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         “Squeak squeak.” Ugh, what was that? “Squeeeee!” Whatever it was, it was outside my window and it wouldn’t shut up. I glanced at my clock. 2:30 a.m. Great, I have school at 8 and this stupid bird (or whatever it was) wouldn’t stop SQUEAKING. No, bird is not right. Birds chirp. This was obviously a squeak. Or a squeal. Is there a difference? Whatever. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. I slipped on my boots and pulled a sweatshirt on over my pajamas. I tiptoed down the stairs; I didn’t want my parents to think I was sneaking out. When I got outside I couldn’t see anything. Obviously. What was I expecting, a giant squeaking bird whose radiant light lit up the whole street? Obviously not. I was expecting a bird, even a weird one I had never heard before. I wasn’t sure exactly what I would do with the bird, but you know. Plans you make at 2:30 when you can’t sleep are rarely well thought out. “SQUEAK?” this time it was coming from directly beneath me. “ARGG!” I screamed, and then quickly shut up. “Parents, right,” I mumbled as I bent down and quietly poked around the top of my booted foot until the source of the squeaking was in my hand. Ew. Scaly. What? Scaly? Birds didn’t have scales. Lizards didn’t squeak. This time, I said it aloud, “What?” at this point, I desperately needed to know what the scaly squeaker was. On the other hand, I needed sleep even more. I decided to take it inside and look at it the next morning. I tiptoed back into the house, taking off my boots before I got in. What would my parents think if they woke up now? Probably that I was an illegal lizard dealer or something. The last thing I remember before I fell asleep was putting it in a jar I had once kept caterpillars in, and being grateful it had stopped squeaking. I forgot all about it until I had gotten back from school the next day. Still laughing over a joke my friend had told me on the bus, I saw my boots by my closet. “Wow, that was one weird dream,” I thought. Until I turned around and saw the caterpillar jar. “AHHH!” he contents of the jar were not exactly as expected. Not

a weird scaly bird, or a lizard. Well, kind of a lizard. It honestly looked like aNo. That’s stupid. Of course it wasn’t. Those weren’t real. They were only from those stupid books I never read. Although, what else could it be? There was only one person who could help me with this. I typed her number into my phone and hit the call button. “Allie May? Hi. I kinda had a question for you…” “Is it about the math homework? Because I called Lucy and she said you just multip-“ “No, Allie, its about all those books you read. You know, with fairies and witches and stuff? I was wondering what you knew about…” I trailed off... “Dragons.” I finished eventually, looking at Scaly over there in the jar. “Ooh. Lots! So, they…” and she went on for about 15 minutes. God, how does she know about this stuff? Allie May pretty much lives and breathes fairytales. She even makes up her own mythical creatures, ohteepees and ice kings and a ton of nonsense she inexplicably seems to actually believe in. It’s ridiculous. Although, seeing as I found a freakin’ dragon in my backyard last night, maybe not so crazy. At some point I realized Allie May was still talking. “Gotta go, bye!” I said and then I hung up. Rude, I know, but I was in shock, all right? I slowly approached Scales, as I now referred to him in my head. I was nervous in case of fire, or even worse, more squeaking. As I opened the jar, Scales squeaked in a way I can really only describe as a sneeze. “EEK” I screamed. Fire! Cool! Oh, wait. Not fire. Was that…? Really? Seriously? I found a stupid little dragon, and it can’t even breathe fire? Of course, it just had to sneeze glitter. It’s a start, I supposed. At least it was fire COLORED glitter. But really, what’s next? Does it fart rainbows? Live off of love and happiness? I decided that while this dragon was little and annoying, maybe it would improve over time. I certainly couldn't abandon it; it’s squeaking would eventually drive me insane. And lame as it may be, I doubted the tiny sneezing glitter-dragon could survive on its own. I sighed; even in mythical creatures I get the worst one. Oh well, I couldn’t do

anything about it. “Come on,” I said aloud to Scales. He obediently scurried over the table to me. I was planning on taking him out to the old rabbit hutch that sat unused in our backyard. I would run out to the pet store later and get sawdust and… lizard food? What did dragons eat, anyway? In the stories it was always knights and princesses. Knowing Scales though, it was probably more along the lines of sunshine and daisies. “CASSIE!” Ugh, that was my mom. I checked my watch, 6 o clock. Darn it, we were going to visit my grandparents. I quickly dropped Scales in the hutch and rushed back to the house as quietly as I could. The next day my parents would be out, I could investigate then. When that day came, I sat Scales down on my pillow and stared at him. I was still hoping something cool would happen, like fire or transforming into a person or anything from all the other myths I had read about on Wikipedia last night. All that happened though was he cocked his head at me at blinked. Great. Then he unfurled his (so far useless) wings, yawned, and went to sleep… So I poked him with a pencil. With a jolt he hopped in the air and sneezed again. This time the glitter was orange. I was so busy cleaning it up that I hadn't noticed that he wasn’t actually on the pillow, but about a foot in the air, flapping his wings. Sweet! This dragon might not be entirely useless after all. I was starting to grow fond of him. Well, considering that he wasn’t an insanity induced hallucination. Which, lets face it, it probably was. After all, it was a dragon. Which reminded me, I had to check in with Allie May about this. Maybe they discovered some rare lizard and Scales wasn’t even special. She was at my house in 15 minutes. When she saw Scales her eyes grew wide. “Whoa…” she muttered. “I’ve always wanted to see one of these. I did think they’d be a bit-” “Bigger? Scarier? Less glittery?” I finish for her. “Glitter, what?” she mumbled. “He’s awesome.” she was obviously in shock. Despite that, she somehow knew exactly how to care for Scales. She instructed me on his food, estimated size when he grows up (about as big as a puppy) and everything else about him. Really,

where does she learn this stuff? “If you ever need help with him, just call me again. He’s awesome,” she said. Awesome? He’s SUPPOSED to be nonexistent! “I wasn’t planning on keeping him…” I replied. “Yeah,” she laughed sarcastically, “you can just bring him to the animal shelter!” good point. I guessed that I was keeping him, then. “What’ll he eat?” I begrudgingly asked. -<><><><><>So here I am, 6 months later, with a no-longer-baby dragon. He’s about the size of a small dog. He knows his name and follows my commands. It almost doesn’t even seem weird anymore. Almost. And I almost don’t think he’s a hallucination anymore. Again, key word there being almost. And if you don’t believe me… well that makes sense.

My Baby Dragon  

When a girl finds a mysterious animal in her backyard, all does NOT go as expected!