“Okay, everybody together now,” I heard the four-and-a-half-year-old Dragon Little from the belly of Bonny’s Revenge, “She sells seashells…”
“She sells seashells…” A chorus of unwilling participants responded.
“...By the seashore…”
“By the seashore,” the chorus repeated.
In the belly of the pirate ship in which Dragon Little and Dragon Father lives was an infinite prison. It was the place where they kept the villains they defeated, the villains that stayed behind after Dragon Father woke, taking his adventure, the locations of the adventures, and most of the people or creatures with him when he disappeared.
A villain almost always was left behind. Usually the worst of the bunch. Usually he was already imprisoned.
Over the last few weeks, since her father taught her the tongue twister she was reciting now, she practiced it every hour when he was gone. After she became good at it, she started teaching the entire villain community.
And she would not take ‘no’ or silence as a reaction.
“Master Mind,” I heard her say (for even my sharp eyes cannot see past the stairs and into the bottom of the ship), “you’re too slow.”
“It is physically impossible for me to be too slow,” the murderous villain answered her with a robotic voice, “You are all too fast!”
“Sing quicker!” she answered curtly.
“I am one hundred percent insulted,” he answered robotically, “85% angry that you wish me to participate in this exercise, 14% disappointed from the progress of everyone, and 1% happy that I am better than all of you.”
“Come one, everybody! Now say it three times fast!”
“She sells seashells,” the chorus began reluctantly…
And the teaching continued.
—Told by The Red Dragon
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