by Silvia Hartmann
There once was the richest man in the galaxy who had everything that can be owned already, apart from one - he wanted a dragon for his enormous intergalactic zoo.
Eventually, he put out the message that whoever would bring him a living dragon egg would receive the highest price that had ever been paid, in all times spent; and would thus become the 2nd richest being in the galaxy, right after himself.
As you can imagine, all manner of beings raised their ears, their feelers, their sound crests and all sorts of other appendages at this news; and as you can imagine, the great hunt for the dragon egg was ON!
Nobody knew where dragons could be found; dragons had a habit of being anywhere and nowhere; you could see one and one blink of the eye later, it would be gone, to who knows where or when.
Beings searched here, there, everywhere; they searched east, north, south and west, as well as up and down.
Many retreated into ancient libraries to seek for clues, consulted ancient stories, ancient maps; they made great holographic mood boards trying to bring the clues together; and there were many who formed groups and poured resources into finding the dragon egg and sharing the greatest prize the galaxy had ever known.
The galactic hyperweb was abuzz, I can tell you!
So many more beings became fascinated by this search, followed news, discussed the latest theories and findings as well, the quest for the dragon egg became a galactic obsession, as well as a supremely lucrative business as dragon merchandise exploded in popularity, and all manner of theatrical productions sprang into being, to the point that if you had visited any market, anywhere in the galaxy at that time, you would have seen every small entity, every youngling carrying or floating a dragon, or an egg.
For quite some time, this was the obsession of the galaxy, but as all such things tend to do, eventually it faded as no dragons were ever found, and certainly no eggs; and new and different crazes arose to take everyone's attention.
Yet the richest man in the galaxy could not rest until this one final desire of his life had been successfully completed, and the reward still stood, and there were many still out there, searching, searching, searching ...
On a small, rocky planet, so far away from the galactic centre that it seemed no brighter than a single star, and where the news came so long after it had happened, a youngling got to hear about the greatest prize that would turn a being into the second richest entity in the entire galaxy.
The youngling looked around at the meagre house where its family huddled together against the endless cold, suffering from the endless hunger and desolation here, suffering from there being no hope that anything could be done to make anything better, ever, and this youngling started to dream of dragons.
In the youngling's dream, it wouldn't try to catch a dragon, or try to ride a dragon - in its dreams, the youngling would become a dragon and fly through time and space, playing in the many coloured landscapes of the multiverse, free from all restrictions, free from all fears, filled with delight at the next discovery, the next experience and the next beauty ...
Then, the youngling would awaken to how it was where it lived, and it would be filled with sorrow, not for itself, but for its family who never had such dreams and knew nothing else but to suffer until death would finally release them from the burdens of life.
The youngling tried to tell its family about the dragon dream, but they could not understand; although they heard the words, they made no sense to them at all, and the youngling's family decided that it was simply mad, so they would stroke the youngling lovingly, and give it extra grains of their precious food, and often held it close in their compassion.
So the youngling stopped talking about the dragon dreams and went along with what it was supposed to do during the times of woke, but it lived only for the night, and for the dragon dreams.
This went on for some time and the youngling had wonderful adventures, learned so much, saw, felt, heard, scented, tasted and sensed so much, it was filled to overflowing with all the colours and the wonders, but then, one night, there came the thought that it would be even better if there was an other to share this experience with, and that was the first time that the youngling felt lonely, and wished that there could be someone to play with, someone who would understand.
When the youngling thought this, time stopped; everything stopped, and it became very, very still indeed.
"Hello?" whispered the youngling, just to know if it could even hear its own voice, and it did, it also saw a small trail of shimmering stars to mark the movement of its word.
"Hello?" the youngling said louder, less fearful now, fascinated by the fountain of star dust this was producing; it was beautiful, and it moved, flowed in this silent space, it shimmered, it danced ...
The youngling smiled, it gathered all its power and with all its might it called out, "HELLO!!!" and this was an explosion, and it echoed, a spiral fountain rising high and bright, pulsing upward, outward, downward all the same - and right there, it was uplifted and it flew higher than it ever had before, lifted by the strong currents of its own call that was still echoing, still producing waves, higher and higher it rose ...
In a blinding flash of light, the youngling entered into a new dimension, and as it looked down, it saw so many fountain wells like raindrops in an enormous lake below, so many beings, and as it looked up, it saw so many others who were just the same as the youngling was itself - there were so many dragons here, and all were filled with light, with bright delight, and they were playing, they were singing, and even further still, they were delighted that the youngling found its way at last.
