Unicorn and Smiley
Smiley was building a city in the garden when Unicorn landed beside her.
Smiley blinked. She had always hoped there was magic.
“We have a job to do,” said Unicorn. His voice was a chime of bells.
Smiley blinked again. “What do you mean?”
“Somebody needs our help,” said Unicorn. “Jump on. No time to waste.”
“I can’t ride a unicorn!” said Smiley.
“Why not?” said Unicorn. “You might as well say I can’t carry a human! Do jump on.”
Smiley jumped on.
Slowly, Unicorn began to spin. “Tell me when my horn glows bright,” he said.
Smiley clung to his mane, and watched the horn. It was glowing, glowing- until it shone like a star.
“Now!” said Smiley, and Unicorn sprang to the air.
Through the sky they leapt, with the clouds a’swirling round. Over cities and seas they flew to land on a tiny island where the waves came crashing in.
Unicorn dropped as lightly as a gull and Smiley tumbled off onto the sand.
“Who needs help?” said Smiley. “I can’t see anyone.”
Unicorn began to spin. “Tell me when my horn glows bright,” he said.
It was glowing, glowing- until it shone like the moon.
“Now!” cried Smiley.
“Quick,” said Unicorn. “Dig in that mound of sand. No time to waste.”
Smiley dropped to her knees. She scooped and dug as fast as she could.
“That’s the way,” said Unicorn. “I knew I could count on you.”
The sun blazed down. Smiley kept on digging. Something gleamed green and blue at the bottom of the pit.
“Scoop it out,” said Unicorn. “No time to waste.”
Carefully, Smiley dug down around the thing, and lifted it clear of the sand. “It looks like an egg,” she said.
“Dragons’ eggs usually look like eggs,” said Unicorn.
“Dragons!” Smiley almost dropped the egg. “I didn’t think there’d be dragons!”
“You didn’t think there’d be unicorns either,” said Unicorn. “If you hope for magic, you must take it whole.”
“What do we do with this egg?” asked Smiley. “And who needs our help?”
“Mother Dragon should help her baby hatch,” Unicorn explained. “Since she isn’t here, it’s up to us.”
Unicorn and Smiley sat under a banana palm and waited. When the egg cracked, Unicorn began to sing.
“Little dragon, be brave and strong, be happy, bring light to the land;
Little dragon, learn my song, know and understand.”
As Unicorn’s song ended, the crack in the egg grew wider, and the halves fell apart. The dragon chick flapped weakly, gleaming like mother-of-pearl.
“No time to waste,” said Unicorn. “You must welcome the dragon to the world!”
Smiley lifted the baby dragon from the egg. “Hello, funny dragon!” she said. “I’m so glad there is magic!”
Smiley knew about babies because of her little sister. She picked a ripe banana and mashed it into a leaf. The little dragon gobbled it down, and fell asleep in Smiley’s lap.
The sun was setting when Mother Dragon sailed down out of the sky. She was as big as a car, but Unicorn wasn’t frightened.
“I’m late, I’m late! I was caught in a storm!” wailed the dragon. “My baby has hatched and I wasn’t here to welcome him!”
Smiley looked into the huge dragon’s face. She felt Unicorn nudge her gently. “We were here,” she said. “Unicorn sang, and I gave your baby some food.”
A tear the size of a cherry ran down Mother Dragon’s scaly cheek, and plopped into the sand. “Thank you,” she said. “Unicorn magic is such a lovely thing.”
“Time to go,” said Unicorn. “Jump on Smiley.”
Smiley jumped on, and Unicorn began to spin.
“Now!” cried Smiley as Unicorn’s horn shone like the setting sun.
Through the sky they leapt, with the clouds a’swirling round. Over seas and cities they flew to land in Smiley’s garden. Smiley tumbled off onto the grass.
“Goodbye,” said Unicorn. “No time to waste.”
“Wait!” said Smiley. “Will I see you again?”
“Of course you will,” said Unicorn. “Next time someone needs our Unicorn magic.”