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The Queen's Dragon

(by Evie Brandford-Altsher)

Once upon a time, I was a princess. My parents, the Queen and King, provided a cozy castle for their princesses, complete with lush gardens and a shining kitchen. Such fun we had in that kitchen! One time, my sister misread the measurements of a popped corn recipe, so we used four cups of kernels instead of one-fourth of a cup. We realized our mistake as a growing mountain of puffy popcorn lifted the lid above the pot. We were laughing so hard we could barely catch any of the exploding popcorn.

All was well in the queendom, until one morning, suddenly and without warning, the Queen encountered a dragon in the woods. She took one look at its green scales, sharp talons, and heavy tail, and she ran. But the dragon chased her relentlessly; it anticipated her every move. The Queen found her courage and unsheathed her sword as the dragon roared and breathed fire at her, nearly scorching off her eyebrows. The Queen swung heartily at the dragon and slashed its side, drawing slimy silver blood. She watched in surprise as the dragon scurried away through the