Green Emma was a dragon bold,
As told of long ago,
And though ’twas said she was not real,
She would not be told so.
She had a cave most warm and dry,
Up in the hills so high,
Her friends complained about the walk,
She cared not – she could fly.
Within the cave, safe at the back,
Her clutch of eggs she had,
Though ten she’d laid, or so she said,
There were just nine to add.
The eggs she turned twice every day,
Except the one quite lost,
And though she knew not where it was,
She cared for that one most.
A dragon’s life was then quite safe,
No beasts on dragons dined,
While men did not believe in her,
No reason her to find.
That was until the fateful day,
In April I’ve heard tell,
When a bold knight who’d lost his way,
Quite lost his mind as well.
Green Emma grazed on fresh spring grass,
Down in the valley wide,
Not knowing that she had been seen,
By George from in his hide.
As George observed yon ruminant,
Black thoughts soon filled his head,
Of distressed maidens, flaming jaws,
And folk as dragon’s bread.
Quite soon as George had reached the town,
Alarm spread far and wide,
As much exaggerated tales were told,
Of people being fried.
“We need a fool,” the mayor declared,
The search ranged far and wide,
‘Till George was sworn as champion,
A sword strapped to his side.
“You must bring back,” the people cried,
“Some proof the beast is dead,
Its feet, its tail, its teeth, its scales,
Or, best of all, its head.”
A horse was found, some armour bright,
A helmet for his head,
A bright red pennant on a pole,
Some onions, cheese and bread.
Brave George rode out to many cheers,
And pats upon his back,
But barely out of sight of town,
He pulled up for a snack.
He ate but little of the cheese,
And even less the bread,
His favourite food was onions,
He quickly was well fed.
Green Emma, turning of her eggs,
Pricked up her ears to hear,
Some clanking and some shouting,
Outside, but very near.
She quickly crept to the cave mouth,
And took a hasty glance,
She spied the brave young simpleton,
A sharpening his lance.
George clanked and clattered up the hill,
Stealth might prevent his death,
But nothing could disguise the smell,
Of onions on his breath.
Now dragons have few allergies,
They’re very rarely ill,
But onion causes them to feel,
Most odd, but does not kill.
The onion breath pervaded all,
The area about,
The cave was worst, though Emma flapped,
She could not drive it out.
The changes happened on by one,
At first her horns did sprout,
Then purple spots with blue-green rims,
A kind of dragon gout.
Her spikey tail a green point grew,
Her eyes turned angry red,
Her once sleek wings became swept back,
One saner would have fled.
While George continued up the hill,
His horse was ill at ease,
It threw him off with his broad sword,
(But kept his bread and cheese.)
George took a step into the cave,
He shouted loud and bold,
“Step out and face me monster foul,
I’ll make your blood run cold.”
Yet more intensely onion breath,
Wafted where Emma hid,
It caused her nose to itch and swell,
And not do what she bid.
The pressure built, she held it back,
The pressure built some more,
She let loose one enormous sneeze,
That sounded like a roar.
A stream of fiery sneezey stuff,
Shot out of Emma’s nose,
It woke the bats which flew en masse,
Not burned in their repose.
Another step George took, but then,
The bat colony arrived,
Erupting from the cave mouth wide,
The bleve to avoid.
The bats ate fruit, but just in case,
George covered up his neck,
His hat fell off, rolled down the hill,
And rattled on the deck.
That danger past George girded up,
His loins, but all at once,
The fiery sneeze arrived and burned,
The hair from off his bonce.
His armour now as oven hot,
Had George all in a braise,
He stripped it off and stood quite still,
In underwear and haze.
Green Emma looking at the sight,
Could not resist a laugh,
And chuckling bursts of fiery fun,
Were carried by the draught.
His vest aflame and badger bald,
George hurried down the slope,
Into the stream he quickly leapt,
And steamed his glory hope.
His battle he had quickly lost,
He must give up his quest,
He found both helmet and broad sword,
But left without his vest.
But George left not with empty hands,
Because when Emma sneezed,
Some dragon scales were carried on,
The dreadful fiery breeze.
George gathered up the scaly prize,
And hastened back to town,
The story that he told the crowds,
Made his confessor frown.
He spoke of parries, thrusts and feints,
And swordplay – from a book,
He’d read about it when at school –
Without a guilty look.
The Mayor then declared George as brave,
As any hero bold,
Rewarded him with grateful words,
And medals made of gold.
Upon the hill Green Emma thought,
Her cave was not not secure,
There may be other armoured fools,
For whom eggs were a lure.
She gathered up her precious clutch,
Alas t’were only nine,
And leaving one, with much regret,
She flew o’er woods of pine.
Then over mountains, hills and vales,
Across the stormy sea,
Until she reached an island far,
From knights – and you and me.
But on that hill where battle raged,
So very long ago,
Within a cave something does stir,
That Emma grieved for so.
The tenth and last, the one most missed,
The egg she left behind,
Has reached that time like all the rest,
That baby dragons find.
And so my friend if you are bold,
And would a dragon slay,
Go up the hill in armour bright,
And at the break of day.
I do not wish you great success,
Nor do I want your death,
So I suggest you face your foe,
With onions on your breath.
Posted to help writers.
Submitted to more than 40 children’s publishers a few years ago. Mostly rejected by standard letter but feedback suggested that “doggerel is not for children,” and “it is dire and unimaginably dull.” Don’t make the same mistakes.
Other examples of rejected rubbish will be posted in the spirit of assisting others to know what to avoid.