by Greg Lammers for Henry
“I love you, have a good day, you’re a good kid,” said his Dad as he pulled him close.
Henry rolled his eyes. Couldn’t his Dad just let him walk into school without stopping on the sidewalk every morning to do a variation of this same talk?
“Have fun, slay dragons,” his Dad said as he let Henry go. Henry trudged toward the row of doors at the front of the building. He could hear his Dad chuckling at his own joke, the same joke he’d made countless times before.
A blast of warm air hit Henry as he walked through the inner doors right behind a 2nd-grade girl with an Iron Man backpack.
“It’s dragon noogies for you all until your Principal tells me where you keep the gold…and the hall passes.” A deep voice boomed from near the ceiling.
Henry, startled, jerked his head toward the voice. The voice belonged to a green and red dragon whose scale covered head almost poked through the ceiling tiles. He was standing between the office and the lunchroom. His tail stretched behind him draped across a folding table which had been used for a PTA fundraiser the week before.
“This is bad,” thought Henry. This was worse than the time he’d put his math homework, his peanut butter sandwich, his half-full-half-empty depending on who you asked milk carton, and his smelly gym socks in his backpack and then left his backpack in the clothes dryer.
The dragon had a third grader in each big green hand, his claws wrapped around their midsections with room to spare. The third grader’s eyes were wide, their mouths agape.
The second-grade girl grabbed Henry by the shoulder. “Maybe the dragon will just give them a couple of noogies, get bored and leave.” She said.
“That wouldn’t be good,” replied Henry. “Dragon noogies are like people noogies except they are given by Dragons. Instead of knuckles they use fire, and rather than just the top of the head, they noogie all over!”
Henry put his left arm in front of the girl and reached behind his head with his right. He drew from out of his backpack a 16th century English broadsword he’d brought just in case something like this happened.
He held the sword in front of him and yelled at the dragon-
The dragon swung his head down to look at Henry.
“Henry, what are you doing here, with that broadsword?!” Corey demanded.
“This is my school,” said Henry. “I’m here every day, except for weekends and specific holidays…and the summer.”
Corey the dragon held the third graders up a little higher and glared at Henry. “Oh,” he replied. “I thought you went to Fairview.”
“I went to Fairview for enrichment part of last summer, that’s not my regular school.” Said Henry. “I told you that Corey.”
“Oh, right. I guess I should listen closer sometimes to what others tell me.” Said Corey.
“Okay Corey,” said Henry, “while you’re working on your listening now hear this. You need to stop busting into schools, demanding gold and hall passes, and giving dragon noogies.”
“But demanding gold and handing out dragon noogies is what I like,” whined Corey. “What else can I do?!”
“Put down the third graders and take this.” Answered Henry, using his left hand to pull something else out of his backpack.
“What is it?” Asked Corey.
“It’s a book about Kings, Princesses, Knights, the 1948 US Presidential election, and dragons. It has chivalry, intrigue, romance, an embarrassing mistaken newspaper article, and battles”
“That sounds interesting,” said Corey. He put the third graders down and took the plastic covered book from Henry.
He walked toward the door, “I’ll get this back to you as soon as I’m finished,” he said as he squeezed through the front door.
Henry sheathed his sword back in his pack. As the sword slid into place all the kids who’d gathered began to cheer. Henry marched to his classroom as all the kids who’d just arrived followed and slapped him on the back.
He settled into his desk, grinning from ear to ear, glad that he had saved the school from that naughty Corey.
“Okay class, you’ll remember that today is library day, I hope you brought back the books you checked out last week.” Said his teacher.
Henry smiled and reached into his backpack where the book…oh no, the book wasn’t there.
“Ugh,” Henry sighed shaking his head, “dragons…”