Previously: Young Maud had brought a baby wyvern home to be her pet. Knowing the fearsome beast this helpless hatchling would grow into, her parents ordered her to return it to the forest.
Sadly, with lagging steps, Maud took her new friend back to the forest. But then she had an idea. As soon as she was out of her watchful parents’s sight, she hurried away to a secluded glade where she often played. This became the secret home of her pet wyvern.
Maud’s parents believed she roamed in the woods as before. But now her hours were spent with her best friend, and most of the food she took with her went to feed it. Under Maud’s loving care, the wyvern thrived. The soft green scales became hard emerald plates. The frail wings grew mighty, and its paws were tipped with ebony claws sharp as razors. And it grew from the size of a cucumber until its shoulders brushed the treetops.
Despite all this, Maud never had any fear of her great companion. The wyvern was gentle in her presence, letting her sit on its back and weave flower crowns for both of them. She gazed into its blazing eyes without fear. Such is the power of loving kindness.
What the innocent girl didn’t know was that her meager offerings of milk and bread were no longer enough to satisfy her dear friend’s appetite. The wyvern craved red meat. It hunted in her absence. First it caught woodland creatures, but soon the farmers began to complain that their sheep and cattle had been taken. A few of them set out to track the predator. They were never seen again, but the wyvern discovered a delicious new treat… human flesh.
Even a sweet child like Maud could understand what was happening. She ran to the glade, where the wyvern met her mildly as ever. Maud begged the wyvern to stop hunting livestock and farmers. She asked for its promise. The wyvern was sad to have upset her, but its eyes blazed with a true dragon’s fire. For the first time it shook out its mighty wings and launched into the sky.
Weeping, Maud went home. She thought she would never see her dear friend again. Her parents thought she was grieving for the dead, but it was her own innocence that had been lost.
Check back on Tuesday for the conclusion of Maud and the Wyvern!