Upon asking each of their kings what course of action they should take, the rulers reprimanded the magicians for being so stubborn and conceited. They gave the wizard and mage direct orders to collaborate with the other in order to stop the dragon from terrorizing the towns. In fact, after the dragon escaped from the two magicians, it went to each of the kingdoms and burnt down another village. With new determination in their hearts, Albi and Theo met up to formulate their plan for killing the dragon.
“What do you propose we do?” asked Albi to his newly ordained partner.
“We have magical powers, so we might as well use them,” replied Theo.
“Very true. How about feeding a potion to the dragon while it sleeps that extinguishes the fire inside him.”
“No, it would be too tricky to track it down and catch it during his nap. Why don’t we just assault him with our magical forces?”
“Remember what happened last time? Our powers interfere too easily. But if we set up a trap and capture it first, we could then use our powers without any risk.”
“How do you propose we trap a humongous winged beast that breathes fire?”
“Let me explain my plan.”
Albi went over to a barrel in the corner of the room. He carefully removed the top and peered inside. Reaching in a long, thin arm, he selected four items from the crate’s contents: a cow tongue, a newt tongue, a hamster tongue, and a giraffe tongue.
With these tongues in hand, Albi began making elaborate gestures. Cow tongue left. Newt tongue right. Two wiggles with the giraffe followed by a vertical swipe of the hamster. When he finished this seemingly nonsensical dance, he looked straight at Theo and asked, “Well?”
“‘Well,’ what? What was that?” demanded Theo.
“What do you mean? You didn’t understand what I was sa—oh. Sorry about that. I was speaking in tongues again.”
“That must be a wizard thing. My time as a mage was better spent learning potions.”
“Every magician to his own,” responded Albi coolly. “Let me try again.”
Albi the Wizard proceeded to explain his magical trap to Theo the Mage, this time in English:
The first step was to bait the dragon. Though one’s instinct might be to set out rabbits or deer to attract dragons, this beast preferred chocolate covered strawberries. It had very refined tastes. So for a mile, Albi and Theo planned to line up a row of chocolate covered strawberries, leading right up to the next part of their set up.
The trap would be designed to capture the dragon when it ate the last piece of fruit, situated right below an old, giant oak tree. A translucent wire would connect the strawberry to a weighted net in the tree. When the dragon bites through the wire, the net would fall and trap it. This would then initiate stage three.
At this point, Albi and Theo would reveal themselves and their full magical powers. They would stun and paralyze the dragon to prevent it from escaping, and then they would magic a steel cage around it. Once the dragon was fully secured, the magicians could begin the final stage.
They decided instead of killing the dragon, they would be humane and simply turn it into a harmless animal. They went back and forth over which species to transform it into: they vetoed rabbit (too fast), cow (too smelly), chimpanzee (too smart), and manatee (too needy). Theo proposed making the dragon into a cucumber, but Albi thought that was too silly. Finally, they settled on a ferret. Easy to contain, fairly small, not high maintenance, affable pet. After the dragon was successfully transfigured into a ferret, the magicians would transport it back to each of their kingdoms to show off their immense power. And of course to celebrate the end of the menace’s reign.
With their plan set, Albi and Theo set out in search of the dragon the following morning. They looked like two wanderers, wearing nothing but their magician robes and carrying nothing but their magician staffs. Actually, I guess they looked just like wizards/mages. They then began to set up the trap.
To spare my listeners from redundancy, since you already heard about their master plan, I’ll skip ahead to their hunt and when they capture the dragon. What was that? You say I ruined the story by giving away a plot point? You mean to tell me you thought the dragon would win? What kind of story do you think this is? Let me tell my stories, and you can tell your own. But not now, because I’m talking.
Their plan worked like a charm. A magical charm, you might say. The dragon smelled the sweet scent of the chocolate covered strawberries, flew over to Albi and Theo’s hiding spot, and was subsequently trapped, and in the grand finale of their plan, was transfigured into a ferret. However, there was one slight snag in the plan’s execution.
You see, as Albi was transferring the ferret dragon into a smaller cage, it escaped. It gave Albi’s ring finger a hard chomp, then scampered off when the wizard was distracted. Theo ran after the rodent, but it had gotten too far. The magicians succeeded in capturing and rendering the dragon harmless, but they failed at bringing it back to their kings as proof.
“If only we still had the ferret,” lamented Albi.
“Wait a second,” started Theo. “Why do we need that specific ferret? We can just use any ferret! Our story’s the same, and we’ll just tell everyone that our new ferret is actually the dragon.”
“But that’s lying,” said Albi guiltily.
“Yes, but no one would know. We’re magicians. They trust us. And they wouldn’t know the difference.”
“I don’t know, Theo. It just seems wrong.”
“You and I both know that we actually captured the dragon. So what does it matter? We still saved the kingdoms, and we should be awarded for it. Don’t you have any aspirations of fame?”
Albi began to smile. “You’re right. We’re still telling mostly the truth. Let’s do it!”
So on their way back to Albi’s kingdom, they stopped at the neighborhood pet shop to pick up the most menacing looking ferret. With a new rodent in hand, they completed their trip.
Needless to say, each king was impressed and elated. And so were the villagers. The two kingdoms came together and celebrated with a giant party, where Albi the Wizard and Theo the Mage were the honored guests.
During the festivities, a ferret peered out from the edge of the forest and observed the rejoicing people. It snorted. A small flame escaped from its mouth.