The Hungry Dragon – An Autumn Story & Pancakes!

Ask Kytka Archives: November 11, 1999

Q: Do you have any ideas for the festivals of Michaelmas & Martinmas. They come so close together.

A: Our friend Renee was kind enough to share this story and idea for using it during the transition time between Michaelmas (September 29th) and Martinmas (November 11th). It really does fit well and is enjoyed by young children, who delight in helping to make the pancakes! (and YES, I have included the recipe!)

The Hungry Dragon

The dragon had not been out for days. It had been raining and he hated getting wet, but his stomach was growling. So, he went to the far corner of his cave and there, in his treasure chest, among gold coins and jewels, he found his rain boots, an old umbrella, and bucket for his cloudberries, special berries that grow in Norway.

He ventured outside. Looking up t the clouds and the pouring rain, he grumbled, “It’s miserable, but at least there aren’t any hunters out in this rain.” The dragon was afraid of hunters. Most of the dragons he had known had either been chased, like himself, into small caves high in the mountains or shot dead. There were no berries near  {+++}  the steep cliffs of his cave, so he had to climb down to the valley and up another mountain, where he knew there would be plenty of cloudberries.

After the dragon had filled his bucket with berries, he decided to take a different path home. Maybe he would be lucky enough to find some wild cherries, too.

On the way home. The dragon had to pass a lonely cabin. No smoke rose from the chimney, so he presumed that no one lived there anymore. But, as he passed by, he heard people inside. The dragon hurried by.

A child’s voice yelled, “Wait! Wait!”

The dragon turned, and there on the path behind him stood a small, scrawny boy with sandy blond hair. In a cranky voice the dragon asked, “What do you want?”

The dragon looked scary to the boy, and he could not remember what he wanted.

“What?” the dragon repeated, as he blew a puff of smoke out of his nose.

The boy remembered. “Fire,” he replied. “That is what we need most. My family and I are cold, and my mother can’t light the wood-burning stove without fire. She promised us pancakes if we could find fire.

“Well,” the dragon said, puffing more smoke, “Fire is my specialty. As everyone knows, the one thing dragons are good at is making huge, billowing fire.”

“We only need a small fire,” the boy went on. “Come,” he said, as he tugged at the dragon’s leg.

The dragon followed the boy inside the cabin. His brother and sister weren’t sure whether to be scared or surprised by the sight of the dragon.

“He’s going to help us start the fire,” the boy reassured them.

The dragon walked over to the stove and carefully blew a tiny flame onto the wood. Immediately, a fire was started, and the cabin grew cozy and warm in the rosy light of the fire. The dragon almost hated to leave and go out into the rain again.

“Stay a while, Mr. Dragon,” the boy’s mother invited. “we are poor people and don’t have much to offer, but if you would like to eat pancakes with us, you are welcome.”

“Yes, thank you. I would like that,” the dragon told her. “But, wait a minute. I have a whole bucket of cloudberries by the door. They would taste mighty good on the pancakes.”

The children helped clean the cloudberries then mix them up with a little sugar. The dragon insisted on making the pancakes. He soon had a stack of pancakes that almost reached the ceiling. With a stack like that, there was plenty for everyone.

After finishing his plate of pancakes, the dragon started to tell stories from when he was young, and that was almost six hundred years ago. The children were fascinated with his tales of Vikings and sea monsters.

Later on in the evening, when the dragon bade them farewell, the children begged him to come back soon and tell them ore stories. So three days later, when the dragon passed by the cabin again, he brought his treasure chest of gold and jewels.

“These riches are of no use to me,” the dragon confided to them, “but they can make life easier for you.”

The dragon stopped by the cabin often to share his stories and to have supper with the family. And, as far as I know, he still lives in his cave high in the mountains.

Norwegian Pancakes

You will need: a mixing bowl, a frying pan (an iron skillet works great), a spatula

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
!/4 teaspoon cardamom Optional
3 eggs
butter or margarine for frying

1. In the bowl, mix flour, salt, and sugar. Add the milk a little at a time while stirring. When you have used all the milk add the vanilla, cardamom, and eggs. Stir until the batter is even (without lumps) I use a hand blender and it works great.

2. Let the batter sit for 20 minutes. Then war the frying pan and add a little melted butter or margarine.

3. POUR 1/4 cups of batter into the frying pan. Tip the frying pan from side to side to even out the batter.

4. Flip the pancake with a spatula and fry until brown. Store the pancakes between two plates to keep warm until you have used up all the batter.

5. Top the pancakes with berries or strawberry jam, sugar and butter, we love syrup, or whatever you prefer.

6. Roll up the pancakes with the toppings inside. Enjoy!

Special Thanks to Renee for sharing this.

* The Source of this and and many other wonderful “Waldorf” style stories and delicious recipes, we highly recommend: The Sleepy Baker: A Collection of Stories and Recipes for Children

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Kytka Hilmar-Jezek

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