Part Eighteen - A Man
After about forty-five minutes of conversation between Chaphar, Shehleg and Tom, Zawkane stepped in. “You know?” he said. “If our people’s weren’t at war, we could be quite good friends, you and I.”
“What’s to say we can’t be friends?” Chaphar asked.
“Well, it would never work. I will never have a home. I can’t go back to my own kind, they’d kill me right off, and your people would do it just as readily.”
Chaphar sighed. “Yes, sad to say they probably would. But can you blame them?”
“No, I can’t suppose I can,” Zawkane said in a low voice. “My kind has hated your kind ever since we parted ways millennia ago. We have been at war ever since. I fear it will remain that way until one side overthrows the other.”
“I have a feeling you’re right,” Shehleg said. “I just can’t see why. Earlier I was against the idea of helping you. All I could see was the blood that your kind has spilt. I had not taken our master’s words to heart yet. But now that I have, and seen one of you up close and talked with you, I can’t see why the war continues.”
“Nor can I seeing as your leader is so honorable,” Zawkane answered. “If that news were to spread amongst my kind, half would instantly gain interest in peace. All you would need to do is convince them.”
“That may be so,” Chaphar said. “You should know, you’re a dragon. The trick would then be to convince our side that they are not the enemy.”
“That shouldn’t be too hard,” Shehleg answered. “You convinced me.”
“Why don’t you guys give it a try?” Tom asked. “I won’t be here forever, but you guys all will. Chaphar and Shehleg, you could try and start a peace movement on your side and Zawkane could attempt it with his kind.”
“And how would you like me to do that? Walk into a city and go ‘they’re leader is honorable?’ ” Zawkane said waving his empty claw. “I would be dead in two seconds.”
“I don’t know what you’d need to do. You know your culture, I don’t, but there must be a way,” Tom answered rubbing Zawkane’s scales.
There was a moment’s silence. “I can’t see how I could,” Zawkane said. “Although it is an honorable idea. …I regret that I may never know you well.” Zawkane paused, but only for a moment. “You are right, you are not a boy, you’re a man,” Zawkane said rubbing Tom’s chest with his ‘thumb’ claw.
Tom smiled. No greater compliment could he think of that he’d ever received. Here was a thirty foot red dragon, holding him with his six foot clawed ‘hand’ as they flew over a forest, telling him that he was a man. How unbelievable was that? A tear ran down his cheek. These had been an amazing couple days. What would the end of this day bring with it?