A Saint of Dragons
Jason Hightman

"What does a Dragon want? It wants nothing more than to cause people pain, fear, and sadness. The Dragon feeds on these things. It is attracted to human misery--it thrives on it, in much the same way that plants need sunlight and water.

"Whenever a person feels down, the Dragon wants to be nearby. It crawls underground and feels with its tongue for vibrations of sadness. It sucks up the sadness right through its skin, and this makes the creature stronger. In turn, a Dragon through his magic, can make people more unhappy. Whenever a person feels self--doubt, whenever a person thinks he or she cannot succeed, that life is not worth a penny, it's a good bet a Dragon is behind it. Nothing causes more evil in the world than self--hatred. When a person hates himself, he will do terrible things. He wants to make everyone feel as bad as he does, A Dragon loved to make people hate themselves." (39)

Aldric's eyes passed over the people below. "You can see it in people's faces. Everything weighs heavy on them. Their hearts beat slower. The fire that drives them through life is burning low. Look at them, Simon. Nothing reaches past their sadness--not the landscape, not the movement of the city, not the souls around them... They've lost something and don't know what it is. Some haven't noticed what's missing inside, but they know enough to suspect that the city has stolen something form them. You can feel their anger. Theses people don't want to be alive anymore. The gloom is falling down around them like rain." (62)

"I wonder if you have seen enough Dragons," the creature went on, "to decide what you think of all Dragons. How many have you known?"
Simon though about it. "Four, I suppose."
"Four. And form that you know them all? I wonder if it is possible to say that all men are evil form knowing only four? What if the four men you met were criminals? Wouldn't that be a mistake on your part?"
"We aren't talking about men."
"No, but can you say, for example, that all Chinese are evil? All Americans are evil? All Dutchmen are evil?"
"Can you say that any species is altogether evil? Can you say that, Simon?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, do you think all dogs are evil? Or all birds?"
"Of course not. Not even all snakes are evil. Some are very beneficial. Do you agree?"
"I suppose," said Simon.
"Then if no creature on earth, neither man nor beast, can be said to be totally evil, doesn't it stand to reason that perhaps not all Dragons are evil, too?"
Simon said nothing, and the Dragonman went on, "Could it be, perhaps, that you have seen only the worst of us?"
"The worst of you are pretty awful," said Simon.
The creature turned sorrowful. "On that you are absolutely right."(226)

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