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Paper Dragon

By Maria Kimdahl

Once upon a time on a wall, in a little house in a country far away, there hung a beautiful paper-dragon. It was painted in the colours of the rainbow, and its pattern had many wonderful fairy-tales to tell; tales about distant places and magic words, tales about deep forests and mystical songs, about travels on the sea and wanderings among the stars, tales about good and evil, about life and death.

Many years passed, and the people in the house felt at ease with the dragon. It hung there as a beautiful picture with its tail beautifully fastened by the cornice, a symbol for security, giving a homelike atmosphere. The colours of the dragon stood well with her surroundings. People, who came to visit the house, used to stop to admire the gaily-coloured dragon, but no one ever asked about its pattern. It happened a couple of times that one took it down from the wall only to put it on another wall in the little house and arranged the tail a bit different, and out of this one experienced some kind of renewal of life, with the help of the dragon.

Once it came about, that a stranger on transit came by the house and happened to see the beautiful dragon hanging on the wall. Neither did he see the pattern that promised so many beautiful fairy treasures, but without asking permission, he lifted carefully down the dragon from its place. He loosed the needles that kept the tail firm, hung it over his arm and went out. With skilled fingers he tied up the cord that was wrapped by the dragon's cross, and went to an open place. He felt about the winds, and released carefully his hold of the cord, while he began to run towards the wind. Shortly, the dragon had lifted and it pulled and tore the cord that was in the stranger's hands. The people that lived in the house, came out and gathered around the man with the dragon, and they saw their beautiful picture flying there above, gaily-coloured and with its long tail sailing in tow. They sensed that perhaps there was something about this dragon that they had misunderstood, maybe it wasn't exactly what they had thought.

It was blowing fresh up in the air. The wind was playfully caressing the beautiful wings of the dragon, and the dragon was happily dancing with the wind. Suddenly the cord let loose, and without anyone knowing how this happened, the dragon soared higher and higher, further and further away. The wind and the dragon were one. With the sun on its back, the dragon began to sing its songs for the wind and told the singular fairy-tales that were collected in its enigmatic pattern, and the wind listened attentively. While the wind answered with his own songs, he brought his dragon to even higher altitudes.

After some time the wind was so full of songs, that they could be heard far and wide, and one day it came about, that also the people in the little house were reached by the songs of the wind. The dragon had already been gone since a long time, but there was something familiar about the song. Was it the colours, perhaps? Or maybe the pattern? How could one know, but it was an extremely beautiful song.

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