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Dragons, Imagination, and Needing More Sleep
I was just sitting there holding a brown and purple dragon with a huge bolder for a tail and plastic fire in its mouth. We were in the midst of some sort of quest, us space-ranging dragons, or so I gathered listening to my cousins as they let their imaginations run wild.
“Let’s pretend he’s locked away in a tower!”
“No, no, a deep dark scary dungeon.”
“How about a dungeon on top of a tower?”
I laughed to myself. Kids can be so ironic.
“Like a cage! And the bad guys have the key!”
“Come’on Rocky! We’re going to have to rescue the Captain before the bad guys take over the galaxy!”
That was my cue. I stood up as we circled around the dining room table and I muttered something about seeing a planet in the distance.
“There he is!”
We stopped on the sofa. There was a green dragon lying there under a plastic grey basket. A red Lego was lying nearby. I reminded myself to put that away later before it got lost somewhere.
“Captain! Captain! How do we get you out of this horrible cage?”
“They buried the key at the top of the highest mountain on the Darth Mauls’ Planet!”
Cute, a Star Wars reference.
“Hurry! Let’s go!”
“Yeah, what are you waiting for, an invitation?”
So up the stairs we went.
“Dig, Dig, Dig!”
The dragons all dug their noses deep into the carpet near a yellow bubble wand.
“I found it!”
“Night fury, go fly way up high and listen for the sound of the bad guys coming!”
“Rocky, you blow fire at anyone that comes too close! We can’t loose this key!”
I told Snow the blue dragon what a good idea that was and I wandered around making fire sounds, until we had made it safely down the “mountain” with the key. Exhausted from climbing up and down the stairs but mostly from waking up at 4:30 in the morning, I crashed on the floor holding up my toy to avoid hearing demands of “Let’s play! Let’s play! COME ON let’s play!”
I had never really realized what a relaxing shade of white their ceiling was. I so needed sleep. While they chattered on about plans to break into the fortress the captain was kept in, I drifted away. I was thinking about how I used to play when I was a kid. Was I like this? When did this stop being fun? What I would give to be a 5-year-old again…
Suddenly, the white ceiling became a night sky, dotted with sparkling stars. The dining room table swirled into a spiral of white mist, the Milky Way. Chairs, sofas, and ottomans transformed into planets and the plastic toy I was holding up was a fierce dragon. I was in their imaginary world. What fun it was! Perhaps I had fallen asleep right there on the ground and ended up in some strange wish-fulfillment dream. But boy was it amazing.
I heard. Oh, this must be serious, I thought. They must have been trying to get my attention for a while if they had stopped calling me by my character name. I answered them quickly, explaining that Rocky had been sucked into a black hole, but that I was back now. I knew that I could go back to reality whenever I wanted. I didn’t want to. I was really starting to get into this! I just wanted to try something…
“Look out guys, we are about to run into an asteroid belt!”
And there they were! Giant boulders being hurled towards us by some unknown gravitational force.
“We gotta doge them!”
We flew through the sky, dodging things left and right.
We made it to the planet, and there was Captain—fearless leader of the green fleet (the most prestigious league of dragon fighters in the universe.) The heavy metal bars would not yield to anything but the shining gold key that Snow held.
“Don’t worry captain, we’re here!”
“Night fury, go gather the rest of the green fleet and tell them that their captain is free!”
“Alright! And rocky can follow behind me and take care of any unwanted followers.”
“Got it!” I said, soaring through the sky behind Night fury. We gathered all 7 green dragons and brought them back to the planet. By then, Snow had released the captain.
“Thank you so much for saving me, noble dragons.”
“Hey, what does this button do?”
Snow glided toward a red button and flicked it with her tail.
“Um, snow… I think you just turned the gravity on.”
We looked left and right just like in the cartoons and went plummeting toward the ground.
Complete hysteria. This was SO fun.
It was the oven. The chicken nuggets I had put in 20 minutes ago were done… and just like that, the sofa was a sofa, the table a table, the a ceiling, once again, a relaxing shade of white.
“Lunch time!” I announced.
“I’m not hungry!”
“You guys gotta eat.” I said, tossing rocky on the ground.
“Fine. But can we play after lunch?”
“Sure.” I said. If I’m tired enough, I thought to myself.