Daniel and Sebastian,
I used to take you for walks in our old neighbourhood. On Bond St. near Gould is St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church.
On the front is a mosaic depicting St. George slaying the dragon. When you were perhaps 2 and 4, you asked about the story of St. George. So I adapted it and told it to you many, many times at night while you were going to sleep. Here it is:
Once upon a time, there was a village. And the village didn’t have a well in it, so every day the villagers had to walk to the well outside the village to fill their pots and buckets with water for cooking and cleaning.
One day, a dragon decided to move into a cave beside the well. Of course, the villagers were terrified. They had to sneak to the well to get their water when the dragon was asleep so that the dragon wouldn’t eat them.
After a few days, a man riding a white horse carrying a long spear came into the village. His name was George. Seeing the spear, the villagers wondered if George could get rid of the dragon for them.
“Please, sir, can you help us get rid of the dragon that’s moved in beside our well? We’re afraid to get water because we’re worried the dragon is going to eat us!”
“Of course I’ll help you!” said George. “Can someone show me where the well and dragon are?
Only one person was brave enough to take George to the well. When they got there, there was no sign of the dragon. The person went back to the village, and George sat down beside his horse to await the dragon’s return.
After a short while, who should return, but the dragon!
George said to the dragon, “Dragon, you are terrifying the villagers. They have nowhere else to get water. Would you please move somewhere else?”
The dragon laughed and said, “I like it here. And you are going to be my lunch!”
George replied, “Now dragon, if you try to eat me I will poke you with my spear!”
The dragon wasn’t worried about a man with a spear. It walked toward George, and George took his spear and poked the dragon. Poke!
This made the dragon very mad. “Ouch! That hurt! What did you do that for?”
“I told you that if you tried to eat me, I would poke you. And I did! Now please move someplace else.”
Of course the dragon was quite angry now. “I will not move away. And I will eat you!”
George replied, “Remember, dragon, if you try to eat me I’ll poke you with my spear!”
The dragon rushed at George, but George was very quick with his spear and he poked the dragon twice. Poke-poke! This made the dragon furious!
“Ouch, ouch!! That hurt!” The dragon started to rush back at George. “Little person, I am not going to eat you now. No, I will jump on you and crush you!”
And George replied, “Please, dragon, go somewhere else and leave the villagers alone. And if you do try to crush me I’ll have to poke you with my spear again!”
Of course the dragon tried to crush George, but he was too quick. He took his spear and poked the dragon again and again. Poke-poke-poke-poke, poke-poke-poke-poke, poke!
“Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch!!!” cried the dragon. And it ran far away and was never seen or heard from again.
George went back to the village and told the villagers that the dragon had fled and that the well was safe again. They thanked him with a feast. The next day, George got on his white horse, took his spear, and continued on his journey.
Of course, you both wanted more “St. George stories”, so I made up “St. George and the Bugbear”, “St. George and the Griffin”, “St. George and the Elephant” and “St. George and the Crocodile”. I should write those down,too. Perhaps one day you will share them with your own children!
Peter Leventis is the father of Daniel, 8 and Sebastian, 6 and husband of Marcelle. She’s eternally grateful to him for missing a good chunk of game seven of the Stanley Cup Final to finish this post, and is very aware that she owes him one.
No real dragons were harmed in the writing of this post.