Once upon a time, there was a little dragon called Elliot. He lived in a lovely cave with his Mama Dragon, Dadda Dragon and toddler brother Callum Dragon. They loved one another very much.
Elliot the Dragon’s favourite food to eat was cheese, and his least favourite food was broccoli. Elliot the Dragon wished that he could have cheese all day every day for every meal, and he wished he never had to eat broccoli. The thing is, you need both cheese and broccoli. Broccoli makes you big and strong, and cheese makes your bones big and strong. So the best thing for growing up to be a big strong dragon is to eat both cheese and broccoli.
Elliot the Dragon knew this, but he still didn’t want to eat broccoli. He knew it was good for him, but he just didn’t like it. His mama tried everything to get him to eat it. She told him he could have cheese at the end if he ate it, but he just wanted the cheese straight away. So she tried giving him the cheese on the promise that he would eat the broccoli. Still he wouldn’t eat it.
Then one day, Elliot the Dragon hid the broccoli. His mama couldn’t find it anywhere – not in the fridge or the pantry or under the table. When she asked Elliot about it, he had a funny smile on his face, the kind that told her she was lying. He said he was smiling about something else, but that was another lie.
Now, the thing about lies is, they’re like digging, and the more you tell, the deeper you go. That’s what happened to Elliot. Every time he told a lie about the broccoli, the floor beneath him moved a bit lower down. At first, it seemed OK and Elliot though he could step out of it, but soon it was as deep as his middle, then as deep as his head, then over his head, and every time he told a lie, it got deeper and deeper.
Even worse, the lies didn’t help him! His mama just went and got some more broccoli and she told him he had to eat it anyway! He’d hid the broccoli and lied about it, and it didn’t even make a difference!
Elliot the Dragon started to think that maybe he wanted to get out of this hole. After all, it was just him in the hole and it was pretty lonely. Also, there was no cheese in the hole! That was up the top with his mama!
Sometimes, Elliot the Dragon felt a bit scared in the hole, down there all on his own. So he started to think about ways to get out of the hole. Since he’s a dragon and all dragons can fly, he thought maybe he could fly out, but the hole was too narrow for him to stretch out his wings, and he discovered he couldn’t fly. Then he thought about his sharp claws. Maybe he could use those to hold on and scratch his way to the top. But the sides of the hole were slippery, and his claws just slipped right off. Elliot the Dragon began to think that maybe he was stuck, just him down there forever.
Just as he was starting to get pretty worried, someone else appeared in the hole with him. It was a Dove. Her wingspan was smaller than Elliot the Dragon’s so she could fly in and out of the hole, and she explained that she had flown in to be with him because he was feeling upset. She told him the secret to getting out of the hole. The only way, she said, was to tell the truth.
Little Elliot the Dragon hung his head. He was worried about telling the truth about where the broccoli was. He thought maybe he would get in trouble for hiding the broccoli and for lying about it. He didn’t want to face that. That was why he had lied in the first place. But the dove said to him, “Look up to the top of the hole where your mama is.”
When Elliot looked up, he saw his mama’s face, and she wasn’t angry. She was looking at him with love, and hope, waiting for him to come out of the hole.
Elliot the Dragon turned to the Dove, and said, “OK, tell me more about how to get out of the hole.”
The Dove explained that it was something they could do together. She told Elliot the Dragon to hop on her back. Even though she was small, she was mighty and could carry him all the way up.
Then she told him to say the truth about where the broccoli was. At first Elliot the Dragon just whispered it, and she moved a little bit, so Elliot tried a little louder, and she moved some more. Elliot saw how powerful the truth was, with the Dove’s help, so he yelled out where the broccoli was: “It’s in the cabbage patch!” And zoom, the Dove shot up, with Elliot on her back and he rocketed straight into his mama’s arms. She hugged him hard and said she was so glad to have him back, and together they stuffed themselves with delicious cheese.
Categories: Written by Tamie
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.