The Best of Friends

by Penelope Lerner
The Best of Friends Penelope Lerner lives with her four dogs, brother, mom, and dad. She loves dressing up as a panda and running around the house. She has a ton of stuffed animals, and she loves annoying her brother. Penelope's favorite food is watermelon, and her favorite color is purple. She loves reading for hours and hours for no odd reason. Penelope likes writing stories about adventures.

“As I slept in my comfortable bed, I did not know my life would change forever. I jumped out of bed when I heard a loud rarrr-ing over our small town. And like the other kids in the orphanage, I ran to the window. A dragon shining in the moonlight was asking where a girl was called Liriel. Then, I realized that he was looking for me.”

As I slept in my comfortable bed, I did not know my life would change forever. I jumped out of bed when I heard a loud rarrr-ing over our small town. And like the other kids in the orphanage, I ran to the window. A dragon shining in the moonlight was asking where a girl was called Liriel. Then, I realized that he was looking for me. I was desperate to save my town, thinking that the dragon would destroy my town in anger, so I had a weird moment when I was super strong and ripped one of the bed posts of my bed off and smashed the double layer window with it.

 

Then I jumped, landing on the hard ground covered in soft, pointy grass. I shook off the pain at the point of crying because of the pain and threw the part of my bed on the swings that were right next to me. I climbed the short three-foot fence and ran across the street to the dragon. He was super big and red and had big, cute light blue eyes. His nose, horn, and tips of his fingers were black as midnight, and in his nose there was a little fire producing a small light.

 

I screamed, “O mighty dragon, my name is Liriel. I am the girl you were looking for. Take me as a sacrifice for my town.”

 

“I’m not going to destroy your town,” he said. “I heard you crying in the morning. I want to know why. I’m going to bring you to my town. Can you please get in my fluffy bag? It has a couch in it, if you wanted to know.”

The dragon held open his bag, and I jumped in. The bag was soft and comfortable and so was the couch. As the dragon took off, he asked me in a very deep voice, “Why were you crying in the morning?”

 

I answered, “In the orphanage… ”

 

“Wait, you lived in an orphanage?” the dragon asked.

 

I responded, “Yes. They beat the kids there, and I was severely beaten this morning for not putting my dish into the sink after I ate. I had put it on the counter next to the sink because the sink was full.”

 

The dragon asked, “Who hit you?”

 

“We call them beaters. All of the bedrooms, the front yard, the backyard, the kitchen — they all have a phone, so someone can call the beaters. When they’re called, they come to beat you. Today, they hit me so hard in the back with a baseball bat that I have a huge bruise.”

 

As I said that, I put my head over the edge of the bag and saw a small town. I asked the dragon, “Why is that town there?”

 

“I save people from horrible places for a living. Then when they are ready for a new family and life, I put them in the village. I save everyone. We are home!!” responded the dragon as I felt the bag softly hit the ground.

 

“Can I please get out?”

 

“Yes. Also, you can go on my shoulder and fly around.”

 

“Thank you,” I said as I jumped on the dragon.

 

Later, we went back to the dragon’s bag and into the dragon’s house. His house was huge, and the walls had big containers on wooden shelves. He carefully put me down on a king-size bed with soft blankets. The pillows were like little, hard clouds.

 

I asked the dragon, “Why do the pillows feel like little, hard clouds? How are the blankets so soft? Where did you get this king-size bed?”

 

The dragon responded with, “Oh, I just made the pillows, got the blankets from Walmart, and got the bed from a bed store.” Then the dragon said, “It’s kinda dark. You should get some sleep.”

 

Soon, I was snuggled into my bed, sound asleep from the comfortable softness of the bed. The next day, the sun was shining through a window right on top. I hadn’t noticed the window the night before because it was so dark outside. The light was shining off the dragon’s scales like it had the first time I saw him. But when I woke up, I felt something different. I had felt normal when I went to sleep, but when I woke up, I felt different — out of the box, not like other people. I didn’t know what had triggered that, but when I woke up, the dragon was calling my name. He made me one piece of toast and two scrambled eggs with cheese and avocado on the side.

 

While I ate, the dragon said, “Today will be the first day of school.”

 

I was so surprised by the news that I almost fell out of my chair! I was speechless. How could he set me up in the school so fast? But I couldn’t find the answer and went to get ready for school. When I got to school, kids started staring at me. I didn’t know why. Then I remembered: my hair wasn’t brushed. I ran back to my house and brushed my hair. The dragon was staring at me weirdly as I brushed my hair quickly and ran out the door. Back at school, kids called me names for some odd reason. They called me “Messy Hair.” That made me feel sad. They were making fun of me for arriving without brushing my hair. People with short hair do that all the time, but people with long hair have to brush it every day. That’s unfair!

