From the beginning, when all the world was asleep in seed, I lay there, dragon of the earth, mere form and memory, unawake.
And then the mighty spirit passed by my nostril, touched me, and raised me up to livid life.
Fire raged within me for an instant, and then I knew – all that I knew always, but had no mind to think.
He helped me up. I was tottering, a titan of earth before Him, youngling newborn. And he spoke, words that only dragons can hear, fierce sounds plowing the depths of your heart, sounding thoughts clear and direct, speaking to you, alone.
And then He was gone. He was gone. And all the world stretched before me, desolate yet ripe for living. For my life, and all that lay around and beneath me. The sun soared alert and young, the moon swung in its nocturnal course, still a solid crescent…
I lay for a long while, unsure what to do, merely feeling the fire burn inside, feeling the feeling of heat, knowing what it’s like to know. And then on a whim, a mere whim of fancy I stood, towered over the land, looked west.
Where the sun set, a glitter shone for an instant, what I had seen always in the evenings since I became alive, but now it spoke promise…Come.
And I tottered, and I lumbered – I fell! I shook the earth, carving out mountains many, and valleys by the way before all the streams rose…I walked and learned to run.
Until many days later when I arrived, after many evenings of seeking during the hour of sunset, I came upon a structure in the ground. It was a man…a man frozen. But not by water. He simply stood arms cast out, fending off imaginary attack, his eyes downcast. Though I cast my weight against him with my tail so slightly, he was fixed into the earth and would not move.
And yet his feet merely seemed buried. Tipping and pushing, and then carving with my claws around this small person, I curiously sought the answer to this first Puzzle – what stopped this Man in his tracks?
But it was of no avail. Though I scored the earth around and as far under him as I could, I merely unearthed a mound – a burial place before death, because it existed before life, and he was standing on the top of it, and in his hand seemed to rest something no longer there.
It must have been round, I thought. My first thought about his history.
The earth of the hill could not be broken, though the soft pellety sand above parted easily like cloud cover under the sweep of my claws. I dug, and dug, and dug, unearthing an entire landscape subterranean of rolling hills, a gentle valley, where no dragon had fallen heavily, where the contours bespoke peace, even to my dragonish, and alien mind.
I scratched, scratched the itch of my curiosity by scratching the earth, but no answer prevailed- I knew too little. And another three mornings and nights would pass over this mountain crouching over a little valley, before the truth would hit me.
And that came, when, I saw the Woman. Mysterious, she was.
The light came this time far across a flickering sea of air to the south-west. There, she stood in the midst of the first lake I saw, that flowed and moved like it was almost alive. A thirst sprung up in my throat and I sought to quench it, sucking up nearly a third of an ocean in my first mouthful, as I understood it to be, later.
But still she stood, the water lapping around her calves, frozen like the man, but hopefully wrapping her arms around a very round belly. Though she was again, merely standing in the shallows, I could not dislodge her from where she was, add an inch to her height, or reduce it in the sea.
And the sea! The sea! It flowed around me, washing at my scales, aburst with laughter, a wondrous creation by the Spirit, a vast, endless lake, yet finite under the limited heavens. Like sun and moon and stars, they spoke of their limited existence and domain, pointing upward, beyond in all directions and none – at the author and creator – something marvellous. I almost smiled.
Then He was there again. Though at first I thought He was he. Another mere stick against the sky, gleaming in stillness, but then he moved, a wondrous movement that my eyes could not fully behold. He strode up to me in a movement so quick I was tempted to leap from his side and upset half the continent, but he calmed me with another brush of his hand. Sleep my dragon, he said, the world is not yet ready for thee. But you will be when the time comes, and you have seen (me)…
And so I slept as commanded, slept for all I knew, until it was that today you would awaken me, and find me.