Katie and Her Best Friend
When Katie moves house, she has to make new friends, and discovers a dragon to keep her company.
Katie had always felt like she never connected with anyone. There’s was no one she considered a friend. So, when her parents decided to move, she was okay with it. She didn’t feel sad because she wasn’t leaving anyone behind.
She was eight when they moved to a new town. It wasn’t that different from where they had lived before. There were a lot of trees and kids running around outside, riding bikes, and playing.
One day her mother caught her staring out the window at some kids playing. Her mom told her to go out and play with those kids. So, Katie went out. She could see that they were all having fun and she wanted to join in but she was afraid. She tried to muster up the courage to ask them if she could play but she just couldn’t do it.
She decided to go for a walk instead. She liked how peaceful the town was. The people seemed nice and polite. Her stroll eventually lead her to the town’s lake. She felt the rush of cold air hitting her face. The beauty of the lake was something to behold. She sat there admiring it and decided that this would be her spot. That she would come here every day and maybe one day, she would bring her friends here.
After school, she would always stop by the lake before going home. She swore she could stay there for hours, maybe even live there. If she ever got hungry, she’d always have food ready in her bag.
She was writing a poem about the lake when she suddenly heard her stomach growl. She put down her notebook and her pen and got her sandwich out. She was about to take a bite when she heard a noise. This startled her. She hadn’t heard anything strange in all the days she’d been there. She looked around but no one else was there. Then she noticed that there was something moving in the water.
Curious to find out what it was, she walked closer to the water. She clenched her sandwich tight as she got closer and closer. When she was by the water, it stopped. Then all of a sudden, something came out of the water and Katie got splashed with the water. She wiped the water from her eyes and saw something she had never seen before.
She saw a dragon.
She couldn’t believe what she saw. She fell back on the ground and dropped her sandwich. She was terrified. The dragon was huge. She couldn’t speak or shout. She was too afraid of what she saw. The dragon submerged its neck back in the water until only its eyes could be seen. Katie looked into the dragon’s eyes and saw something very familiar. Like her, it had lonely eyes.
Katie stood up and started walking towards it. She picked up her sandwich and then offered it to the dragon. The dragon didn’t move. So, she dropped the sandwich in the water and the dragon went after it. Moments later, the dragon stuck its neck out from under water again. She got splashed with water but she didn’t mind it this time. It even made her laugh. The dragon moved its head closer to her. She reached out her hand and touched its nose.
Its scales were rough but not unpleasant. She introduced herself to it. The dragon nodded as if to say “nice to meet you, Katie.” From then on, Katie and the dragon became friends.
Every day, Katie would bring five extra sandwiches for her friend. She would tell the dragon everything that happened to her at school. Sometimes, she would sing or dance and the dragon would just nod along. For the first time, she didn’t feel lonely. She even thought of the dragon as her best friend.
In school, her teacher had asked the class to write a poem about their best friend which they would read in front of the whole class. She wrote her poem while she was hanging out at the lake. After writing it, she read it to the dragon. The dragon tapped his nose on Katie’s chest. It meant that the dragon liked it. At least, that’s how she understood it.
Katie read it in class the next day. She was the only one who had a dragon in her poem. Her classmates laughed and thought it was sad that her only friend was an imaginary dragon. She got angry and told them that the dragon wasn’t imaginary. She told them that it was real and that she would prove it to them.
After class, all of her classmates went with her to the lake. She proved to them that she wasn’t lying and that there was a dragon in the lake. Everyone was in awe of the dragon. Some of them got scared but she was able to convince them that it was harmless.
Every day, her classmates would go with her to the lake after school. They would spend time with her and the dragon. All of them would play games, sing, and dance. She didn’t want it to end. Having many friends gave her joy. It didn’t make her feel lonely anymore.
Then one morning on a weekend, she went to the lake to visit her best friend. When she got there, she noticed that the dragon was laying its head on the ground. She knelt next to it and tried to sooth her friend. When she saw its eyes, she could tell that it was sad.
The dragon moved its nose and rubbed it against her chin. Katie felt like the dragon was saying goodbye. Tears began to fall from her eyes as she wrapped her arms around its nose. She didn’t want her best friend to go.
The dragon then pulled away and submerged back into the water. Katie stood up. On the horizon, she saw the dragon burst out of the water and disappeared into the clouds. She spent all night crying. She was never going to see her best friend again.
Most of her classmates didn’t come back to the lake after that. There was no dragon to see, so there was no point in going back there anymore. Some of them still wanted to play and hang out at the lake. But with each passing day, fewer people came until none of them came back.
Katie was back where she started. She was all alone again on the lake. It didn’t bother her though. She’d sit there day in and day out, hoping and waiting for her best friend to come back. And if the dragon did return, she promised herself that she’d keep it a secret from everyone. She still brings five extra sandwiches, just in case.
One day, Katie was sitting by the lake looking out at the horizon. She felt the cold wind as it enveloped her body. She hugged her knees buried her face between them. After convincing herself that every day that she wasn’t lonely, she finally admitted that she was. She cried. It was too painful.
Suddenly, she heard a noise. She looked up but there was no one in front of her. She was hoping that it was the dragon. Then she noticed that someone was sitting beside her. It was one of her classmates. His name was Dylan.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
He didn’t answer her.
“Are you waiting for the dragon?”
He remained silent and kept staring at the horizon. This made her mad. She stood up and said,
“The dragon’s not coming back okay! My best friend isn’t coming back.” Tears start falling from her eyes again. She wiped her eyes and said “So, you can just leave, okay? You can stop coming to the lake like everybody else.”
He smiled and said “I didn’t come here for the dragon.”
“Then why did you come here?” she said.
He looked at her and said “I wanted to ask you if you wanted to be friends with me.”
“You want to be my friend?”
“Yes. I was too afraid to ask before. When I finally had the courage to ask, I was too late. Everybody in class started coming to the lake. Seeing as you had so many, I figured you didn’t need any more friends.”
Katie sat down beside him and said “Everyone just wanted to be friends with me because they thought I was cool for having a dragon as a friend.”
“Well, they’re all stupid then,” he said. “Because you’re pretty cool, even without the dragon.”
Katie smiled and offered him a sandwich. From that point on, they became friends.
© Glenn Francis F. Faelnar 2020
Illustrations from Pixabay, with thanks.
1. Have you ever moved to a new place, or started a new activity, and needed to make new friends? Did you find it easy?
2. What do you think it means to be friends with someone?
3. How do you think friendship can help us to feel happy?