 

I went through the day feeling sad and hanging my head down. As I got back into the dragon’s home, I saw the dragon reading some books. “Hey, dragon!” I yelled. Then, I realized that I’d never asked the dragon’s name. I yelled to the other side of the room where the dragon was sitting. “I never asked for your name. What is it?”

 

The dragon responded with, “Cornelius. My name’s Cornelius. Want to come here and tell me how your day went?”

 

So I went over there and told Cornelius about the horrible day I had. I saw that he was sad about my horrible day at school.

 

“Now you are going to be homeschooled, because of the horrible day that you had,” Cornelius said firmly.

 

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, I thought in my head.

 

Days passed with no out of the box stuff. But on the 1st of May I saw a note. It had some weird writing on it.

 

I asked, “Cornelius, what is this note?”

 

“It is a note to a wishing well to give you one wish. P.S., it has old dragon language on it, so give it to me when we leave.”

 

“Can we go now?”

 

“If you are ready for an adventure.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Well, let’s go,” Cornelius said as we walked out the door of his house.

 

I immediately gave the map to Cornelius, and Cornelius read, “Follow the path of something red till you find something you dread. It is a rhyme on the note. We need to find out what is the answer.”

 

“Hey, there is a path of roses over to the right of us into the wood in the direction of the town! That must be the path. And what we both dread is the orphanage, so let’s go!” I said happily.

 

We followed the rose path for ten minutes before we ended up at the orphanage. We saw a small pond with fish. Like magic, there was a small bottle with a piece of paper in it. Cornelius graved the bottle and lifted the top. There was no note, but only steam. Cornelius yelled, “I can’t see.”

 

“Me either!” I responded.

 

Soon, the thick steam went away. In Cornelius’ hand was the next note. Cornelius said, “Climb the tallest mountain you can find to find your prize. Drop it in a hole to get your next note.”

 

Cornelius and I flew around for ten minutes before we spotted the tallest mountain. It was Mount Camp. We went to the top and saw one plant of sage. Its purple flowers shone bright in the midday light. It was amazing how beautiful it was. I couldn’t believe my eyes. When Cornelius landed, I jumped off Cornelius and grabbed a handful of sage. “This must be enough!” I said. Then, we flew off to find the hole.

 

All the holes we tried throwing sage into never gave us a third clue, but when we went back to Mount Camp, we realized the hole had been next to the sage the whole time! I felt kind of stupid, but I dumped the whole handful of sage into the hole. Then, one small piece of paper popped out. I grabbed it and handed it to Cornelius. Cornelius was so excited that he almost ripped the whole piece of paper in half with his claws. Cornelius immediately started reading, “Dig five feet under the first door of the dragon’s house. You will find the next clue that will leave you dumbfounded about where you’re going.”

 

I immediately jumped on Cornelius’ back and shouted, “Let’s go home! Let’s go home!” He flew to our house. He tried to grab a shovel, but I had already started digging. Still unwilling to dig with his hands, Cornelius grabbed another shovel and started digging, too. I almost got hit a few times, but I didn’t care. I was on my way to get one wish! Five feet down, we saw a note, and Cornelius said, “In the deep forest, there is something to find in the biggest tree.”

 

“Let’s go to the forest,” I said, a little scared for my life.

 

We flew to the forest, and we had to fly past the clouds to find the biggest tree, because the type of tree was Redwood. After we flew down on a platform, and as soon as we landed, the floor fell from under us.

 

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Cornelius and I yelled.

 

Soon, we were sliding down a tube with rainbow lights passing us. Then, we smashed onto something at the end. Then I saw it was a monster, with sharp teeth like a shark. It looked like a house with eyes and a mouth. It roared so loud that it shook the room. “We have to fight it,” I said, and I jumped on Cornelius’ back. Out of thin air, he gave me a steel sword. It was shining in the light of the room.

 

Cornelius flew over the monster, and I stabbed it 10 times. It started bleeding so bad that it died of blood loss in 20 minutes. We got the note that the monster was hiding.

 

Cornelius read, “Closer you are to the well, go into the door in the tree and find the monster of air. Get the note from its palm.”

 

“Let’s go, Cornelius, to the tree with the door. And get the note! Let’s go!” I said, jumping up and down on Cornelius’ back.

 

As we flew around the forest looking for the tree with the door in it, I realized, “Oh, it must be in the trunk, not in the trees!”


After five minutes of walking around the forest, we found the tree with the door in it. It was wide and brown and looked almost exactly like the tree trunk. We went into a super dark room. The only thing I could see was my dragon with his light in his nose. Cornelius had night vision. He saw some torches and lit them with his fire breath. I hadn’t known he had fire breath till now. I stared at him like he’d just done a flip. I was very surprised!

