The Reluctant Dragon

Long ago in England, a shepherd and his family lived in a small, quiet village.

While the shepherd worked out in the field, his son Gabriel spent time reading books.


One day, the shepherd came home very upset. He had seen a beast in the cave above the village.

“I’m sure it’s just a dragon, Dad,” said Gabriel. He knew a lot about dragons.


Gabriel opened a book. He showed it to his dad. It had stories of big, bold dragons that breathed fire.

“I will go talk to him in the morning,” Gabriel said. He was not at all afraid.


Gabriel hiked to the cave the next day. He walked right up to the dragon.

“Hello,” Gabriel said. “Are you here to eat the villagers?”


“Oh, no!” said the dragon. “I never fight knights or eat people. I’m much too lazy. I like to write poems and take quiet naps.”

“I like poetry too,” Gabriel said. The two spent the afternoon talking about poems. They became best friends.


Meanwhile, the villagers heard that a dragon had settled near their village. They were very upset. They asked Saint George, the bravest knight in the country, to slay the dragon.


When Gabriel heard this, he went to the cave to warn his new best friend.

“I can't fight and I won't fight,” said the dragon. “I've never fought in my life, and I'm not going to start now.”

Gabriel was worried that Saint George might hurt the kind dragon.


He went to see the knight.

“Saint George,” begged Gabriel. “The dragon will not hurt anyone. He likes to write poems and sip tea. Please do not fight him.”

“I’m sure he’s a nice dragon,” the knight said. “But I must fight him. The villagers are expecting it.”


Gabriel took the knight to meet the dragon.

Saint George tried to convince the dragon to fight. “That’s what knights and dragons do,” he said.

“I will not fight,” said the dragon.

So, they came up with a sneaky plan.


The next day, all of the villagers came to the cave to watch the fight. They cheered and waved flags.

Saint George wore golden armor.

The dragon looked strong with his sharp claws. He blew fire from his nose.


The two faced each other. When the horn blew, Saint George rode toward the dragon holding his lance. The dragon ran full speed at the knight.

At the last second, the dragon jumped straight up and out of the way. Saint George missed the dragon.


Then, the dragon charged at Saint George again!

Saint George was ready, and he rushed at the dragon. WHAM! They crashed into each other. They fought and fought for hours.


Suddenly, the dragon fell to the ground with a great THUMP!

The dragon didn’t move. Saint George had won the battle.

“Hooray for Saint George!” the crowd cheered.


The villagers did not see the knight wink at the dragon. They didn’t see the dragon wink back. The battle had been faked.

The people celebrated the brave knight’s victory.


That night, Saint George and Gabriel walked to the dragon’s cave.

“Our plan worked,” said the dragon. “Now I’ll be left alone to write poetry and take naps!”

Dragon, Saint George, and Gabriel sat on the hill together. They watched the stars as they recited their favorite poems.


FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 470
Word Count 556

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