Comedy Stories

The Temperate Wyvern

“En garde, Devil’s Spawn!”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Hellbeast! Talketh not to me. I come in the name of mine own sov’reign king.”


“To bring glory to his name.”

“Bring glory to some old goat’s name? That’s quite the undertaking.”

“Silence! I shall not listen to another word slithering from your forkéd tongue!”

“Then we won’t have much to discuss, will we?”

“I claimeth this mountaintop in the name of the Lord of the Realm!”

“You are far too winded to claim anything. That’s quite a climb up those treacherous rocks—and in full armor, too. But so many young men are willing to die for glory these days—tsk tsk.”

“Feel nay pity for me, Horror of the Sky. Feel pity for the monstrosity who birthed thee into being!”

“Leave my dear mother out of this. Now tell me again, which king pressed you into such strenuous service?”

“Know ye not the blessed Earl of Thornberry, Duke of Lexington, Baron of Carrick, and Lord of the Black Isles?”

“All in one person? That seems excessive.”

“As is thy lust for gold! I have pledged my troth in recouping the king’s plundered treasure. Bring it forth or die!”


“It is not thine. Returneth it now or taste the edge of mine own iron blade!”

“All right, lad. Put down your broadsword and come in at once. Mind your head—mind your head. The cave’s entrance is a wee bit low. Follow me.”

“Should I follow thee to my death, Curséd Dragon?”

“Let’s get one thing straight, Sir Knight. I’m a Wyvern, not a Dragon.”

“There be a difference?”

“There’s a distinction. Dragons have four legs. Look at me. See? Two wings. Two legs. Pointy, poisonous tail.”


“Don’t worry about the tail. If I had wanted you dead, I’d have flung you off the cliff when I first saw you approach.”

“I am not afraid of thee—Vile Descendant of Cain.”

“Could we stop with the name calling? That must violate your code of chivalry on some level. Besides, we’re alone here. Save the theatrics for another day—like when a lusty maiden needs rescuing or an unsuspecting town needs pillaging.”

“Not another word of your deceitful trickery, Wyvern—or I shall cleave thy beastly head from your neck.”

“Yes, yes. Of course. You are simply terrifying. Now follow me, young man. It isn’t very far…See? We are here already. Welcome to my lair.”

“O, eternal heaven above…”

“It’s not to your liking?”

“It is not what I did expect. Everything is so—”

“Clean? Orderly? Pristine?”

“I merely thought—”

“You just thought I was a dirty Dragon—dumping my ill-gotten gain into one filthy heap onto the floor and sitting on it like a 24-karat hemorrhoid.”

“Wyvern, I doth not understand.”

“What’s there to understand? I like things sorted. Pearls here. Emeralds there. Opals, sapphires, and rubies—each and everything in its place.”

“And the golden treasure?”

“Gold? Bah! I’ve melted my gold down into ingots—all numbered, stacked, and weighed. It’s there on pallets. Take it with you when you leave. Now put down your broadsword. We have so much to discuss.”

“Thou art giving me thy gold?”

“To be fair, some of it may be your king’s loot, but the majority of it was stolen from realms far and wide when I was young like you—when I was so sure of myself.”

“Prithee, bid me wherefore—”

“Why? Why is what all Wyverns wonder. Why, indeed.”


“I see I’ve offended you, Sir Knight. Please. Ask me what you wish.”

“Wherefore art thou giving me thy gold?”

“Well, I suppose I want to help you with your quest. Youth is the perfect time to make your mark in this world. How glorious it will be for you to return this wealth to your sovereign king! Or does seeing the gold for yourself warp your worthiness?”

“It is quite beautiful, Wyvern. Perhaps I shall taketh a bar for payment of services rendered.”

“Of course, lad. I don’t think your king will miss an ingot or two. Feel its heft. Gold is surprisingly heavy, is it not?”

“Indeed, Wyvern. Weighty yet malleable. It warms to the touch.”

“And what else, Sir Knight? What else of gold?”

“I liketh the feel of it. It sparkles…”

“Gold doesn’t sparkle. Gold glows.”

“Yes! Thy speech be sooth. Gold doth glow…”

“I should know. I’ve meticulously accumulated my hoard nugget by nugget. A handful of doubloons here. An alluvial deposit there. All safely stored in my lair since time immemorial.”

“Then wherefore givest it to me?”

“I have no need for it any longer. In fact, I never needed it.”

“I have heard all mine own days that Dragons loveth gold.”

“Dragons may love gold, but we Wyverns have evolved past base, gilded desires. Over the eons, we’ve been horribly misled by dragon hegemony.”

“Dragon hegemony?”

“Dragon dominance over our species. What lies they’ve spun! Why should the acquisition of gold be anyone’s sole purpose?”

“If I may, gold doth proveth useful in ruling a kingdom…buying up armies and navies and such.”

“Well, I came to the realization that I didn’t own my gold. The. gold. owned. me.”

“There are worse taskmasters, Wyvern.”

“No worse than greed! Needless to say, I melted down all of my gold to get it out of the way.”

“Out of the way?”

“Clutter! Piles of golden clutter that did not serve me anymore. So I say take it and be gone. Here. I will help you fill your bags. If you put your broadsword down, it will make the task much easier.”

“May God grant you mercy. At which hour I returneth to mine own kingdom, I shall tell tales of the Temperate Wyvern who overcame the deadliest of sins.”

“That’s the thing about sin. When one purges an obsession, another appears to take its place.”

“Pray tell, Wyvern. What hast replaced the love of gold in your heart?”

“Iron, Sir Knight. Iron and blood.”

🜋 🜋 🜋

“Pearls here. Emeralds there. Opals, sapphires, rubies, broadswords and bones—each and everything in its place.

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