Saturday, June 11, 2011

Delilah and the Dragons

"Halloooo, Stars!"
Source: Google Images
Illustration by Ruth Hallock
Once upon a lovely time, there was a beautiful little girl named Delilah, who had shimmering-shining hair that glistened and glinted like gold in the moonlight.

Delilah was a wise, creative, somewhat stubborn and very curious little girl... and fortunate, too. She had a beautiful, comfortable room, which was ringed all the way around ~ just at the edge of the high ceiling ~ with rainbow colored diamonds that Daddy had carefully and painstakingly painted (just for her, just before she was born), and there was a big window that looked out at a stand of trees and showed her the twinkling stars each night.

Within the room, there was a cozy bed, a dresser inside which a fresh supply of clean clothes was always folded, pretty dresses hanging in her closet, lots of fun toys to play with, and there were oodles of illustrations ~ mostly of princesses and fantastic beasties, drawn and colored by her own hand ~ pinned up all over the lower part of the walls. Delilah always had plenty of vibrantly delicious food to eat, too, and best of all ~ the very best of all for any child, and especially for one of such spirit and imagination ~ she had a Mommy and Daddy who loved her very much, and who had lots of patience.

When it was time for her to get ready for bed, Delilah's Mommy and Daddy would take turns in the evenings giving her a bath (so they could each spend what the grown-ups called "quality Alone-Time" with their Best Girl); brushing her teeth (which she really didn't like, and which sometimes made her feel like spitting fire at her parents, even though she loved them very much, too); and generally going through a "routine" (which they hoped and prayed, each night, would help Delilah drift easily off to Dreamland).

The routine was (pretty much) always the same. After the bath and teeth-brushing, Delilah would put on her favorite princess pajamas ~ the ones she would wear every day, all day long if she could, regardless of all the other lovely clothes she had ~ and ask to play her favorite make-believe game, "The Princess and the Prince", which of course Mommy and Daddy would play with her (mostly because they enjoyed the game, too). Usually, she liked to act out a few select, favorite parts with them, telling them what to do and say, and almost always directing them to pretend that the princess and prince were saving each other from an evil force, like a nasty monster or a flame-breathing dragon. It was great fun, and of course the princess and prince would always triumph over their nasty foe.

Illustration credit:
Then Delilah would get into her comfy, cozy bed for what her parents always hoped would soon be sleeping, but first... Mommy and Daddy would take turns reading bedtime stories. Delilah knew her parents loved it when she would look at books with or without them, so every night she would ask for more books and more books, hoping to stall off the inevitable moment when Mommy or Daddy would turn off the light and wish her a good night.

When Mommy and Daddy were finally exhausted from reading books to her, they would say,
     "No more books, sweet Delilah. It's time for BED."

And sometimes ~ sweet blessing of the heavens! ~ Delilah would actually settle in at that point, and drift off to sleep. But sometimes, when she'd had a very bad day because she'd fallen down at the park, or because she'd misplaced her favorite doll, or was frustrated because Mommy and Daddy wouldn't let her have another cookie before bedtime, or because she was good and angry about being made to brush her teeth, Delilah would throw a tantrum. Not just any tantrum, but a TANTRUM!

It would start with a tremble, and her tiny jaw would set very hard. Her eyes would tear with sad rage, her sweet face would tighten and take the shape of a little monster, her skin would turn boiling red, and she could feel the fire rising inside as her frustration bubbled up and bursted out like flaming words from her mouth:
     "I want MORE books! I want to hear 'Sleeping Beauty' again!!!"

"Wanna go 
for a ride...?"
Illustration credit: Google Images
And as her bad feelings were boiling over onto the people she loved the most ~ trusting that they would love her, too (no matter what she did, even if they didn't like what she did sometimes), knowing that she was in the safest room in the world ~ that was the point at which she would start to think about her favorite part of "Sleeping Beauty": The Dragon! 

Then she would think about the Dragon some more, and then she would think about Mommy and Daddy leaving her alone in her room WITH THE DRAGON

So, when the time came on one of "those" nights when Mommy and Daddy would kiss her goodnight and say,
     "No more stories, now. All done for tonight. We'll see in you in the morning, Dear One..." 

. . . Delilah would think to herself,
     "Yeah, right! See me in the morning? No you WON'T, because the DRAGON will burn me with its fiery breath, and tear me into pieces with its horrible teeth, and eat me before morning if you leave me alone with it!"

But instead of saying that, which felt too scary even to speak aloud, she would cry to her parents,
    "MOMMY! DADDY! Don't LEAVE me! There's a ginormous, angry DRAGON IN MY ROOM!" 

Then Mommy would say,
      "Oh, my dearest. The Dragon can be very scary. But it's just in your imagination, my love. It's not REAL. You're SAFE here in your room. We'll be very close by and won't let anything harm you."

