Or...a dragon myth from Laura Crawford
Delilah and Ivan—A Dragon Story
By Laura M. Crawford
There once was a dragon named Delilah, who fell in love with a mortal man named Ivan. Ivan was handsome, broad-shouldered with green eyes and a beard. He was also a knight. Knights were sworn enemies of dragons. This love was doomed from the start, …or was it?
Ivan had dreamed of his one true love all of his life. She would be a maiden fair, with long auburn locks and eyes that glowed as emerald jewels. She would be dressed in a royal blue gown with silver trimmings and silver sandals would adorn her feet. In all his travels and adventures, Ivan had never found a maiden that matched his dream and he had remained alone, while his comrades married and produced children. He knew it was silly, but he was not able to give up the dream of his one true love.
One day he could take it no longer and visited a seer in the village he was traveling through. She was an old woman, bent down and poor, but she had the wisdom of the gods, he had heard, and she would tell your future in return for a favor.
“Ivan, you seek your one true love,” she cackled as he entered her cottage. He was astounded. “How did you know my name, and what I seek?”
“I know all about you, dragon slayer. Now, do me one favor and I will tell you your future,” she said.
“What favor?” he asked.
“Bring the wood for my hearth, and the leaves of a rose and I will tell you your fortune.”
“What kind of rose?” he asked.
“You will know,” she said, and smiled and scurried into to the kitchen.
So, Ivan went out, sought the wood and the flowers and brought them to the old woman.
She placed the wood in the fireplace, and lit it to where it was a blaze in the cottage. It was not very cold out, so a fire of that size was not truly necessary. Soon, it was unbearably hot. He was about to leave before he passed out when she quickly grasped his arm and placed the petals of the rose in his palm. She began to talk in a strange voice, almost an echo.
“The love you seek will not be of human form at first. She must sacrifice herself to you before she can take her mortal form. Stab her in the heart with your sword, and you will know it is the one you seek by the petals of the rose.” And in his hand the thorny vines of the rose he had picked were snaring around his hand and when he opened his palm, the vision of his one true love was there.
“I must kill her and then she will be human and be mine? But what form is she now? How will I know?”
The woman looked at him and said, “Get out! You have your answer! Get out!”
Ivan left, very confused, but he left. Years passed, and he still did not find his one true love, until…
Delilah visited a kind old wizard named Homer. He lived out on the outskirts of the woods. He was startled to see a dragon at his door, but when you’ve been around for 900 years, you’ve almost seen everything.
“Dear wizard, I need your help,” she cried. With each teardrop, a rose formed in the ground beneath her.
“Dragon, I’m not sure I can help you. But please stop crying and let me know what the matter is,” he said in a kind gentle voice.
She explained she was in love with a mortal man, a knight. She wanted to take human form, but how? She offered her protection to Homer and all his kin from that day forward to eternity. Homer said he would help her. She was to return in three days. He would have an answer for her then.
While this conversation was taking place, a spy was taking notes and went to seek the knight they called Ivan to inform him of a wizard siding with dragons. Ivan listened to the irritating spy and decided to visit the wizard and kill the dragon.
On the third day, Homer still didn’t have an answer. He was concerned. Then an elder visited him in a dream. He said that the dragon must take the sword of her one true love into the heart for the transformation to take place. Cruel, but the gods were like that. He would tell the truth to the dragon and let her decide her own fate.
Ivan arrived before Delilah and arrested Homer. He was to be hanged for conspiring with dragons and before they took him to the square, a dragon appeared to protect him. Without any hesitation and purely out of reflex, Ivan drew his sword and stabbed the dragon directly in the heart. In a flash of pure white light, the dragon was reduced to dust and the slayer was reduced to tears. He held the hilt of his sword, and when the smoke cleared, he felt that he had murdered the love of his life.
In truth he had, and when the tears he shed hit the dust below him, a form began to take shape. Magically, she appeared, a fair maiden with long auburn curls, a long royal blue robe with a silver lining and silver sandals on her feet. Ivan wept with joy; for this was the love he sought all of his live.
“I thought you had given up on love?” she asked.
“I almost did, and I’m glad I didn’t. But, I …I killed you! How can you possibly be with me knowing I murdered you to have you?!” he asked.
“Because forgiveness is the greatest love of all.” And she kissed him. And they lived happily ever after.
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"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
Tags: dragon, Laura Crawford