The Dragon On The Lawn

“Dad, Dad, Dad.” Simon shook his father’s shoulder. Dad registered his son’s face from underneath barely-open lids.

“Dad, Dad, there’s a dragon in the garden.”

Dad screwed his face up, lifted his head an inch and peered at the clock on the bedside table. He groaned and let his head drop back onto the pillow.

“It’s six o’clock in the morning, Simon.” He slid a little further under the duvet.

“But there’s a dragon in the garden, Dad.”

“What have we said about weekends, Simon? No disturbing Mummy and Daddy until eight o’clock at the earliest.”

“But there’s a dragon in the garden.”

“Well, go see if he’s hungry. Maybe if he is I’ll get some peace and quiet.”

“But Dad …”

Dad turned over, pulling the duvet up so all Simon could see was the top of his head. Simon sighed and stomped out of the bedroom. He descended the stairs and entered the kitchen. He stood on tiptoes and looked out of the window in the back door. The dragon was still there, lying on the back lawn. Simon pulled his wellington boots onto his bare feet and opened the door. The dragon lay immobile on the grass, its back to Simon. Simon tiptoed closer, as quietly as his boots allowed.

“Hello,” he said.

The dragon groaned, but remained still.

“Dragon. Hello.”

The dragon snorted and gave a shudder. After a moment it rolled over and looked up at Simon.


It peered at Simon with blood-red eyes, trying to focus on the boy in front of it.

“Hello. Are you hungry?”

“Hungry?” It closed its eyes and considered the question. “Oh God, no. Please don’t mention food.”

Simon heaved a sigh of relief. Whilst it was quite a small dragon, the prospect of a hungry dragon of any size was not something he relished.

“Are you a dragon?” he asked. On the face of it, it seemed a strange question. The creature in front of him was dragon-shaped, but he didn’t look anything like the dragons in his books. His neck wasn’t long enough, for a start, and his tail looked too stumpy. No scales, either, but a skin that looked all rubbery.

“A dragon?” said the dragon. “Don’t be daft. There’s no such things as dragons. No, I’m a dinosaur. A Tyrannosaurus Rex.”

Simon frowned.

“No you’re not.”

“Yes I am.”

“No you’re not.”

“Yes I – look, why not?”

“T. Rexes were huge.” Simon threw his arms wide and stretched as far as he could to emphasise the point. “As big as houses, and their heads were bigger than my dad, and they could swallow a person whole.”

The dinosaur looked down at its body as it lay on the grass.

“I’ve been ill,” it said. “Besides, I smoked when I was young. Do you smoke?”

Simon shook his head.

“Good job too. It stunts your growth. Does your mum or dad smoke?” Simon shook his head again. “Pity. I would kill for a cigarette right now.”

Simon stepped back a pace, just in case.

“Anyway,” Simon said. “They’re extinct.”

“Extinct, huh? Yeah, that sounds about right. I feel like I’m dying. How come you know so much about dinosaurs?”

“Dad took me to the museum, and they had life-size models that moved, and I’ve got a book about them, and a DVD, and some toy dinosaurs.”

The dinosaur rolled onto its side and kicked it’s legs while trying to push off the ground with its small arms. After a moment or two it stopped and rolled onto its back again.

“Did any of them tell you how a T. Rex got off its back when it can hardly raise a glass to its mouth with these stupid little arms?”

Simon shook his head.

“Give me a hand, will you?” It extended a short arm. Simon stared at it for a moment, but despite its reputation as a fearsome hunter, this Jurassic killer hardly seemed to be monstrous. Simon stepped forward and grabbed the proffered claw. He leant backward and hauled, while the dinosaur grunted and shuffled its feet. Eventually it staggered upright, then bent double.

“Oh God,” it said, gasping for air. “Never again, I swear. I’m dying. This is the last time, on my mother’s life, I swear I’ll never – wait!” It straightened, then winced. “What time is it?”

“Six o’clock.”

“Six? Morning or afternoon?”

“Six o’clock in the morning, silly.”

“Six in the morning. Saturday, right?”

Simon nodded.

“Okay, okay, that’s good. Yeah, that’s fine. I can do that. Hotel, shower, change, rehearse best man’s speech, grab Steve, church by eleven. Yeah, five hours, I can get to the wedding in time. Wait. Steve.”

The dinosaur pirouetted. “Steve? Steve!”

He faced Simon again. “Have you seen Steve? He’s another dinosaur.”

“Another T. Rex?” Simon’s eyes widened. This stunted T. Rex was one thing, but if Steve was full-sized….

“No, a Stegosaurus. That’s right, isn’t it? Spines down the back?”

Simon nodded. That was okay. Stegosauruses were plant-eaters.

“Anyway, it’s not important. Have you seen any other dinosaurs at all?”

Simon shook his head. “Only you.”

“What? They left me? The little – , ” it glanced at Simon, ” – the little tinkers. Okay, okay. Never mind. Hotel. Yeah, that’s first on the list. Do you know where the George Hotel is?”

Simon shook his head.

“No? Big hotel. Flags outside. Ring any bells? No? Okay, okay I expect – wait. This is Ashton, right?”

“Yes,” said Simon.

“Good, good. I thought for a moment they’d stuck me on a train to somewhere obscure. No, no, I can do this.”

It clawed at its neck, thrashing and twisting.

“Damn. I can’t reach. Stupid design. Stupid stubby arms. Stupid, stupid zipper. No wonder they’re extinct.” It stopped and looked down at Simon. “I don’t suppose you could reach up here and, no, no, obviously not. Never mind. Um, kid, look, sorry for, you know.” It indicated the lawn with a wave of its stubby arms. “It was nice meeting you and everything, but I have to go. Bye.”

“Goodbye,” said Simon, waving his hand. The dinosaur turned and staggered towards the garden gate. Simon watched him go, then ran into the kitchen, kicked off his boots and raced through to the living room. He pulled the corner of the curtain aside and watched as the dinosaur paused on the footpath. It looked both ways along the road, turned and made its way along the street until Simon couldn’t see it anymore.

“I’m looking forward to when you’re a teenager.”

Simon turned. Mum stood in the doorway, looking tired. She smiled at him.

“Then maybe you’ll sleep in till midday like other kids. What’s this about a dragon?”

“He’s gone,” said Simon. “And he wasn’t a dragon, he was a Tyrannosaurus Rex.”

“Really? Did you have a scary dream?”

“No. He was a silly dinosaur, not scary at all.”

“Ha! Well, that’s good then. What are you going to do now?”

Simon shrugged.

“Well, me and Daddy are awake now anyway. Want to climb into our bed for snuggles?”

Simon nodded and ran towards the stairs. As his mother followed him he stopped and turned.

“If a Tyrannosaurus and a Stegosaurus got married, what would their children be?”

Mum laughed. “What? I don’t know. A Simonosaurus, I expect, the biggest monster of all. Raaaarrrr!”

Simon laughed, turned and ran up the stairs, claws raised, roaring into Dad’s bedroom.


About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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