I am yellow and green, my claws are scarlet, and my tail is so long that it lies in a hundred coils. My brother and I guard the entrance to the Gloomy Cavern that leads to the Fountain of Health and Beauty.
If you were to pass us and get into the cavern you would find an immense hole full of toads and snakes. Down at the bottom of the hole, the passage opens to another small cave where you would find the Fountain of Health and Beauty. Everything touched by that water becomes wonderful. Beautiful things will always remain beautiful, and ugly things will become lovely. If you are young, you will never grow old, and if you are old, you will become young.
One day a young man approached the cavern with his dog. I shot fire at him from my mouth and eyes, and the dog was so terrified that ran in circles looking for a place to hide. The fellow drew his sword and I would have disintegrated him on the spot, but I lost sight of him in the smoke. The next thing I knew, an owl had shot past me into the cavern. When the smoke cleared, I saw the owl flying out of the cave with a flask of water. He dropped it to the young man who ran away into the forest with his little dog yipping joyfully.
My brother was absent. Asleep, perhaps, or overwhelmed by the sadness that overtook us in the smoke and the gloom.
The Dragon of the Gloomy Cavern in The Story of Pretty Goldilocks, Blue Fairy Book. Illustration by Warwick Goble.