There were so many voices, so much knowledge, wisdom bright; shining bridges of connection, royal roads in shining hues and all of it alive; the youngling brought all that it was, all that it knew, a welcome new dimension which made all the dragons celebrate, gave joy and new life to the most ancient ones the same as to the youngest, nearest ones who had arrived not long ago.
The youngling understood so many things.
Below, the portal fountains, they could take it now to any place and any time that any one had ever been; and that is why a dragon could appear just anywhere at all, and vanish so completely just the same.
No dragon could be captured, nor held in any cage, no matter how secure; and there were no dragon eggs at all, unless you count the many beings who would dream the dragon dream and find their way into the other spaces that exist beyond the levels of the Hard.
The youngling knew that what it knew now had such power, could transform so many things on that level where its body slept and dreamed the dragon dream; it also knew that it was free to do whatever it would choose, a privilege reward for all the dragons everywhere.
There was a moment when the youngling feared that it would re-awake in that other place, and never find their way to the dragonsphere again; yet even as it did, the knowledge and the love of all the others rushed to lift it up again, and here it knew that once a dragon, this is what you are, and there's no way back, as everything moves forward and it always will.
That day, the youngling awoke to the dusty life and its loving family, and it was very different indeed.
It loved their family back and was no longer now concerned about their future, or its own.
In the nights that followed, the youngling learned many things.
It learned that dragons can take star dust and shape it to their will; when it becomes heavy enough, it will sink through the dimensions, become hard, become manifest, and those in the Hard can interact with it and wouldn't know how such a thing came to be made.
The youngling consulted with the other dragons if it was allowed to do this, or that; but the answer was always the same.
There is no-one who can allow or forbid you to do what you want to do.
At first, this was frightening and shocking to the youngling; but it soon found that all it wanted was to bring more joy, more love, more beauty, leave a legacy of gentleness and gratitude for all that had been provided for it, to help it grow and start to dream the dragon dream.
The youngling thought, consulted, slept, awoke in the Hard, thought there some more, and finally, one night, when it was ready, the youngling gently shaped the star dust into five dragon eggs.
The first egg contained the mysteries.
The second egg was made of beauty.
The third egg was excitement.
The fourth egg was life.
The fifth egg was joy.
The youngling made it so that each egg would radiate its message and that it would inspire dragon dreams, bring hope, new thoughts, new ways of thinking, being, feeling not just to the ones who would own these, or touch them, but to all who lived there in the Hard and needed more than they did even know, all caught up in survival and collections as they were.
And so the youngling's dragon eggs began to fall through the dimensions; becoming harder as they went, eventually landing in a crystal cave on the youngling's rocky home planet, not far from where the family had their meagre home.
The richest man in all the galaxy could not believe it when the call came in that the dragon eggs had been found; by now, he was old and had quite given up the hope.
It was a long journy to the little rocky planet far far away from the centre of the galaxy, but there would have been nothing to stop him, and when he was led into the crystal cave and saw the dragon eggs with his own failing eyes, and touched them with his own shaking hands, he started to cry and could not stop, not for a long time.
The youngling was allowed to witness this, as it had been the one to find the dragon eggs in the crystal cave, and it was so glad to have made this one being's dream come true, it felt its own power expand, its dragon wings becoming greater, reaching higher, and even whilst not asleep now it could hear and sense the joy of all the others.
The youngling had done a wonderful thing.
The richest man in the galaxy fulfilled his promise and of course, this changed everything for the family, for the whole planet's inhabitants. Curiously also, the previously worthless crystals which existed there in innumerable caves became famous and much sought after, resonating with the energy of the dragon eggs, and began to be traded all over the galaxy as the most precious jewels anyone could hope to own.
What was even more curious was that the richest man in the galaxy did not take the dragon eggs away for his zoo. He left them where they were, believing that real dragons would come back, the parents of this clutch, and he could not abide the thought that they would find their offspring missing.
Further, he released all the creatures in his zoo to places where they may thrive without the cages and live their lives in freedom.
Further still, and finding that his health had improved ever since the time spent in the crystal cave, he was filled with the desire to use his vast riches for improvements to the lives of many, having seen for himself how the youngling and its family lived and how they had to struggle for the smallest grain of food, for the simplest form of shelter.
The richest man did his best and just before he died, it was said that he had started to dream of dragons.
The youngling heard of this, and smiled.
[c] Silvia Hartmann
5 Dragon Eggs inspired Dragon Dreams