February 7, 2013

The Little Dragon

Illustrated by Roland Harvey

When I was on the book tour for Where is the Green Sheep? I found myself at the ABC in Adelaide in a little studio, all alone, waiting to be interviewed by a radio presenter in another part of the country. I had the earphones on but nothing was coming through them. I honestly thought I’d been forgotten.  I had come without a book (CRAZY!) and there was nothing to look at except four cell-like walls and the glass of water I’d been given. On the way into the studio I had heard news of bush fires somewhere in Australia and wondered if yet again, some maniac had lit the fire deliberately.

As I sat there, drumming my fingers, I remembered with relief that I had a tiny notebook in my handbag, for shopping lists mainly, so I took it out and wrote a rhyming story about a naughty little dragon who kept lighting fires because he just couldn’t help himself. I finished it in the ten minutes that I was sitting there waiting to be interviewed. What an enforced gift of time! That was only the first draft, of course, but I felt I had started something with potential. I hope you think so too…

‘So here’s our dragon!

Here is his sister.

Here is his brother.

Here is his father

and here is his mother.

Here is the church,

and here is the steeple.

Here is the market

and here are the people.

Here’s the mistake—

it’s a major disaster!

Here is the crowd,

running faster and faster, and…’