Not Puff – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week Al provides us with one of his own fascinating photos, sure to inspire lots of intriguing entries.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© A Mixed Bag 2011

Click hear to hear the author read the story:
Not Puff

Our brave hunters go deep into the mountains to slay dragons.
They haul back the great carcasses for the women to cut up and cook.
They drink and boast of their mighty exploits.
The survival of our people was once totally dependent on dragon hunting.
Their meat was our staple diet, and we traded goods made from their skin, their teeth and their claws for corn, vegetables and fruit.
It is less important now, we have learned how to farm and to fish, we are quite self-sufficient.
But, since there is no more war, our men have to prove their valour somehow.
They laugh at me, because I follow them to the mountains.
After they return home to their roistering, I search for the eggs, and the babies.
I take them to my little hut, and raise them as my own.
I hand feed them, give them names, Donald, Derek, Dorothy, Deborah.
The women mock me, ask why I never call one Puff, after my favourite song.
Because Puff is my favourite, I say.
The dragons grow up gentle and trusting, incapable of harming humans.
Then I release them.
Our brave hunters go deep into the mountains to slay dragons.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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33 Responses to Not Puff – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. A pity that man has to destroy the beauty that is created and kill the creatures who trust them. Sounds all too familiar with life today. Good story CE.

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  2. mandibelle16 says:

    A sad ending to this one. Rare creatures to say the least (like unicorns). I had an English prof or two say that there was a great possibility a few still existed in the early Middle Ages, in some form another. I think it’s sad that they eat too geese creatures and sell their parts for goods but I guess if their society did this traditionally than that was what survival was for them & you can’t be angry at them for trying to make a living b/c they didn’t know the rarity of a creature. I like how the woman saves the Dragons eggs and raises the babies, yet, as much as they are her babies and never harm her, she seems to know they will be hunted once released. Perhaps she can’t stop it and is only trying to keep this hunt for “valor” and showing off for the men alive. Perhaps she wishes they would find other ways to show their strength/valid. Very interesting as was this week’s tale. Hugs C.E. I hope the Mediterranean isn’t too hot right now. I here summers in that area can be brutal. But perhaps you enjoy the heat?

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  3. Good writing but a very sad ending, C.E. It reminds me of my mother telling me about the pig she and her siblings named and played with. She couldn’t eat the meat. Farmers warn their children not to name the animals meant for slaughter. —- Suzanne

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  4. athling2001 says:

    A cautionary tale about so many things. Are we really helping those creatures we tame? Or even the people we tame? In The Little Prince, the fox says:

    “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

    How will we be responsible? In a good way or bad?

    Has the character helped or hurt the dragons? If she helps them, she hurts the men of her village. If she helps the men, she hurts the dragons. How do you decide which to help or hurt? That, I fear, much come from within us all.

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  5. James says:

    So dragons, like lambs to the slaughter.

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  6. I love the repetition. Great lines, Ceayr.

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  7. L.E.R.T says:

    On one hand the protagonist is nurturing the dragons, raising them up so that they might have a chance to survive. But, on the other hand she is raising them up gentle and trusting, against their natural selves, setting them up for a slaughter. Is she really helping them? I don’t think so.

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  8. Reena Saxena says:

    Feeding fragile egos by sacrificing rare, but not-so-prepared-for-evil species? Politicians and corporate honchos revel in these delusions of power ….

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  9. I love the rhythm of the lines and how they add to the story.

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  10. michael1148humphris says:

    I loved the repetition, it also helped me to reconsider the meaning behind the story

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  11. Joy Pixley says:

    I’m not sure I understand. The narrator raises the dragons to be peaceful so that when the hunters come, the hunters can easily kill them and prove their manhood? And keeps doing in even after being laughed at for it? I’d raise a bunch of super-killer dragons: let those hunters show how brave they are against an actual predator, or find another hobby. .

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    • ceayr says:

      No, Joy, not ‘so that’. She saves and cares for the dragons, and raises them with love so that is what they understand. But she has to release them when it is time, all creatures deserve to be free. She sees no other way. That is why they are never called Puff, it breaks her heart when they are killed.
      The repetition of the first/last line is meant to denote sarcasm and loathing.

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        I understood the part about not naming them Puff because they were doomed. I didn’t get the sarcasm, only the futility of it, to set them free in a place where she knew the hunters would find them and easily defeat them, now that she has tamed them. Maybe this is my vicious side coming out, but I still vote for teaching the dragons to eat the hunters. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • But what could she do to protect them?? That’s the way her world works and the dragons are gonna get killed regardless. Like animals in this world. It’s sad. Does that make sense??? 🙂

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          • ceayr says:

            Exactly. She feels she can’t change the world, so she just does what she can to make it a better place.
            And Joy, you are starting to scare me now!

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          • Joy Pixley says:

            Hm, good question. Well, she might take them farther away and release them somewhere that isn’t exactly where the hunters are going to go look for them. Or she could train them to fight against the hunters more effectively. Or she could not raise them to become passive and let them grow up in their natural wild state where their natural instincts would better allow them to survive. And of course, if she’s that upset about it, she could strongly speak out against her people’s barbaric slaughter of wild animals for their macho fun. But at a certain point, I’m beating a dead horse, here. The point of the story was that she loved the dragons and thought she was doing the right thing for them, and is sad that they keep being killed, and that totally comes across. There’s no sense in me second-guessing a fictional character (but you asked 🙂 ).

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            • ceayr says:

              Good grief, Charlie Brown, this is a 200 word piece of fiction that I wrote on Sunday morning while munching a baguette and banana and drinking OJ through a straw. I am flattered and concerned to have created such interest, even passion, in an off-the-top-of-my-head story which, for once, I actually quite liked. Thank you both for your involvement, I truly appreciate that you feel strongly enough to debate it. Big hugs

              Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m guessing this takes place in a land called Honahlee! Nice one

    Click to visit Keith’s Ramblings

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  13. Hello! I love the way you used the picture in your story, I could see that the whole way through. Plus, your story made me smile 🙂

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  14. Susan says:

    Maybe Man is not quite as adaptable as he thinks. I can see much of modern society reflected in this story,. Good food for thought

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