Skip to content


The sun began to take away the chill from the night’s flight. They had slept fairly well, but awoke on several occasions when Verdant had swerved to correct his direction. The flapping of his wings had become an expected and comforting sound, like that of a pendulum of a grandfather clock. That sound accompanied with expanding and decreasing of dragon’s side as he breathed kept Joel aware that Verdant was alive. Knowing that Verdant was alive and would not want to crash as compared to a large uncaring piece of metal, made Joel more confident with dragon flight than any airplane he had ever been in.

Nathanial and Verdant had passed the night talking about many things, from ant farms to fairy tales. Verdant was a very talkative dragon, one that could make the most nervous people at ease, and he had many entertaining talents. A beautiful singing voice was perhaps his strongest, and as they flew towards a growing speck of land, he sang to his passengers or maybe to himself.

No one flies, like my dragonfly,

Though many a feathery bird has tried.

I’ve soared on savage winds up high,

And floated on summer’s breeze have I.

Many planets have I been,

Many countries have I seen.

But no matter where I’ve wandered,

No beast have I encountered

That swims in the sky

Like my dragonfly.

No one flies, like my dragonfly,

Though many a feathery bird has tried.

He has four wings clear as glass

He flies wherever I may ask.

God made him a friend for me,

And I became a friend for he.

When together I fly with pride,

But I look clumsy at his side

As he swims in the sky

Oh my dragonfly.

No one flies, like my dragonfly,

Though many a feathery bird has tried.

No one flies, like my dragonfly.

“Verdant,” said Joel, “you are a talented lizard.”

“How did you learn so many things, and become good at so many things?” asked Lily.

“Save flying,” mumbled Marc who was feeling a little queasy from the night flight.

After the two early morning compliments, Verdant’s green cheeks turned a few shades darker, and he turned his head from the passengers bashfully. “I guess it’s from all the lives I’ve had and the people I’ve met, through dreams or reality. I have a friend who calls it soul stealing, and he believes that we all do it. With everyone we meet we take something of them with us, whether they would like us to or not. It’s the ‘not’ part that scares me, because those are the parts we should probably leave behind. Anyway, I’ve been fortunate in that since I arrived here I’ve met many good people whose pieces of souls have mended many holes in my old dream personality.”

“Soul stealing,” said Nathanial. “Its name makes it seem like a bad thing when really it’s very good. Maybe it should be soul giving?”

Verdant turned his head toward Nathanial and he seemed to re-evaluate his opinion of Nathanial. He gave him a smile and a nod then turned back to his flying. “Maybe it should, Nathanial,” he said, then he snorted to himself, “Maybe it should.”

Verdant flew close to a kilometre inland before he came down for a landing. For his passengers’ facility more than anything else he looked for a road before he landed. He figured it inconsiderate to drop them off in a new land without any direction. He descended too fast for Marc’s liking. But for a few saddle sores, no one suffered when they were returned their shaky legs to the God blessed earth.

“Where are you going now?” asked Verdant.

“We’re not really sure,” said Joel. “We’re just misfit toy’s looking for a home, and another Christmas just past us up.”

“Don’t listen to him,” interjected Marc. “We’re looking for answers from God.”

Verdant stopped for a second and thought about what each boy had said. “Then I’ll take this opportunity to say goodbye to each of you. And,” he looked to Marc, “I want to wish you well in your search for a home.” Marc tried to say something, but nothing would come to his tongue. Verdant gave everyone one last look, nod and smile. Then he looked over to Joel, “Anyone who isn’t a Sorom is a misfit. Being a misfit isn’t all bad, ask any Sorom.”

Verdant turned toward the wind and began his take off manoeuvres. He had not improved his technique since yesterday. When he was airborne he turned around and flew over his passengers and waved to them. Everyone waved in return, and yelled their version of a goodbye.

As Verdant flew back toward the ocean and the way they had come, the party of travellers walked in the opposite direction down an unpaved road. To Marc, Joel, and Lily this reminded them of their earlier travels which seemed like years away but in reality were less days then they had digits to count them on.

“How come, it is,” asked Meribah to Marc, “that on a road so well trodden we haven’t seen anyone for hours. It must be near dinner, and we still haven’t seen a soul.”

In answer to her question came the loud and scared words, “Not one step further! I don’t know where you devils came from, but come any closer and I’ll call the Sorom and the Saints.”

As soon as the speakers words were shouted everyone turned to face him. There on a rock, which was face high with the travellers, lay a snake. He was unlike any snake that they had ever seen. He sported the most colourful scales, and intricate patterns of all butterflies. His piercing blue eyes and sneer let his observers know that he meant what he said.

“Devils? Now just wait a second.” Marc came forward. “What kind of creature greets another in heaven in that manner,” said Marc, a statement not a question.

The snake looked over Marc’s shoulder to Joel. “You, demon lord, how dare you send a lieutenant to speak on your behalf?” The snake flicked his tongue at Marc, and Marc was hurled backwards to fall behind Joel.

Joel took a step forward, “We are not devils and I’m no demon lord. We are only travellers, discovering the wonders of heaven.”

“Oh, well said.” The snake spat on the ground. “And well practised too, I bet. A devil who clearly carries weapons of death. I’d wager your sword is only a whittling knife and your spear is only a walking stick. Do you think you speak to a fool, rather than Povit, oldest of earth snakes?”

“Both are gifts. The sword is archangel Micheal’s and the spear is for fishing,” explained Joel. “So if you’d let us pass, we are looking for food and bed.”

“Oh, clever devil, you’d have me believe that five angels, only two of whom have wings, flew over an ocean to land here? Then began to walk down my highway,” snarled Povit. “Regardless, I won’t let you pass, and if I did, you’d not find food or bed for many days.”

“What do you…” started Lily.

“What! Ho! Everyone off the highway.” Povit flicked his tongue and everyone joined Marc who was still siting in the dirt across the road from Povit.

Slithering sounds came from the way they had come. Everyone looked down the road to see thousands of snakes slithering towards them. If they would have had legs, they might have been galloping. Snakes of all colour and breed, poisonous and non, swam in that river of swirling mass. Meribah put her hands over her ears to block the sound of scales on sand and the tongues whisking through the air. In fifteen minutes the snakes had passed by them and were out of their sight.

“Now then,” said Povit. “What were you saying?”

Lily stepped closer, “I was going to ask why there was a road so well kept and no towns near by, but I’ve deduced the answer when your friends went by.”

“No, not friends. They are my subjects and I am their ruler. Or king, if you like.” Povit looked back towards Joel, “You, demon lord, you and your crew will stay here for the evening and tomorrow you shall go back to whence you came.”

Joel was going to say something about his rights, but remembering the snakes control over their bodies he decided better to agree. “Yes Povit, we shall do as you please. But will you tell us what we shall do here?”

“You shall talk with me and entertain me. Because the company of a devil is better than no company at all.” Povit nodded his head.

Povit scratched his forehead with his tail, “So tell me about yourself, devil.”

“Why do you continue to call us devils?” asked Marc. “You of all creatures. Everyone knows that snakes are the devil’s creatures. It was a snake that help to ruin mankind.”

“Watch your tongue, evil one!” warned Povit. “For I am the one of whom you speak. Yes, don’t look at me with such faces, it was I who convinced Eve to eat the apple.” He brought his tail up to his head and leaned on it, while rolling his eyes. “I was slithering through the garden one morning, when I saw a fruit which had fallen to the ground. It was red in colour, and promised to be a most tasty fruit. Not knowing any better I had taken a bite, and it was then that I learned the difference between good and evil. I had become a god.”

“Then,” said Meribah, “you and not Lucifer tempted Eve.”

“Yes, and what a terrible weight to carry on my conscience.” explained Povit. “After I became a god I looked about the garden for someone to philosophize with, but there was no one. I was the only god there. And so I waited in the apple tree for someone to come. I didn’t wait long; ten minutes later along came Eve. Well, I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I thought who else would know. I alone in Eden knew what evil was. A few minutes later Eve had become the first human to understand, she was the first sentient human. It is my contention that from then on women have always been more intelligent. Oh yeah, shortly after Adam joined in and we were talking up a storm.”

“Not exactly how I heard it,” said Nathanial.

“Yeah, well now you’re hearing it first hand.” The snake spit on the road again. “So we were talking up a storm and along comes God. Well, when I saw him I was a little frightened and fell from the tree, forcing the apple out of my stomach, and chocking it up on to the ground. The next thing you know, I’m just another dumb snake waiting to die so that I could be a god again. Now when God came and saw that his innocent children had become gods, he flipped and sent them packing. Now I have to ask you, just what did He expect to happen? He makes humans in his image, did he expect them to stay dumb animals forever? If He would have thought ahead, He would have realized you can’t go and make god-children and expect them not to grow up. He should have been mad at Himself and not the poor couple.” Povit looked at the sinking sun. “What would happen if I didn’t plan ahead and eat well before night? I would have a tummy ache when my system slowed down and the sun couldn’t warm my cold blood.”

“Oh!” said Lily. “I think I’ve an idea. Come everyone lets leave this poor excuse for a snake and start off again.” Lily walked away daring the snake to try to bring her back.

“Don’t make me do it,” Povit yelled. “You may get hurt.”

“You and I both know that you can’t. Come on everyone when the sun goes down, Povit can’t use his little power of motion.”

Everyone left Povit sitting alone and lonesome.

Nathanial turned around and yelled, “Bye Povit. It’s been a pleasure, you are a good story teller.”

Everyone laughed while Povit cursed under his breath, but the travellers were not laughing at Povit. They laughed at Nathanial’s sincerity.

They walked for another hour before going to sleep. Before setting up camp, they made sure to stay well away from the snake highway. “It could be a very scary and unpleasant way to wake up,” explained Joel.