In a Land of Old

In a land of old
A story by Richard Kay, written with the help of the children of St. Mary’s Primary, Selby
KS1 developed the plot
KS2 helped with the language
In a castle, fine and tall,
By a babbling waterfall,
Lived a princess with her sister
And her prince (who always kissed her)
For they lived a life of bliss
(If only it would stay like this)
In a land of wonder, a land of old
A land that shone and shimmered with gold

In the neighbouring land of dragons and beasts
They wanted this gold for their midnight feasts
For a little known fact is that eating some gold
Helped the dragons breathe fire in those days of old.

The dragons invaded and ate up the gold
That shimmered and shone in this land of old
And the princess she ordered her troops to defend
To push back the beasts and bring war to an end

The land no longer shimmered and no longer shone
But at least all those dragons had finally gone
The only gold left was kept safe in the castle
Now even more precious but not worth this hassle

For though they all thought that the dragons had gone
They didn’t know that this meant all except one
The greediest dragon, a wily old beast
Who wanted more gold for his midnight feast
He hid in the castle and bided his time
Then pounced on the princess and chanted this rhyme;

“Give me your gold or I’ll set you on fire
All of your gold is my only desire
Your loved ones are safe if you feed me your bullion
But fail in your task and I’m certain to bully’em!”

The Princess she ran from the dragon in fright
But she planned to steal that very same night
The gold protected by her sister
And her Prince (who always kissed her)

At dead of night she crept around
Inside their rooms without a sound
(she knew she wouldn’t wake her sis
And husband simply blew a kiss)

With muffled clink she took the feast
Straight up to the expectant beast
The gold was promptly all consumed
But then the dragon turned and fumed;

“Give me more gold or I’ll set you on fire
More of your gold is my only desire”
But the princess protested “you have all our gold
There is nothing left now in this land of old”

The dragon rose up; the fire raged inside
He looked at his target and opened up wide
But just as the princess protected her head
From the frazzling flames, she felt water instead.

She opened her eyes and was shocked at the view
For standing there was not one dragon but two
The fire breathing dragon was now soaking wet
And her sister was standing there next to her pet

“I’ve kept a pet dragon” her sister explained
“but this one is friendly, she cannot be blamed
For eating our gold and for causing us strife,
In fact my pet dragon has just saved your life!
She heard you creep into my bedroom just now
The woke me up wanting to help you somehow
We rushed to the waterfall, gathered up water
Then hurried back in to protect you from slaughter”

“But he will still scorch” said the princess “and scold us
If we don’t find gold, he has already told us”
“Fear not” said her sister “the flames are put out”
We’ve no more gold, he can’t make fire without”

The wily old dragon knew this to be true
So he made his excuses and promptly withdrew
The Princess could not thank her sister enough
For saving the day by removing his puff

“Don’t thank me thank my dragon” her sis quickly said
And counting their blessings they went off to bed
(Unaware of what he’d missed
The prince just cuddled her, and kissed)

So in a castle fine and tall
By a fire-saving waterfall
Lived a princess with her sister
(And her prince who always kissed her)
Their pet dragon, brave and bold
Protecting them, and as for gold
They had no more to shimmer and shine
But still they were happy for all of time