Skip to main content

Dragon Rider

Once upon a time, a boy lived in a seaside village. Every night when the moon was full, he sat on the beach and watched the dragons come down from the mountains to bathe in the moonlight.

Then one night the boy jumped into the sea, swam out to the dragons and climbed on to the back of one of them. The dragon didn't mind, and the boy sat there until it rose from the water and flew away with him. His family were very sad at first, but whenever the dragons came back so did the boy, year after year until he was a grown man, and he lived to be so old that his hair turned white.

Only then did he come back to visit his brothers and sisters in the village, and see their children and grandchildren. But no sooner was he back than he fell ill - so ill that no one could help him. On a night when the dragon rider's fever was particularly bad, a solitary dragon came down from the mountains, even though there was no moon. He settled outside the dragon rider's hut and breathed gentle blue fire all over it. When morning came the dragon flew away again. But the dragon rider was cured, and he lived for many, many years - so many that there came a time when everyone had lost count of them. And as long as he lived, enough rain fell on the village fields every year, and the fisherman's nets were always full.

When finally he died, the villagers built a tomb in honour of the dragon rider and the dragons. and once more, the night after his funeral, a solitary dragon came down from the mountains and breathed dragon-fire over these white walls. Since then, they say, any sick person who touches the stones of these walls will be cured too. When the land is cold by night and people are freezing, they can find a warm place here, for the stones are always as warm as if the dragon-fire lived on in them.

(Dragon Rider, page 292-293, by Cornelia Funke)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Panic or panick

There is only one spelling for panic; the verb is inflected 'panic, panics, panicked, and panicking’. The form panick is used for progressive tense, past tense and past participle. We don't write panick today, though English speakers from a few hundred years ago might have (in the same way they might have written musick).

When the alternate spelling “panick” is used for the past participle: "I panicked last night at the disco." When it’s use for progressive tense: “Invariably, when markets are panicking, they sell the stocks quickly.”

It's the rule for root words ending in "c" is that you have to add “k”, so the spelling is related with the pronunciation. If we don't add the <k>, it looks as if the <c> has to be pronounced /s/. If the "k" was not there, “panicing” would look like the word which is supposed to be pronounced as if it is ended in "sing," while “paniced” would be pronounced like “panised”.

The same would …

Penny Hang

In Victorian times, many people flocked into the city, the cheap houses were badly built, cold and damp. In London, as many as forty people could have been found living in a tiny terraced house, with ten, or more, people in a single room.

Unable to find rooms, many lived in cellars, under bridges, or even in sewers. Homeless people or drunks out on the street could hire a 'penny hang'. This was a space on a thick rope. Two hooks fixed in the walls,  ropes strung in parallel from one side to another at about shoulder height. You would enter the penny hang, after paying a penny. There was no room to lie down. You hung across it. In the morning, the proprietor could come down and untie one end of the ropes, so that the clientele who had not managed to wake up and stagger out already would collapse together in a heap on the floor.

PEMDAS

"PEMDAS" - parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, is the "order of operation" in a single math expression.