 

Then, I heard something rustling. Something walked in the room, and I felt an eerie presence on the other side of the room, but I did not dare to look there. When I did, I saw the silhouette of the monster of air and a note in his grip. I pulled out my steel sword, getting ready to fight. I jumped on Cornelius’ back, and he blew some fire on the monster of air. I saw the silhouette in flames. I knew this was my best chance to get the monster of air because he was visible in fire. I pulled out my steel sword and tried stabbing the monster of air. He always ducked out of the way, or tried to. I had an idea.

 

Cornelius and I went behind the monster of air to confuse him. First, I stabbed the monster of air. It turned around and saw us, so we had to go back! We went around the monster of air so many times, the monster of air fell down.

 

“This is our chance!” I jumped onto Cornelius’ back, and he flew above the monster of air.

 

I threw my sword, and Cornelius swooped down and grabbed it out of the monster of air where it had stabbed him. We did this so many times that the monster of air had ten puncture marks in his chest and stomach. The monster of air was so weak from all of his blood loss that he just gave me the note.

 

Cornelius read the note, which said, “Follow the rainbow to the pot of gold and grab one nugget.”

 

It started raining almost immediately after Cornelius said that. The rain was cold and coming down very hard. After five minutes, the rain quickly disappeared and left everything wet and soggy. I hated my hair being soggy because it stuck to my clothes and skin, but this was my chance to get one wish. After the rain disappeared, we saw one rainbow, then another and another.

 

Cornelius said, “Oh my gosh! They must be trying to trick us, so we go to the wrong one and something will happen!”

 

Cornelius started flying around the rainbows, seeing which one was the strongest to follow to the end. The first one had a puddle of green slime at the bottom. The second was the same. And the third, the fourth, the fifth!

 

But the sixth rainbow had the gold in a golden pot, so Cornelius immediately yelled, “Here’s the gold!” and flew back to me.

 

I hopped on his back and headed back to get the gold. What we did not know was that there was something in the bushes awaiting our arrival.

We flew around for five minutes trying to go to the end of the rainbow.

 

When we landed and started reaching for the gold, a hard, long stick hit Cornelius and me on our hands. Cornelius said, “Ow, that hurt!” as we both turned around to see one small leprechaun, about two feet tall, standing right next to Cornelius.

 

Cornelius was so mad that he looked like he had fire in his eyes.

 

I was scared as I heard what the leprechaun said. “You keep your dirty hands off my gold! It’s mine, not yours!”

 

I responded, “We need the gold!”

 

The leprechaun replied. “Well, why do you need the gold? It’s my gold, and if you want the gold, you’ll have to fight me.”

 

Cornelius gave me my steel sword as I hopped on his back and prepared to fight. First, the leprechaun moved, pouring hard gold on us, then making it disappear into thin air. Then, after that, Cornelius blew fire at the leprechaun, and Cornelius flew over for the leprechaun, letting me throw my sword down at him, but he blocked it with a light green shield. It started heading for me and Cornelius, but I grabbed my sword before it hit Cornelius and me. The leprechaun tried hitting me off of Cornelius to hurt me and make Cornelius fight him on his own.

 

But he failed and fell into the pot of gold. He gave up because the gold cut and weakened him, making him not be able to move. Cornelius and I pulled him out of the pot of gold and put him on the ground sofly. Cornelius and I put our hand out to grab the pot of gold, but when we touched the pot, the ground fell from under the pot, Cornelius, and me.

 

We fell straight down falling in water. The room was very dark, but the only light was the light of the wishing well. Cornelius and I grabbed the pot of gold and moved it next to the well. Cornelius and I grabbed one piece of gold. I thought of what I wanted for a wish. And something crossed my mind. It was, You are not normal. Wish to be normal. You must be normal to go to normal school!!

 

The voice was right. I wasn’t normal, so I threw in the gold and said, “I wish to be normal.”

 

Then, I heard a small splash, and there was a deep voice that made the room shake.

 

It said, “You can’t be normal. No one can be normal. Everyone is different.”

 

Then, the piece of gold came out of the well.

 

I threw the gold back down and said, “Well, if I can’t be normal, I want to not be bullied in school.”

 

“Your wish is granted,” said the voice.

 

I said to Cornelius, “I can go to normal school!!! YESSS!!!”

 

Cornelius said, “Let’s go home,” sadly, with a tear running down his hard, scaly cheeks.

 

“I must have made him sad by saying, ‘I can go to normal school!!! YESSS!!!’” Then, I had made my mind up. I would stay with Cornelius as my teacher, since he came all this way for me.

 

“I’m sorry that I said, ‘I can go to normal school!!! YESSS!!!’ You’re the best at teaching,” I said as we flew into the sunset.

 

THE END

 

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