From the Diary of Dragon Speaker Aurarin
Sometime in early winter
As Duckling has grown, I have been able to leave him for short periods of time. This however, still means that on days when I must be at the College, I customarily take him with me. More than once, I’ve left him under Magi Verai’s care, and thus, under the care of her cat.
Incidentally, this has since given Duckling the impression that he is in fact, a pet of some form. Had I been aware of this, I might have been able to deter him from any of the antics he’d picked up from the cat.
As it stands however, he has gotten quite used to my morning routine and knows that once the sun is up, I try to be up as well (though on occasion I have found myself spending several minutes cooing over him since he insists on sleeping on the other pillow). Since I knew I had meetings with several high ranking officials in the interests of organizing education for several former dragon companions, I made the retrospectively poor choice of bathing, thus leaving Duckling to his own devices for an hour while I prepared for the day.
Afterwards, having dressed in a nice pair of robes and a brand-new pair of silk stockings, I elected to wear my boots since there had already been snowfall even this early in the season.
Upon inserting my foot into my boot, I discovered the squishy, somewhat bloody ‘gift’ Duckling had placed in said boot. The poor mouse was still slightly warm, and his already undignified end was certainly not helped by having his remains molested by my toes.
I did attempt to remain calm while I removed my boot to see what exactly I’d been squishing, but upon finding the blood on my stocking and retrieving the body of the unfortunate mouse, I will admit to screaming, which only brought Duckling running to see what I thought of his gift.
I suspect having the rodent thrown in his general direction along with my boot and the now ruined stocking was not the sort of reaction he’d wanted.
Unfortunately, I did not have the time to do much more than find a clean pair of cotton stockings and a slightly older pair of boots. As of returning home, I’ve thrown out the boots, but I notice that Duckling is still sulking under the bed. Clearly, I’m going to have to explain that he is a dragon and not a cat, and that therefore, he is not supposed to leave dead mice in my shoes.
By A.J. Helms