I have been reading some of my own stories to my daughter recently and she really likes them. Last night she asked if I could write a story about Lions and Tigers. I will give that a go in the coming weeks. However, one of her favorite characters is one that I made up over 20-years ago now. The character is now known to all of my children and her name is Allie the Dragon.
Allie is a big friendly dragon that can talk and visits small children at bedtime. She knocks on the bedroom window and then will take the child on a trip on her back. Over the years, Allie had flown my children everywhere – even to the Moon. My daughter seems to really like the Allie the Dragon stories and enjoys helping me make them up as we go.
When my eldest son was just a small boy, I made up Allie the Dragon because he simply would not sleep. I would end up driving around Basingstoke at 11:30pm at night trying to get him to sleep in the back of the car and then carry him up the stairs and to bed when he did fall asleep. So, as you might imagine, I spent many hours reading and making up stories when it was my turn.
In the USA, a popular thing to do is to have your child’s first shoes preserved in metal and then gold-plated and mounted on a wooden base. We did this with my eldest sons first shoes. By the time we returned to England (we lived for 3-years in England before returning to the USA), he was old enough to know that these were his shoes and that they were gold (I don’t think it was real gold!). These shoes were the inspiration behind Allie the Dragon.
Allie the Dragon was flying over Basingstoke one evening when she saw a little boy with the brightest red hair. She was intrigued by the color of his hair that shone like flame so she decided to wait until his parents put him to bed and then she would go and introduce herself. Sure enough, after she saw the light in his room go out, she flew over to his window. The little boy, lying in his bed could hear a strange sound outside of his window. It was a strange beating sound. It was very rhythmic and listening to it, he began to drift off to sleep.
He was awakened though by a tapping at his window. He sat up and pulling the curtain back, he peered out into the darkness. A large face peered back. He jumped in shock at the site of that face for it had wide flaring nostrils, small beady red eyes and teeth. Lots and lots of teeth.
“Hello there,” said the face in a cheerful voice. “I’m Allie the Dragon and I want to say that I do love your hair”
The little boy thought for a moment. “A Dragon – wow!”
“It’s OK,” said Allie. “I won’t hurt you.”
The little boy overcame his fear and opened the window. The boy and the dragon got introduced and started to talk about all kinds of fascinating and wonderful things like why salt tasted salty and why bees buzz. Eventually, Allie asked him if he might like a ride on her back?
“Oh yes please,”said the boy.
“Allie instructed him to go and put on some clothes and shoes waiting all the while for him at the window. The boy returned dressed and climbed on thew dragon’s scaly back.
“Hold on tight now,” Allie shouted as she flapped those wings harder and they began to move ever higher and higher.
“Ever been to the Moon,” she asked.
“No,” shouted the boy.
“Would you like to?”
“Oh, yes please,”
So off they went. All the way up to the Moon that was shining brightly in the sky. There, they landed and the little boy ran around making great dust clouds all about.
“My, isn’t it dusty here,” he said as he played.
Allie beamed as the little boy played running in circles and all about. Eventually though, she told him it was time to go home and so reluctantly, he climbed onto her back and off the went, the thumping sound of her wings again making him sleepy.
When they arrived at his house, he climbed off her back yawning and was ready to fall asleep instantly he was so tired fully dressed.
“You should undress,” Allie told him. “You should never sleep in your clothes no matter how tired you are.”
He nodded and started to pull off his shoes. But, he noticed that his once white shoes were now covered in a gold color.
“Ah,” explained Allie. “That’ll be the moon dust – it’s turned your shoes into gold.”
And that is how the little boy came to have a pair of golden shoes that were on display as his parents were amazed at the golden shoes and of course, didn’t believe the story of the dragon and the Moon.
“Goodnight,” said Allie. “I will come back and see you soon my new friend.”
And that is how Allie the Dragon became a character that I made up and whose stories have entertained all four of my children.