"Grrrrrr! Give me all your 
Illustration credit: Google Images
And Delilah would respond,
   "NO! There IS a nasty DRAGON in my room! And an evil snake, plus a bad man! AND there's a MONSTER in my closet!!!" 

Then Daddy would jump up into the middle of the room, whirling around like a Kung Fu master, saying,
     "Just let me at 'em! Where are they?! Are they hiding under your covers?!" 

And Daddy would grab a big blow-up bat from the toy box, and beat it vigorously around Delilah's bed ~ where Mommy would join her to sit and cuddle her closely, while Daddy would roust the nasty dragon and the evil snake and the bad man AND the monster from their hiding places, and scare them right out the window ~ as Delilah's frightened yells would turn to squeals of satisfied delight, to which Daddy would respond,
     "Hah! They think they can scare ME? They think they can scare MY little girl?!"

Then Daddy would run to the closet and beat the blow-up bat around inside it, saying in a loud voice,
      "Hey! Any bad beasties in here better get out NOW before me and the Mama Bear get roaring angry with you!"

And all three of them would smile and giggle together ~ Delilah flashing her most radiant cheek-to-cheek grin, exposing her clean, gleaming teeth (well, most of them, as some were missing then) ~ while Daddy would make silly faces and hit himself over the head softly with the blow-up bat to make everyone giggle and laugh some more. And Mommy would squeeze Delilah ever so gently, asking in a soft and loving way,
      "Do you think they're all gone now? Do you feel safe now, Sweetness?"

"Yep, they're all gone now,
Photo credit: Google Images
Delilah would then hopefully (if cautiously) look around her room ~ quickly but surely glancing at each of the rainbow colored diamonds edged all the way around at the ceiling (to make sure no evil snakes were hiding up there), swiftly examine her cozy bed (to make sure no nasty dragons were under her quilt), and scan the toys about the room (to be certain no bad men or monsters were hiding among her things) ~ and sure enough, all of the mean ol'beasties would be gone!

Well, that is... except for one. (They'd been through the routine a number of times, so Mommy and Daddy were always ready for this part, but still it would make their hearts skip a beat or two . . .) After all the nasty beasties were gone ~ after Daddy had scared them all away, and Mommy had soothed her fears ~ Delilah would exclaim,
     "WAIT! There's one left! And it's a sweet little baby dragon! Oh, come here sweet little dragon... I will name you Puff."  

"Do you remember the first night
you arrived in my room...?"
Illustration Credit: Google Images
Dear little Delilah would reach out her arms, and the tiny dragon would climb into Delilah's soft little hands, which were always cupped with tender, loving care. And she would say to the baby,
     "Do you miss your Mommy and Daddy? You can sleep with ME, sweet little dragon. You can be my special, special baby dragon!"

Then she would hold out her warm, gently cupped hands and say to her Mommy and Daddy,
     "Look! It's my sweet baby dragon named Puff! Do you want to kiss him?"

Mommy and Daddy would lean over ~ both of them wearing sweet, wide smiles ~ and kiss Delilah's hands (where they figured Puff would be, as they could not see him), and Delilah would enjoy seeing and feeling and smelling AND hearing her little dragon wriggle in delight.  Then Mommy and Daddy would kiss Delilah good night, and Delilah would settle down onto her soft pillow, nestle in under her warm quilt (being very careful not to knock about Puff), and place the sweet baby dragon right next to her chest. Then ~ in her best, soft whisper ~ she would say into his ear, while nestling him close,
     "There you go, little one... Listen to my heartbeat. It's telling you that you're safe now."

"I'm dreeeaming of a 
whiiiiiite dragonnnnn...."
Photo credit: Google Images
Knowing that this signaled Delilah was quite hopefully ready to settle in for sleeping ~ at last! ~ Mommy and Daddy would say as they turned out the light,
     "Good night, Dear One... Sleep tight... Sweet dreams ... We LOVE you... See you in the morning!"

And Delilah ~ like baby Puff ~ now feeling very safe, would smile and respond,
     "I love YOU! See you in the morning..."  

. . . then turn to Puff and smile, and say in her best, soft whisper,
     "And I love you, TOO, and I'll see YOU in the morning! Now, let's count allllll the rainbow diamonds you can see on my wall. Ready? I'll start. One... Two... Three... Four... Five... Six... SevenzzzzzZZZZzzzzz..."  

~*        ~*        ~*        ~*        ~*        ~*         ~*

Illustration credit: Google Images
...or is it? (^_^)


  1. Teela's Review:
    It was funny. My favorite part was Puff because I like the song, "Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee." I like this story because it reminds of when my mommy and daddy put me to bed and it's interesting.
    Maren here: I loved the story, so nice to read and very sweet!

  2. Also, I have to say that Teela was riveted. She didn't get bored with the story at all!

  3. YEA! Thanks for serving as "beta readers" for my first children's story. LOVE you two (and the rest o'yooz, too) xoxoxo