(c) 1994, Dominique Millette
Donna the Dragon was very big and strong. She could shoot flames six feet high and terrified many people. Her large feet made enormous craters wherever she went. Sometimes she would smash up houses by accident.
But Donna was so timid that she always hid her face and never looked where she was going or saw what she did. She kept to herself, since she couldn’t remember having a mother or father and didn’t know where to find them or anyone related to her. People got angry at her and cursed her heartily every time she made a mess. However, Donna didn't understand why so many people shouted at her.
You see, Donna thought she was a bunny rabbit. Many years before, when Donna was a dragonlet, some of the villagers had mocked her and called her a rabbit.
Donna was quite certain that this was still true. She didn't like being a bunny rabbit, because it made her feel small and helpless. As a result, she was often upset. Donna wanted to be like the dragons, who were strong and quite friendly, as far as she knew, but she despaired of ever being anything like them. Even though Donna could breathe fire, the young dragon wasn't exactly sure why, or how, she did this. She just thought she was a fire-breathing rabbit.
She couldn't aim properly, and often burned down local forests. This made the villagers even angrier with her. Whenever local villagers cursed her and waved their fists in her face, Donna would tremble with fear and feel very hurt. She would run away and leave even bigger holes in the ground behind her. She thought the villagers were hunting her for food.
Most of the villagers were afraid of the dragon, but they didn't dare confront Donna, because they didn't want to be trampled or incinerated. Most of all, they didn't want to remind Donna of how strong she could really be, since they thought she was evil, and wanted to hurt them. But Donna didn't really want to hurt anyone. She just wanted to hop around, eat her food, and have a good life.
One day, a group of villagers got together with pitchforks and drove Donna away to the mountains. Donna was terrified. She breathed flames at everyone and scarred a few of the angry villagers very badly. This made them glad they had got rid of her.
"Go off and be with those dragons of yours", they shouted as they left.
Once she was all alone, Donna the Dragon cried and cried. "What will I do now?" she sighed, burning a pine tree to a cinder in the process.
Suddenly, she heard some heavy footsteps coming from just ahead. The trees parted, and a wise old dragon stood before Donald with her hands clasped over her large, proud belly.
"Hello Donna. Do you remember me?"
Donna rubbed her eyes and stared. Why, it was Daniela the Dragon, who had played with her when she was a baby! Her heart filled with relief and gratitude. A friendly face was before her at last. "I'm so glad to see you," she cried out with joy. "The villagers are constantly hunting me, and now they've chased me away!"
Daniela the Dragon smiled. "Well, now that you're here, why don't you come and practice your flame-throwing? You'll have many companions to help you. That way, you can learn to aim properly, and heat the world instead of starting fires and burning everything down."
Donna hopped happily to a clearing where many other dragons were assembled in a circle. They greeted her warmly. Donna didn't feel like a helpless bunny rabbit anymore.
As she breathed fire just like the others, Donna caught sight of her reflection in a pool of water. She was a Dragon after all!
Donna suddenly felt very foolish, though she was quite happy. "The next time I go to a village, I'll step more carefully", she vowed to herself. "And I will try not to burn anything down."