Notes for “The Story of Jasmine” continue”
Having returned to Swartzborg Castle, Bardulf immediately set out to visit his little dragon lizard, Gryth. After his encounter with princess Flavia, he had Gryth carefully caged and taken to back to safety and did not want to risk the little creature being wounded. Bardulf gave instructions to have certain fruits cut and lavishly laid out on a plate and placed before Gryth.
When Bardulf entered the room, it was late afternoon. He noticed the fruit was hours old, but that Gryth had been recently nimbling. Gryth made noises of recognition as soon as Bardulf came near. As Bardulf greeted the creature, he opened the door of the cage. Gryth immediately jumped onto the table, spilling the plate. He leapt up into the air and circled the room several times, making loud gutteral sounds as he shrieked.
Bardulf admired his amazing way of flying. Remembering the princess’ reaction, Bardulf wondered how anyone could be so fearful of such an awesome, enchanting aerobatic little creature such as this? As Gryth shrieked in delight, Bardulf conceded, it might be the sound he made. The dragon lizard eventually landed on Bardulf’s shoulders and cooed in his ear.
Bardulf took off his gloves to stroke the creature’s nose with his index finger. Gryth’s snout was cold to the touch, and his tiny scales felt smooth. The Dark Prince answered in cooing sounds and talked to the little fellow in reassuring tones. If he loved anything in this world, it was that little creature he had stolen from his uncle.
Gryth was not easy to obtain. Several times, he tried to removed the creature from his uncle’s place, but his actions proved to be fruitless. The creature would always return to its perch. By accident, he happened to spy his uncle putting a ring on one of his gnarly old fingers. He noted how the creature immediately perked up and showed interest in the old man. It would get affectionate and would make excited screeches that were terrifying to hear. Somehow, Gryth was connected to that ring and it seemed his uncle was able to use it’s connection to command the creature’s attention.
No matter how many times he’d asked, his uncle never divulged anything about the history of this unique creature nor how he came by it. His uncle did not like the creature’s unfortunately loud and terse-sounding call. For that reason, he would take off the ring and hide it away.
Bardulf devised an elaborate plan to steal the ring and hence, the dragon. He first declared to his uncle that he was finally leaving. Several times, his uncle suggested his stay had grown quite tiresome and invited his nephew leave. Bardulf knew his uncle would welcome this chance to be rid of him and would not pay any particular interest as to why. Bardulf was surprised when his uncle gave him supplies and parting gifts. Strange, his uncle proved to be more generous upon his leaving than when he stayed.
Bardulf left, but stayed within the borders of the area. Bardulf understood that if he wanted Gryth to go with him, all he had to do was to find where his uncle hid the ring. While he was around, Bardulf figured his uncle took extra special precautions when it came to the ring’s security. He hoped, that with him gone, his uncle would relax his hyper vigilance.
Bardulf used all the magic he could muster to infiltrate his uncle’s castle without causing alarm. He became comfortably adept at moving around unseen. Finally, his patience and his stealth paid off. He spied his uncle’s hiding place.
With the ring finally in hand, Bardulf knew he could not simply put it on without arousing the creature’s alarming shrieks. So after he succeeded in pilfering the ring, he took it outside and hid it where he had stayed. Then he returned to the castle and stole the dragon lizard, who proved to be as docile as the other times he tried to take him. Only this time, with the Ring of Emeth in his possession, Gryth would stay with him.
And the best part was that his uncle could not reasonably suspect him as the thief! Now he left for good, and traveled south. He planned to take over the southern lands as surely as his uncle had taken over the northern realm — with the help of this prized dragon-lizard.
© 2018 DARLENE