All in Age: 4

“You need a call sign--No, not a call sign. A signature.”

“Siggature?”

“Like something you say when you attack bad guys, to put fear into them. Or when you leave and you say you’ll be back.” 

Dragon Little was looking at him and shaking her head. 

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Dragon Father opened the book. He looked at it, but for some reason could not read it. 

“What’s going on?” he said to himself. He turned a page. My sharp eyes could see from high above: The writing was foggy. 

He moved the book closer to his eyes and further from his eyes. “Why can’t I see what it says?”

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“Never mind. Look at this.” He pulled out a yellowish object the size of his palm. I have never seen anything like it. I did not know what it was. “This,” he emphasized. “Is a fruit. Uh, or a vegetable. I’m not really sure. It’s a fruit or a vegetable, okay? You eat it.”

She nodded, her eyes crinkling, not following what he is trying to say. 

“Now look here,” he leaned into the ship and put the fruit-or-vegetable on the seat. “See?”

She nodded. 

“Now I’m buckling it in…. There! See?”

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“No!” Dragon Little raised her hand and pointed at him, her long blonde hair billowing in the wind behind her. “I have spoken!”

Dragon Father burst out laughing. “You have spoken?”

“I have spoken!” Dragon Little said with determination. “Teach me to swim!”

“But what if we—”

“Tut!” Dragon Little said importantly. “I have spoken!”

Dragon Little has the power to drive Dragon Father insane. Dragon Little, of course, ist the name I lovingly gave Joy Shelley, the human girl who lives in her father’s dream. Dragon Father ist her father.

Or so they both think. But sometimes, the evident truth that he ist not actually her father comes up.

This ist one of those times.

Dragon Father looked at their flying ship disappearing into the sky. “Of course you realize,” he growled, “this means war!” And then he laughed at himself, as if he had told a joke.

“Of course you realize,” Dragon Little copied her father, “This meenz wore!”

“Should we get them, Joy?”

Joy nodded. “Get them!”