It was a small pile. But as far as piles of gold went, it was the biggest one Henry had ever seen.
He covered the distance in a quick sprint and fell to his knees to explore his find. I can’t believe my luck! Henry thought to himself. I’m finding treasure everywhere.
Henry scooped up the little pile of gold nuggets. They all fit in the palm of one hand. He shifted them from one hand to the other, letting them drop one at a time into the opposite palm. They felt cool. And heavy.
He counted them – five.
“Five gold nuggets!” Henry said with glee. “Five gold nuggets! Five gold nuggets!” He began to chant his new favourite phrase, “Five gold nuggets! Five gold nuggets!”
From the darkness, deep in the back of the cave, a rumbling voice boomed, “WHO DARES ENTER MY CAVE?!?!”
Henry spun toward the voice.
Then he spun toward the cave entrance.
He tried to run to the light, but he was still kneeling. He lurched forward, spun to his right and toppled onto his side.
Henry was so scared; he couldn’t think what to do—or how to control his body. He continued trying to run, but he was lying on his side, and running only made him spin in circles on the ground.
Calm down, you fool! Henry thought to himself. You’ve got to get out of here. He rolled onto his stomach, pulled his legs and arms underneath himself and got onto his knuckles and knees. He was still clenching the gold nuggets, three in one fist and two in the other, which made it hard to use his hands. But he managed to get to his feet.
It seemed like this had all taken a very long time, but it was only a second or two. Following the booming voice a fireball flew above Henry from the darkness into the sunlight.
Henry fell back to the ground, covering his head with his hands. That was hot and really bright! Henry thought as he shook in panic. And it nearly hit me!
|The Hidden Path
a fairytale by David Edgren
It was only then, when he thought about the fireball, that Henry realised he was in a dragon’s cave.
This realisation caused Henry to go from scared to terrified. He had heard the stories. People who entered a dragon’s cave never left alive. They were dinner for the dragon. But Henry had always thought dragon's were just stories—not real.
The ground shook with sound of huge footsteps. Deep in the cave, an angry beast moved toward Henry.