This story is an expanded version of one that was produced on the spot by one of the rovers. It has many details which, while funny to the average reader, may break us out into laughter. Yes it’s an embellishment.
ONCE UPON A TIME,
A group of young Rovers heard tale of the legendary Dragons that could grant them three wishes. They sat a gasp in their chairs, realizing that they could finally find the silver bullets to their problems. One of them stood forth and announced that the rovers should form a search party, for he “never fails”.
So off they trekked, leaving behind family and friends on the stroke of Christmas. They traveled over ocean and seas, with only the guidance of a wise old mentor. He claimed to have prior been to this far off land, but he had traveled to many lands. The crew had to trust that he knew which land was the right one.
After finally arriving in the distant land, the locals greeted them with live music, food, more food and much happiness. The Mayor even gave them his personal chariot in aid for the search. The rovers started in a territory that has suffered much flooding, having known that the dragons were mischievous and fans of water. The crew took shelter in homes of the locals. Two of the rovers were visited by the first messenger of the dragons; the mighty mallard duck. They were chased around the humble abode, warned not to search any further. After a daring escape by swinging to the rafters, the two rovers made their plight known to the others. The crew knew that they were on the right track, but began to realize what toll the search may take on them. Many had gone with little to no sleep for days on end, and sickness began to creep into the ranks.
After a heartfelt farewell, cries of guapo, maganda and celebration, the crew made way for the second island of search. The first island was warm, but the second island was melt-you-face hotter. The sweat started to drip off of the crew before they even left the craft. Again the locals greeted them with cheers and celebration. The crew started fervently the next day. They searched high and low; under the water and around the coral, up the hills and at the bottom of bottles. Finally the decisive cryptic clue they needed came from their local guide. They all loaded up and cheered Aroogu, ARU ARU.
The crew arrived and was perplexed. Welcoming them was a cloud of butterflies. Was this not the place of the legendary dragons? Their concerns were quickly replaced with others. Out from the shadows of the majestic butterflies came the largest repulsive, thorniest, slimiest, gnarliest beetle imaginable. Six feet long and two feet wide, the second messenger of the dragons approached, blocking the way forward. Some of the crew were just not ready to handle the horror, and broke down in disgust. Once the crew regained composure, one quick rover remembered that the natural diet of the beetle is sugar cane. One of the teams jumped into action and in unison yelled, “Make it Rain” as they pelted the foul beast with sugar, cup cakes and those teeny- tiny little Jello shots that just don’t seem to be worth the hassle. The barrage left no trace of the
Moving forward the crew heard nothing but eerie silence, broken only by the sound of quiet splashes. After two hundred meters of fog, swamp and jungle the tides of favour turned. The Final messenger arose from the depth with a mighty bellow. The most ancient, gargantuan crocodile in the land snapped at their faces, missing by a hair. The crew quivered. The stench was almost as bad as the waste laid by one of their own. Swarms of diminutive crony crocodiles crashed from spray of the ferocious beast. The crew began stomping their feet in order to stay above the rising tide of cold blooded reptiles. They clapped and stomped as the locals had taught them. Soon enough only the mighty messenger remained. Picking up a long bamboo branch, a brave (or stupid) rover tapped the crocodile on the nose and then the shoulder. The beast took the bait and jumped that way. That brave rover led the messenger away from the others, leaving them in safety. May whatever his or her name was live on forever.
With the final messenger out of the way the crew, the hunt began. The crew entered into an oasis in the middle of jungle. The crew spread out to capture the dragons. Not knowing what to expect, the crew went in groups of no less than four. The day was still young, not past two in the afternoon. They agreed to meet back promptly at three, three thirty. With a few right dresses and about-faces, the crew finally split up.
One of the groups saw a small creature scampering up ahead. They chased it down and cornered it.
“Are you a legendary Dragon?” asked the first rover.
The slim scaly lizard turned and replied, “Why yes indeed I am.”
“Holy crap! It can talk! Quick, call the others,” blurted out a second.
“How are we supposed to do that, nobody has phones,” bashed a third.
The second asked excitedly, “Is it true? Is it true? Do you grant wishes?” ignoring the thirds remark.
Perplexed the dragon answered, “Do I look like a leprechaun?”
You could hear the crickets chirp and the cocks crowing in the distance. The crew members were stunned like
Up came the right hand of the dragon, one finger and one solitary word echoed out of its body, many times louder than seemed possible from its frame.
The crew was relieved and broke down laughing from the stress. One of them lost her composure and took minutes to cease. Once regrouped, they began to ask the dragon how it would work.
“It is simple. For the tears of an innocent, I will grant you three wishes,” explained the dragon.
“Quick, blow into my eyes. Blow into my eyes!” one ordered the rest.
So they huffed and puffed until a tear formed at his eye.
The dragon was impressed with the teamwork, and granted them their three wishes.
The crew decided that one who gave up the tear should go first.
“Dear Dragon of might, please grant my wish that I may receive my first kiss.”
The dragon nodded knowingly, and went silent. He then jumped onto the rover who made the wish and proceeded to kiss him, tongue and all.
The crew again broke into laughter, this time with a round of hip hip hoorays.
A second wish was made by the crew. “On this trip we have averaged four hours of sleep a night. We wish to make the days longer.”
Again the dragon gave a knowingly nod. He raised his hands and danced. They were instructed to follow along. Three hours later, they stopped and were awarded the wish of the longer days. Little did they know that along with the longer days came longer schedules, so they were now getting the same amount of sleep, but had to stay up longer.
The third and final wish was to be made. The crew was left to fight and banter out a final wish.
“Let’s wish for more exotic food?”
“Let’s wish for more celebrities in our crew!”
“No no. We need to wish that scouting will grow.”
“You’re all wrong. We need to wish for more girls in our crew.”
“YES, they all agreed” (males and females).
“Dear wise masterous Dragon of the ages. We wish to have more females in out crew.”
For the final time, the dragon nodded in acknowledgment. Instantly, half the male Rovers turned into females, completing the wish.
In a puff of smoke that smelled of fresh durian, the dragon disappeared.
“Damn it. Now how are we going to carry all of this equipment?”
The complete crew regrouped back at the meeting point.
“What the hell happened to you guys,…. I mean gals…. I mean….. WTF!”
“We found the Legendary Dragon, and made wishes.”
“What! All we found was this stupid penguin that promised to send us home.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Everyone knows Penguins don’t talk.”
“Whatever. Just followed the penguin.”
Right wing. Left wing.
Right Leg. Left Leg.
Butt out. Tongue out.
Penguin Attention. Penguin Salute!
And like that the odyssey was over. The crew was home. The trip was over. The wishes may have been twisted. The trip may have been seemed cut short. But the memories of all that the crew accomplished will live on. (Except perhaps what’s his/her face). It isn’t about the end point, it’s about the trip. It’s how you get there.