words

I have a love affair going on with words.  Always have.  I looooove good words.  That being said, my word for today is HI-A-TUS.  As in I’m on one – a hiatus.  I will be taking a break from posting.  Nothing is wrong.  I just need to do some things, and while doing them, I also need to play clean up with the blog.  I need to fix broken links and pictures.  I need to do some Spring housecleaning in the real house and on the blog.  I need to do some thinking.  And I need to take a break to reevaluate blogging and if I want to continue.

Once upon a time book cover

I am going to leave you with a story I wrote back in 1993.  Back then I was looking around for something for my son to read, something from a children’s Christian standpoint that would help him in every day life.  I didn’t find anything I liked in that age group (10-12).  Most were too sermony and booooring.

So I was sitting at the office one morning and a line ran through my mind.  I turned to my computer and typed:

“I am so mad,” snorted Billy Dragon.  A small tree in the yard caught on fire.

Suddenly an entire character was in my mind and an incident Alpha Son had been through was laid out in the form of a young dragon who has a slight problem with his temper.  That story became “Billy Dragon and… Losing Your Temper.”   I went on to write about 17 stories for him, true stories that really happened but embellished with an entire animal town with animal names for his friends and acquaintances.

I wanted to chronicle some of the neat faith adventures he had as a child so he’d never forget.  He has had some pretty amazing faith adventures in his life.  He loved to hear them, too.  What kid wouldn’t want stories about himself?

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Tree Lightning
Tree Lightning

Without further ado, here is

BILLY DRAGON AND … LOSING YOUR TEMPER
Copyright © 1993 by Nan Cook Loyd

“I am so mad,” snorted Billy Dragon.  A small tree in the yard caught on fire.

Of course when Billy Dragon snorted it would burn up whatever was in front of him because his snorts were full of smoke and fire.  And even though his mother had warned him about snorting, Billy Dragon snorted again.

“I am SO mad,” he said louder, “mad, mad, mad!”  The grass around the tree began to burn.  Billy Dragon took a deep breath, getting ready to REALLY snort when suddenly:

BILLY DRAGON!  What in the world do you think you are doing?”  Mama Dragon was not happy.  In fact, Mama Dragon’s tail was twitching back and forth and her big foot was tapping on the ground.  Things were not good when Mama Dragon’s tail was twitching and her foot was tapping on the ground.

“Well?” she crossed her arms and asked, looking pointedly at the burning tree and grass.

Silence.  The crackling of the fire was the only sound heard.  That and the tap-tap-tap of Mama Dragon’s big foot on the ground.  Mama Dragon did not approve of snorting at all.

“Ummmm,” muttered Billy Dragon.  He looked down at the ground, not wanting to look at his Mama.

“Excuse me,” asked Mama Dragon, “did you say something?”  She went over to the burning grass and stepped on it with her big foot.  Dragons really do have big feet and the grass fire went out right away.  She took a breath and poofed in the direction of the tree and out went that fire — snorting and poofing being two different things, you see.

“Oh, Mom,” huffed Billy Dragon, “I couldn’t get my electric car to work and it made me SO mad!”

Mama Dragon looked down at the many small car pieces and said, “It looks like your car has been destroyed.  What happened to your car?”

“Well, it wouldn’t go when I pushed the button on the control.  It made me so mad, I threw it across the yard and it hit the wall and it broke in a zillion pieces and that made me even madder and, well, I guess I sort of snorted, a little bit,” Billy Dragon’s voice got lower and lower as he told his story, “and it really was just a little snort, Mom, honest!”

“Now son, from the look of that poor tree, it was more than a little snort.  We need to have a serious talk about this snorting you do every time you get frustrated,” said Mama Dragon and she turned and went over to a big rock and sat down.

Reluctantly, Billy Dragon followed her, dragging his tail, hanging his head, looking so sad.  He knew he wasn’t supposed to snort because it was dangerous to any one or anything in front of him! He knew snorting was a work of the flesh, too.  It meant he lost his temper.

“Now, Billy Dragon, do you know one of the things the Bible says about tempers?” Mama Dragon asked.  He shook his head “no” and waiting in silence for her to continue.

Mama Dragon said pointedly, “First of all, you know losing your temper is walking in the flesh, right?  The Bible says we are to be Spirit-led, not flesh led – or acting all goofy in a way not pleasing to God.  And I want to know if you read your Bible devotional before you played today.  You know we have to renew our minds so we don’t act like humans!”

Billy Dragon’s head sunk lower.  He hadn’t read his Bible devotional today.  He hadn’t read it because he wanted to play first.  He felt really bad.  He knew he was wrong to snort.  It was almost as bad as when humans yelled.

Mama Dragon was still talking, “The only way we can walk as Spirit-filled dragons and not lose our tempers is to read our Bible every day.  And Proverbs 14:17 says “People with a hot temper do foolish things.’  I’d say you had a hot temper just now, wouldn’t you?”

Billy Dragon really felt bad!  He said in a small voice, “Does that mean I’m a fool, Mama?”  He knew it was not a nice thing to be a fool!  The Bible said so!

Mama Dragon smiled, “Well, no honey.  But you are being foolish to get mad so quickly.  You see, son, if you hadn’t gotten so mad, maybe you would have been smarter about your car.”

Now Billy Dragon looked really puzzled and Mama Dragon smiled really big, “Honey, did you check to see if there were any batteries in your remote control before you threw the car across the yard and broke it into a zillion pieces?”  Mama Dragon knew the batteries were on the table in the cave where Billy Dragon left them in the rush to go outside and play!

Poor Billy Dragon.  His eyes grew very big and round and he felt very, very foolish, indeed.

“Oh Mom, I broke my car for no reason at all!” Billy Dragon wailed.  “Now I can’t fix it so I don’t have a car anymore.”  He looked at car pieces on the ground and knew losing his temper was not a smart thing at all!

Billy Dragon had learned a very good lesson.  But, Mama Dragon wasn’t through with him yet.

“And one more thing, Billy Dragon.  Because you destroyed my little tree with your snorting, you will do some extra chores around the cave to earn the money to buy a new one.  And you can dig the hole and plant it, take care of it and water it until it’s as big as the one you burned up.”  Mama Dragon looked Billy Dragon right in his eyes to make sure he understood.

“Yes, M’am,” replied Billy Dragon politely, knowing he was very lucky that was all Mama Dragon said about his snorting.  He knew now that God did not want him to be foolish and lose his temper and burn things up and break his toys.  God wanted him to walk in the Spirit and think smart, not give into the flesh and snort!