“Wheee!” Ringo yelped with joy as the giant dragon he was on twisted and dove down towards the ocean in his latest desperate attempt to get rid of this stowaway horse.
After flips and twists, and even a crash into the water below, the horse somehow still managed to hold on. The Teleporting Trevor could not shake him off. He tried teleporting from ocean to mountaintop, from desert to tundra, and nothing seemed to faze the horse, who just seemed excited by everything he saw.
“Why won’t you let go?!”
“This is amazing!” Ringo said, oblivious to the dragon’s upset.
You might think that a horse riding on a dragon’s back might have a very hard time holding on, but for Ringo it was somehow very easy. It would have been harder, in fact, for him to let go. He didn’t know what was holding him on, but he also didn’t question it; that just was how it was.
Nothing The Teleporting Trevor did seemed to work, so after a final attempt to shake the horse over an active volcano in Vanuatu, he decided it was time to seek help.
He teleported to the snowy Caucasus Mountains, on the Russian border with Georgia, and flew around for a few minutes before making a long and deep aroooooooooo call.
A few moments later, a second call came from a short distance away, followed by a third, and a fourth. The chorus of calls from throughout the mountain range, all singing together, created a harmony the likes of which people like you and I have never had the good fortune to hear.
And then, emerging from the mountains flew a white dragon, and a red dragon, and a yellow dragon, all as large as the orange dragon Ringo was riding on, and Ringo suddenly felt so alive, like this was what he was born to see. The dragons flew in large arcs, circling around The Teleporting Trevor like atoms around a nucleus, with twists and dives that Ringo couldn’t quite keep up with.
After circling once more, the three dragons swooped in to fly on either side of The Teleporting Trevor. Without noise, they each turned their heads to make eye contact with the others, and in synchrony, the group turned upwards, flying higher, higher, higher, through clouds, freezing cold, and air so thin Ringo could hardly breathe. But still he didn’t let go, and again it didn’t even feel like a choice. It just was.
Ringo wondered what was going to happen next. Whether he was going to pass out or something else – either way, it was going to be very exciting.
And exciting it was. The sky above them filled with an orange-red misty glow, which they flew directly into. At this point Ringo had teleported enough to know that it was happening again now, but something felt very different about it this time.
When they came out of the mist, the group was flying down again, and seemed to be heading towards a small village built about half-way up a steep rocky mountain. The village was modest, with roughly-made buildings, but what drew Ringo’s attention was the centerpiece of the village – a towering ornate temple with vibrant red and gold colors, which looked like it had been worked on at the expense of everything else nearby. As they circled around it, Ringo felt sure he saw an image painted in sections on every level of the temple, creating a single image, some sixty feet tall, of a blue dragon.
Ringo looked at the dragons he was with. None of them were blue.
As they flew over the village, simply-dressed people ran out of the small huts and looked up from the quiet market streets, pointing at the dragons and speaking to each other in awe, in a language Ringo didn’t understand.
The group of dragons flew gently past the temple, and came to land further up the mountainside, close to a large cave.
As they rested from their flight, they looked at each other once more, and also at Ringo, who was still finding the whole thing to be very exciting.
Then they looked into the darkness of the cave, and together, in harmony, made another long and deep call – aroooooooooo...
Some loud shuffling sounds came from inside the cave. Ringo looked at the mountainside and was pretty sure he saw rocks and dust fall as the mountain shook slightly with each giant movement from inside.
Ringo felt The Teleporting Trevor take a step back, and then realized that the other dragons were doing the same as the movement became louder inside the mountain. And then, emerging from the darkness, Ringo saw a vibrant dark blue color. It was hard to tell what was what at first, but stepping towards the group was a dragon who was larger than the others – not by much, but Ringo could tell that the others looked up to it with reverence and respect.
Ringo could hear the chatter of hundreds of people in the village behind them, and the people all seemed to unify into a chant of some kind – “G’nz-ah-low, G’nz-ah-low, G’nz-ah-low…” But Ringo was too transfixed to turn his head.
The great blue dragon’s eyes were half closed, and it moved slowly. It looked around at the other dragons gathered, looked at Ringo, and paused. Ringo felt like something really important was about to happen. The dragon opened its mouth. Oh no, Ringo thought, I think this is going to be bad.
The dragon’s mouth opened wider, and closing its eyes, the dragon gave an enormous yawn.
The yawn was slow, and long, and was followed by stretching as the great blue dragon attempted to wake itself up. It yawned again.
“Ugh,” it said eventually, “What time is it?”
“1998,” the white dragon replied.
