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The Golden Nest

Tai was a blacksmith. He was making a horseshoe at his forge when someone pushed him hard. SPLASH! He fell into a trough of water.

When Tai looked up, he saw captain Batu, the biggest bully in the empire.

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“The emperor’s crown was stolen because I fell asleep on guard duty,” Batu said.

“Do you know who took it?” Tai asked.

“A dragon,” Batu said. “I woke up as it was flying away. Now you’re going to track it down and get the crown back.”

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“Me?” cried Tai. “Why should I go find it?”

“Because if you don’t, I’ll tell the emperor you stole it!” said Batu.

Tai knew Batu would carry out his threat. So he grabbed his trusty hammer and set out to find the emperor’s crown.

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After two days of hiking through the hills, Tai spotted a cave. It glowed yellow, like sunlight.

Inside, Tai found piles of golden coins stacked from floor to ceiling. At the top of one pile, Tai spotted a red egg balanced on the emperor’s missing crown.

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As Tai watched, the egg fell off the crown and began to roll toward the mouth of the cave. A mighty green tail slammed down to stop the egg from rolling outside.

Tai looked up, expecting to see a ferocious beast. Instead, he saw a sad-looking dragon.

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Tai understood the dragon's problem. “Dragon eggs need golden nests to hatch.” Tai said. “But your egg keeps rolling off of the gold.”

The dragon started to cry.

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“Don't be sad!” Tai said. “I’m a blacksmith, and I can help! All I need is some fire.”

The dragon snorted. Flames shot through the air and began to melt the gold coins.

Bang, bang, BANG! Tai hammered the molten gold coins into a sparkling bowl.

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Tai put the egg into the golden bowl and placed it in front of the dragon. “There you go!” Tai said. “Now, I do need this back.” He picked up the emperor’s crown.

The dragon smiled happily. Tai waved goodbye and started for home.

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When Tai arrived at the palace, Batu was waiting for him. “Give me the crown!” he demanded. “Right now!”

“I'm the one who got it back,” Tai said defiantly. “I should give it to the emperor!”

The bully was ready to fight!

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The anger on Batu's face turned to terror as the huge green dragon landed behind Tai with a thump. It roared at Batu.

The bully turned and ran away.

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Tai returned the emperor’s crown. Everyone called him a hero. And Batu never picked on Tai again.

After all, who would bully a dragon’s best friend?

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FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 550
Word Count 436
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