Saphira woke up and stretched her purple iridescent wings before heading out for her morning flight. She left her cave at the top of the mountain cliff and looked out over the ocean below. It was a sunny cold autumn day and Saphira thought it perfect for a long flight. She soared out over the ocean and just enjoyed the updrafts and down drafts, soaring with easy, watching the clouds moving above her and thinking what a wonderful day it was. Suddenly she caught sight of something very small below. It was a fishing boat and she thought it would be fun to swoop down and startle the fishermen. So many these days didn’t even believe in dragons and it was high time that changed. So with no more than a passing thought that this might not be wise, Saphira sped downwards toward the boat. All of a sudden she heard the fishermen yelling in panic. Someone took out a rifle and started shooting at her, nearly catching her in the wing. Ok, Saphira thought, this isn’t worth it and she turned skyward again. So much for a little harmless fun she thought.
Saphira headed further out to sea and she enjoyed spotting dolphins swimming and sea gulls flying past (probably heading to that fishing boat with hopes of getting food). Saphira wondered why people had to start shooting as their first reaction. She hadn’t been that close and she hadn’t meant them any harm, but they didn’t even stop to ask (and yes, she could both speak and understand most human languages and she was very intelligent, not that the humans would have imagined that!). Well if that was how they were going to be then that was their loss.
Saphira found an island to land on and she sunned herself on the beach. How good, she thought, to rub in the sand and get all the itches scratched. She missed her dragon rider, Emily, who always made sure that Saphira was well-groomed, but Emily had had to go away for awhile, up to the castle to meet with other dragon riders. Both dragons and dragon riders were becoming rarer and rarer, so Emily jumped at the chance to meet with others and hear what was going on in other parts of the world, but Saphira missed her and would be happy when Emily returned.
Finally, Saphira decided she should head back for home. She took flight again and was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun on her back when she heard cries for help coming from way below her. She looked down only to see the same fishing boat that had fired upon her in the morning. But now the boat was in trouble and the fishermen were screaming for help from anyone who might be near. Only there were no other boats around them. They were totally alone in the big ocean.
At first Saphira thought, well serves you right, but then she thought no, I’m not going to stoop to their level. They are in trouble and I can help. Slowly she circled downward, ever vigilant in case the rifle was brought out again, but the fishermen were too busy bailing and trying to keep their boat afloat even to look up to see her, much less shoot at her.
When Saphira got close enough she called out to the fishermen. “I can help you,” she called. The fishermen looked dumbfounded. They couldn’t imagine where the voice was coming from. Finally one of the men looked up and saw her. He pointed and pointed and tried to shout. Again, Saphira asked if she could help. Eventually she made the captain notice her and she said to him, “I can help get you to shore if you want.”
The captain couldn’t believe his ears, but his ship was sinking around him, so he replied, “How can you do that? Our boat has sprung a major leak and it will be underwater in a very short time.”
Saphira announced that she could take three men at a time onto her back and fly them to the cliffs at the ocean’s edge. There were nine men on the boat so it would take three trips, but if they moved quickly, everyone could be saved.
At first the men were too frightened to contemplate the prospects, but they quickly realized that they had no options. Saphira came low, just above the deck level, and hovered as the first three men climbed aboard. Quickly she flew to the cliff by her home, watched the men scramble off, and headed back again to the ship. This time it was significantly lower in the water, but still she was able to hover and get the next three. By the time she came back for the last three men, the ship was sunk and the men were in a lifeboat. Saphira just grabbed the entire dingy in her claws and flew back to the cliff.
All the men were saved and all were very thankful! The captain said, “We thought all the stories of dragons were fairy tales. We didn’t know that you really existed and that you were so smart. We are very sorry we tried to shoot you this morning. How can we ever thank you?”
Saphira answered them, saying, “Try not to react first with guns. Try to remember there are other intelligent beings on this planet and if we all work together, we can make this a much better place for us all.”
The men headed back down the mountain, promising Saphira that they would let others know that dragons not only existed, but were intelligent kind creatures.