Picture this: six people in a cage, held captive by a dragon who has a flock of raptors in his thrall. The raptors spend their days flying across the island in search of prey which they bring back for the dragon's consumption. The dragon has awakened and is looking at his menu possibilities; apparently none of them satisfy his current craving. He speaks:
"Let’s have a story while we wait to see if my birds bring something delicious to eat. If they bring something I like, you might all live to see another day. Now, who has a story for me?” The occupants of the cage were silent. “No one has a story? Then we’ll skip it and go right to dinner.”
Gill stepped forward and said, “I will tell you a story. Long ago, it is said that the mer and human Lushakans were one people. Both races were equally at home on land and sea.”
“Heard it already!” the dragon roared. “You’ll have to do better than that! Besides, I’d like to hear from the one who tastes so strange.”
Ben’s mind went blank. He did not know what to say. Finally he began to tell a Robert Munsch story that his grandmother read him years ago. It was the story of a princess whose castle was destroyed by a dragon. The dragon took the prince the princess was to marry. Ben told of how the princess defeated the dragon by flattery, wearing nothing but a paper bag.
The dragon stared at Ben in puzzlement. Finally it said, “I do not like that story.”