“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 35: A Sleeping Dragon?!

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

Spring is finally here!

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I, like a lot of my friends at the Lodge, can’t stand the summer heat, so I try to enjoy the mild weather while it lasts. The afternoon sunlight gently rests against my back as I snap at the newly awakened bees, flying in rapid circles as they search for flowers. I’ve never caught one, but I don’t let that hold me back!

In my quest for a lazy, slow-moving bug, I walk past what at first looks like a large ball of fluff piled up in the shade. I blink my eyes a few times before stealing a second glance.

“What are you looking at Bing?”

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My heart nearly stops when I hear Lucy’s voice from behind me. Turning around, I see her approaching with a curious expression on her kind face.

Why am I so jumpy? I’m not doing something wrong, am I?

“H-Hey, Lucy,” I say, trying to sound natural. “I wasn’t really looking at anything…it’s just that…”

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I sneak another sidelong look at the huge pile of fluff, squinting a little as I attempt to rationalize what I’m seeing.

“Is everything okay? You seem kind of…off,” Lucy says, coming around to face me.

What if I’m the only one who sees it? She might think I’ve lost it!

Swallowing my reservations, I shake my head.

“I don’t want to scare you, Lucy. But just over there is a massive fluffy creature. And it’s breathing!” I say in a whispered bark.

Lucy looks from me, to the fluff ball, then back to me. She tilts her head to the side, her mouth turning up in a gentle smile.

“Oh, Bing, that’s just –”

“The Lodge Dragon!!”

Lucy and I jump at the sound of that imposing bark, only regaining our composure when we hear Max’s gleeful laughter.

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“Scared you, didn’t I?” Max says, flopping to the ground. “And here I thought Scarlett had the best reactions!”

I release a relieved sigh as my heartbeat returns to normal. I nip at Max’s exposed stomach, while he continues to laugh at his own cleverness.

“But in all seriousness, that is the Lodge Dragon…”

Max’s eyes narrow as he stares up at me. I search his face for signs of his usual mischief, and to my surprise, find nothing to prove my suspicions.

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“What’s a…dragon?” I ask, holding my breath.

“It’s a monster that breathes fire…but this one is special,” Max says, furrowing his brows. “Legend has it, if you can poke the Lodge Dragon’s backside without waking it up, you’ll have good luck for the rest of your life…”

I nervously glance back at the sleeping dragon. Just staring at it fills me with dread…but if getting close would bring me good luck…

Plus, it would be the perfect opportunity to show Lucy that I’m not afraid of anything! Well…not afraid of most things, anyway.

“So all I have to do is touch its back without waking it up?” I ask, feigning confidence.

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Max’s eyes widen. “You’re not actually thinking of trying it, are you? If you wake the dragon, who knows what’ll happen to you…”

Suddenly, several terrifying scenarios play out in my mind. What if the dragon blasts me with flames, or gobbles me up, or both?

“Even if I become a roasted beagle, I can’t pass up a chance like this!” I say, desperately trying to keep my teeth from chattering.

“Uh, Bing? I’m not sure that – ”

“ – you have much time left! Hurry!” Max interrupts Lucy’s concerned bark, quickly getting to his feet.

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I stealthily approach the fluffy backside of the dragon, watching the gentle rise and fall of its breathing with keen focus. Blocking all other sights and sounds from my perception, I inch towards the frightening beast.

Just a little closer…almost…there…

I cautiously extend my snout, my stomach rising as pure terror grips me.

…just…one…more…

My nose lightly presses into the dragon’s shaggy back.

Hm? That’s weird…it smells kind of like a…

Suddenly the creature whips its head around to look me in the face!

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Two piercing blue eyes reflect the fear in my own.

Then, after a few moments of utter panic, I realize it…

The Lodge Dragon is actually…a dog?!

…to be continued…