A kind boy learns about a baby dragon who needs help. He goes on an adventure to save the dragon from Wild Island!
Chapter 4 – I Find the River
The jungle began just beyond the narrow beach. It was a thick, dark, damp, scary jungle. I hardly knew where to go, so I crawled under a bush to think. I ate eight tangerines from my backpack.
The first thing to do, I decided, was to find the river, because the dragon was tied somewhere along the river bank. Then I thought, “If the river flows into the ocean, I should be able to find it quite easily if I just walk along the beach far enough.” So I walked until the sun rose and I was quite far from the ocean rock path. It was dangerous to stay near them because they might be guarded in the daytime. I found a clump of tall grass and sat down, hidden. Then, I took off my rubber boots and ate three more tangerines. I could have eaten twelve, but I hadn’t seen any tangerines on the island so I knew I couldn’t refill my backpack. I needed to start rationing the tangerines so that I didn’t run out of food.
I slept all that day and only woke up late in the afternoon when I heard a funny little voice. The voice was saying, “Strange! Strange! What a range little stock! No, no, I mean what a strange little rock!
Without moving, I looked and saw a tiny paw scratching at my backpack. It was a little mouse! I laid very still and the mouse hurried away. It was muttering, “I must smell tum one! No, no, I mean I must tell someone!”
I waited a few minutes and then started walking down the beach because it was almost dark again. And I was also afraid that the mouse really would tell somebody. I walked all night and two scary things happened.
First, I had to sneeze, so I did, and somebody close by said, “Is that you, Monkey?” I said, “Yes.” Then, the voice said, “You must have something on your back, Monkey,” and so I said again, “Yes,” because I did. I had a backpack on my back. “What do you have on your back, Monkey?” asked the voice.
I didn’t know how to respond because what would a monkey have on its back, and how would a monkey sound telling someone about it? Just then, another voice said, “I bet you’re taking your sick grandmother to the doctor.” With relief, I said, “Yes,” and hurried away. Later on, I realized that I had been talking to a pair of tortoises.
The second thing that happened was that I nearly walked right between two wild boars who were talking in low solemn whispers. When I first saw the dark shapes, I thought they were boulders. Just in time, I heard one of them say, “There are three signs of a recent invasion. First, fresh tangerine peels were found under a bush near the Ocean Rocks. Second, a mouse reported an extraordinary rock that was near the Ocean Rocks. We investigated, but it wasn’t there anymore. However, more fresh tangerine peels were found in the same spot, which is the third sign of invasion. Since tangerines do not grow on our island, somebody must have brought them across the Ocean Rocks from the other island. It might have something to do with the appearance and/or disappearance of the extraordinary rock that was reported by the mouse.”
After a long silence, the other boar said, “You know, I think we’re taking all this too seriously. Those peels probably floated here all by themselves, and you know how unreliable mice are. Besides, if there had been an invasion, I would have seen it!”
“Maybe you’re right,” said the first boar. “Should we give up on it?”
Then, they both walked back into the jungle.
Well, that taught me a lesson. After that, I saved all my tangerine peels. I walked all night. By morning, I came to the river. That is when all my troubles really began.