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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

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                                 THE LAST DRAGON
                                 Gerald del Campo
           In  the land of Oz lived a great Wizard named  Albert  Creemshaw.
           He  was  loved  by everyone, and became  quite  popular  when  he
           destroyed the Last Dragon in a great battle between the forces of
           oppression and the powers of Freedom.
           When  the villagers heard that the monster had been  killed  they
           rushed  the  mountain  side where the Dragon  had  its  nest  and
           proceeded to break the eggs; thereby insuring the destruction  of
           the creatures forever.
           What they did not know, was that Albert had snuck one of the eggs
           out before the villagers got there. He cared for it in his Castle
           and through his great magical ability he was able to  genetically
           alter  the dragon fetus so that it would soon be the  watcher  of
           the people; a symbol of freedom and great strength.  But he  kept
           this a secret from the people because they were not ready yet for
           the trial which awaited them; they would just have ganged up  and
           tried  to kill the Little Dragon.  He became a Hermit  and  loved
           the little creature.
           One day the Wizard received a message from his God that he  would
           have  to move on, and release his body the way that  a  butterfly
           sheds its cocoon.  So Albert called for the Council of The  Sword
           and Shield, a ruling body of his most trusted students, and  told
           them about the little dragon.  At first they were repulsed by the
           idea of bringing up the offspring of the object of their  misery;
           but  the Magician persuaded them by telling them that the  little
           dragon  would  soon be the symbol of freedom and  strength:  they
           swore by the Warrior Gods they would care for it.
           The following evening, while the Full Moon shined on the peaceful
           waters of Oz, Albert and his God left forever.
           Upon  finding  their  Master  dead,  the  Council  released   the
           information  about the Little Dragon to the people of  Oz.    The
           people  of Oz loved Albert as much as he loved them,  and   after
           they saw how fragile this poor orphaned creature was they decided
           amongst themselves that they would honor those raising the little
           dragon,  for the dragon would represent all of the things  Albert
           himself stood for.
           Things  went well, for a while.  The favoritism displayed by  the
           people  of Oz towards the Priests and Priestesses that cared  for
           the  Dragon created turmoil:  all of the sudden there were  power
           struggles within the Council, its members were fighting over  who
           would  supervise  the education of the Little Dragon,  who  would
           feed  it, who would educate it.  They set up  rules  specifically
           designed  to  make it impossible for others to reach  the  grades
           appropiate  to  caring for the Dragon so that only a few  on  top
           could  reap  the benefits associated with caring for  the  Little
           One would say:  "I have risked my life and given all so that  the
           little  dragon  could have food", and his ego was  pleased.   The
           other  would say:  "While you first despised the dragon  I  stood
           fast in my duty to care for it, for I have kept my word", and her
           ego was satisfied.
           The  people were so impressed by the "devotion and  selflessness"
           of  The Council that certain members were given gifts of  silver,
           gold,  spices,  and women.  Treated as Gods for  their  sense  of
           Everyone  at  The Council became so preoccupied  with  the  power
           struggle,  and with keeping their peers in lower  positions  that
           they forgot about the little, fragile Dragon.  When they  finally
           gained  their  senses, and returned to the Castle  where  it  was
           guarded   they  found  it  dead,  starved  from   attention   and
           sustenance.   They then realized that empty, lost feeling  Albert
           himself would have felt, if HE had killed the Last Dragon.

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