The mouse crept into the lair, scurrying over mounds of gold, leaping from sparkling shield to silver goblet.
The heat was intense, but she’d wrapped her paws in little rags, and she focused on her goal.
At last, she approached the slumbering, mountainous beast and reached with a trembling paw toward a loose scale larger than she was.
At her tug, the dragon snarled and whipped its head around, only to come up short as its eyes focused on the tiny intruder.
‘You are less than a snack,’ it said. ‘No more substantial than a fly. Why come, when I could kill you by shifting in my sleep?’
‘My family needs protection,’ she said. ‘I thought … perhaps, I could make armour …’
The dragon considered the mouse for a long time. ‘Take the scale with my blessing,’ it said at length. ‘And if you wish, I will accompany you home. I have a liking for brave and beautiful things, and no desire to see them destroyed.’
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay.