I have one of the toughest jobs around. I herd dragons. Believe me that is one tough job. If you ever watched “How to Train your Dragon” or a Harry Potter movie, you know what I’m talking about.
Dragons are naturally rambunctious critters. They fly around when you want them to stay put, sort of like three-year-old children. They fight over who has the shiniest coat and who has the biggest fangs. When they start flame-throwing contests, you’d better hide or at least run for your flame-retardant suit. NASCAR doesn’t own enough suits to keep me supplied. Have you ever tried to lift a fire extinguisher large enough to douse a dragon’s belch? Not easy, I tell you.
If you think that’s bad, you should see them when they begin imbibing. They don’t care whose beer they steal as long as there is plenty of it. If there aren’t enough beer barrels to go around, the dragons begin rioting. They’re fussing and fighting and throwing flames all over the place. That’s when you have to try to herd them back to their gigantic dragon corrals. Herding sober dragons is hard enough, but when they’re drunk. . . . They fall all over the place, singe each other’s wings, and roar loud enough to be heard across the ocean.
On top of that they don’t like to sort themselves out by type and color. That’s something I must do because dragon aficionados, just like horse owners, have their favorite breeds and colors. One problem is that big black dragons don’t want to associate with small green ones or middle size blue ones, but at the same time they don’t want to be separated. They want to mingle so they can fight when they feel like it. One dragon has been in so many fights that he no longer has any hide left. However, that hasn’t stopped him. He’s still in there biting, kicking, snarling and throwing flames.
Thankfully, I have assistants that help. Fairies fly around the rowdy dragons and attempt magic spells to calm them. Sometimes it works, but occasionally even fairy magic isn’t enough. Unicorns assist with round-ups to prepare the dragons for sale. The unicorns surround the dragons, separate them by breed and color, then escort them into their separate corrals. These magical creatures do their best, but even when the dragons are compliant, unicorn magic doesn’t always work. It only takes one hyper-active dragon who skipped his tranquilizer hay to start a ruckus. Then away we go again.
This is a never ending job. Talk about stressful. My doctor keeps telling me to get a quieter job. I suppose she’s right. But – believe me dragon herders are paid extremely well and get excellent benefits. For example, no other company can touch our medical and life insurance plans.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my flight of fancy. In reality I work in the Pot o’ Gold Magic Shop at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Working with magical creatures all day can stimulate fanciful ideas.
© by Sharon D. Dillon, June 8, 2015
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com