The Dragon and the Princess: An Unexpected Egress
Princess Henrietta of Hafaledd
Wanted to be a Dragon’s Dread.
A Dragon’s Dread was a fearsome knight
Who caused beastly bullies to feel great fright.
Pretending she was one gave her joy,
But her brothers teased: You must be a boy.
Not to be stopped by a spiteful word,
Henrietta decided this was absurd.
She went to a smith called Owen the Gael,
Asking for enchanted sword and gilded mail.
Henrietta had cured Owen of the plague,
And so she found she had nothing to beg.
Armed with the finest spell-bound blade,
Henrietta knew her name was made.
She set out with a helm for a crown,
And a suit of silver scales for a gown.
Off she was to where Dragon’s Dread went,
Trotting towards the Cliffs of Gwent.
Upon reaching this desolate land,
Henrietta’s sword tingled in her hand.
The other hand braced an enchanted shield,
Neither to steel nor flame would it yield.
Henrietta wandered up a narrow gorge,
And came to a cave as black as a forge.
Out stepped a fearsome old drake;
Henrietta feared she’d made a mistake.
It opened its mouth and billowed flame,
Then chuckled as if playing a game.
The dragon then claimed surprise
That Henrietta would seek its demise.
For it would take ten Dragon’s Dread
To bring back one dragon’s head.
Henrietta got it in her head to scold,
And so became quite brash and bold:
You feast on farmers’ sheep and foals;
Turn their farms into heaps of coals!
The dragon filled his lungs with air,
And told Henrietta to beware:
I flambé farms, I could fry you!
Must I instead eat an ogre or two?
Henrietta then had a clever thought—
Perhaps the dragons just had to be taught.
Hafaledd suffered from a horrid pest,
And these beasts could handle it best.
She asked the dragon if he ever tried Gnome—
They’re plentiful and not far from home.
Delectable whether gnarled or plump,
Fricasseed or roasted rump.
Giving a look of concentration,
The dragon replied with consideration:
If my kind start gnawing on gnomes,
Yours’ will cease raiding our homes.
Henrietta, speaking for the throne,
Swore the dragons would be left alone.
A new peace soon came to the land,
Dragon and human walked claw in hand.
Replacing her helm for a crown,
Henrietta was humbled by new found renown.
When peasants passed her they would sing;
But her brothers teased: You won’t be king….
Darren DeArment is the Youth Services Librarian at the Pottsville Free Public Library. This poem is owed to his parents reading The Hobbit and the children’s works of Shel Silverstein to him. You can read more of Darren’s poems at https://nereandfarr.blogspot.com.