Reasons Not to Bother a Dragon

Dragons keep your sheep well-exercised.

Dragons keep beer flowing,
conversations lively,
and peasants paying taxes.

Dragons breathe fire—
ferocious flaming fireballs of fire
that flambé foolish fellows.

Dragons are reluctant to tell you
where they have hidden their treasure.

If they have any treasure in the first place.

Which most of us don’t,
because the biggest dragons take it all.

And you really don’t want to bother them,
because those dragons are as old as they are big,
and they’ll talk until your scales drop off.

Plus they are capricious,
cantankerous and curmudgeonly.
Likely as not, they’ll toast you
just for practice.

Also, dragons have baby dragons:
adorable little golden-eyed hatchlings
who would starve if you orphaned them.

(Although the hatchlings are delicious
before their scales harden.)

—Mary Soon Lee