When Aliss told her parents about the Rose Dragon, they were very surprised to find out that their daughter had befriended a dragon, but they accepted the dragon and told her that she may stay in the garden for as long as she wished.
Aliss and the Rose Dragon became the dearest friends. Aliss’ morning and afternoon excursions to the garden now included delightful meetings with the dragon as well as the flowers. The Rose Dragon was perfectly agreeable to allowing the girl to climb up on her back and slide down off of her long neck. They would chase eachother through the garden and tumble and wrestle and laugh until their sides ached. Sometimes the dragon would tease Aliss by gently butting her like a young goat while she was tending to the flowers or reading or daydreaming at her table, and sometimes Aliss would retaliate by gently tugging the dragon’s tail and running off to hide under a hedge or behind a bush. The dragon always found her, and when she did the two of them would laugh and embrace and taunt eachother playfully. Aliss taught the dragon the songs and stories she learned at school, and the dragon would quietly and respectfully listen and nuzzle her in approval when she finished.
The spring turned to summer, and the Rose Dragon remained in Aliss’ garden. Aliss was released from school and was free to spend entire days with her. At night, the Rose Dragon would open up her rose petal wings and Aliss would climb into them, and the two of them would sleep together amongst the frogs and crickets that came into the garden to sing their songs.
One afternoon Aliss’ parents were leaving for an out-of-town wedding. They told Aliss that they would be away until next afternoon, and that a friend of the family named Kara would be coming to keep an eye on things.
“Can’t my dragon take care of me?” Aliss asked.
“Of course she can,” said Aliss’ mother. “Kara will only be dropping in to make sure the two of you are all right.”
Aliss’ eyes widened. “What will Kara say about my dragon?” she asked in alarm.
“We told Kara all about your dragon,” Aliss’ mother assured her, “and she promised that she wouldn’t do anything to disturb her.”
Even after this reassurance, Aliss did not trust Kara. When her parents left, she ran to the garden and warned the Rose Dragon, “My parents will be away until tomorrow afternoon, and their friend is dropping by to check on things.” The Rose Dragon bared her fangs in alarm, and Aliss knew she would have to be very protective of her until her parents returned.
Aliss stayed by the Rose Dragon’s side, and the two of them remained vigilant when Kara dropped by. But when Kara saw the dragon, she only waved politely to her and didn’t get too close. “She is a beautiful dragon,” she told Aliss. “You are very lucky to be her friend.”
“I am!” cried Aliss. “I am very lucky to be her friend!” Aliss stopped worrying about Kara, and Kara treated the dragon with respect. She let Aliss stay out in the garden, and brought dinner for her and the dragon to Aliss’ table.
“The Rose Dragon doesn’t eat food like me,” Aliss explained to Kara. “She eats sunlight and water, just like flowers.”
“I see,” said Kara, and took the extra food inside to save for the next day. As much as she wanted to get to know the dragon herself, she had been told that the dragon was very distrusting of humans, and she didn’t want to do anything that might alarm her.Aliss and the dragon spent the rest of the afternoon playing hide and seek in the hedges, and that night Aliss slept curled up in the dragon’s soft rose petal wings.