in the sun’s light. He showered the garden with his magic. In the shadow of his flying body grew a flower Zelebeith had never seen before. Its stamens were yellow like the sun, and its petals were white like the clouds. Careich named the flower daisy, and waited for Zelebeith’s judgement.

She looked at the daisy with wonder but did not smile.

It is a pretty flower, she said. But pretty is not enough. You may try again.

So Careich danced again, and this time he danced with all his dragon magic in the sky. He flew loops and danced left and right. From the ground sprouted another flower. In its shape, it looked like a tulip, but its petals were of a colour Zelebeith had never seen before. The flower glittered in shades of gold and bronze. It looked enchanting. Careich waited for the judgment of the garden’s Queen.

Zelebeith smiled but was not convinced.

This flower is beautiful but a little bit too much, she said. Gold is the colour of the sun and dragons and not the colour of flowers. You have one last try. If you do not convince me then, fly away and never come back.

Careich nodded and knew what he had to do. He danced again, but this time with elegance and grace. Zelebeith was astounded by his movements. A third flower grew from the soil as Careich’s dragon magic rained upon the fertile soil. This one had petals glowing in all shades from yellow to orange. The shape of the petals appeared like sunrays but spoke of an earthly beauty, a sun among flowers. Next to it grew another one. This one was pink, like the colour of the sky when the sun was setting after a rainstorm. Careich circled in the sky one more time, and a third version of this kind of flower appeared. It was red, the colour of ladybirds, the colour Zelebeith liked so much.

Careich landed next to her, named the flowers dahlia, as it was such a light and pretty sound rolling from the tongue,  and waited for Zelebeith’s judgement.

She smiled at Careich and was convinced. She took to the skies and he followed her. Together, they danced above her garden, proclaiming their marriage. The ladybirds stopped feasting on the aphids, the bees took a break from their work, and the butterflies rested in the shade, so all of them could behold the loving dragons in the sky.

After their union, some more daisies and golden tulips grew in the garden, but dahlias, in their wonderful colours, grew in abundance among all the other herbs and flowers, testimony to the love of Zelebeith and Careich. The Queen and her King lived happily ever after in their precious garden beyond the seven mountains, the seven forests, and the seven lakes.

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