“Well, not really,” the red dragon corrected. “I mean, it is for us, but obviously we had to travel to get to you. 1998 isn’t one of your years.”
“Hmmm,” the blue dragon responded, not really seeming interested.
“We are sorry to wake you, The Great G’n-zalo,” The Teleporting Trevor said, bowing his head and avoiding eye contact.
“And what is this?” the dragon known as The Great G’n-zalo added, nodding at Ringo, and looking at him closely.
“I think this kind of creature is called a horse,” The Teleporting Trevor replied.
“A horse, hmmm?” the giant blue dragon replied, as if it had never heard of such a creature before.
Ringo tried to speak, but found that no sound came out. Just as he was unable to move, he was also unable to speak.
“I can’t get it off me,” The Teleporting Trevor added, as if with layers of meaning that he wasn’t saying.
“Hmm,” The Great G’n-zalo sighed, eyeing Ringo closely. “The prophecy…”
“Yes, we believe so,” the white dragon responded calmly.
The Great G’n-zalo looked from dragon to dragon, making eye contact with each of them in turn, before asking “And what say you, Sh’la?”
The yellow dragon nodded, and replied, “Yes, The Great G’n-zalo, I believe the prophecy is coming true.”
There was a moment of silence. Ringo desperately wanted to let them know how exciting he thought this whole thing was, but his mouth would not open, no matter how hard he tried.
“Well…” The Great G’n-zalo finally spoke softly. “Have you tried…” it shrugged “…eating it?” The great blue dragon looked at them all again to gauge their reactions, as it seemed sheepish to even suggest it.
The others all looked around at each other – none of them looked at Ringo, who still thought this whole thing could be a lot of fun.
The white, red, yellow and orange dragons looked back at the blue dragon briefly. They weren’t sure if they should be approving of the idea of eating the horse, and they all turned their heads and looked up at the sky as if something suddenly interested them up there. They all started absent-mindedly singing “do-d’do-d’doo” as they avoided looking at Ringo, and even that singing was harmonized in a way that was the most beautiful thing the people watching from the village below had heard in generations.
The Great G’n-zalo joined in with his own incredibly-harmonic absent-minded do-d’do-d’doo-ing and, as if it was not paying attention to what it was doing at all and as if the whole thing was an accident in which The Great G’n-zalo was just an innocent bystander, it stepped forward and leaned down to gobble the horse from The Teleporting Trevor’s back.
Owmp, the large dragon said with a large gollop, before feining innocence to everyone who was within earshot by shouting quickly, “Oh, my goodness I tripped, and accidentally ate that horse! Oh, I am so terribly sorry, but what can be done about it nothing I suppose oh well I’m sure everything will be okay.”
Without any thought from Ringo, though, who still thought the whole affair was the most fun thing he’d ever been a part of, he did not end up in The Great G’n-zalo’s mouth after all, nor in his stomach. And he wasn’t on the orange dragon’s back anymore. He was standing a few feet away, in-between the whole crowd of dragons on the rocky ground.
The dragons were all in a quiet congratulatory mood, feeling like they’d handled a difficult problem, until the white dragon caught sight of Ringo down by her feet, and jumped back with an “Eek!”
“Al’aina, what is it?” the red dragon asked, before seeing him too.
“It’s the horse,” the white dragon replied, indicating nervously with her nose.
The large blue dragon turned its head, saw the horse as if this was no big deal, moved slowly towards him, and then snapped its jaws around the horse again.
But again Ringo wasn’t there. He was suddenly ten feet away.
“Oh no,” The Teleporting Trevor said. “This is my fault. That horse has been on my back while I’ve teleported all over the place. Somehow he’s absorbed some of my power.”
The Great G’n-zalo tried do-d’do-d’doo-ing one more time, suddenly biting down on the horse with as much speed as it could. Ringo teleported once more, though, and this time he was on The Great G’n-zalo’s head, somehow stuck on in the same way he had been on the orange dragon’s back for so long.
The Great G’n-zalo snarled loudly, and let out a deep low growl of embarrassment and disapproval.
“This horse is… unpredictable,” it said at last. It looked around at the other dragons, and they all agreed with the unspoken assessment of what would need to happen next. “We will have to take this unpredictable horse to our home.”
Suddenly, all five dragons – with Ringo securely on The Great G’n-zalo’s head – flew like arrows up into the sky, and as the villagers watched the once-in-a-lifetime sight from below, a multi-colored mist filled the sky above the creatures. They raced into it, and suddenly they were all gone, leaving a clear sky once more.