This is the tale of St. George and the dragon. It has been told for over 15 centuries. It takes place during a time called the Dark Ages, when kings ruled the land, wizards cast spells, and monsters roamed free.
The queen of fairies had taken young George in as a baby. The fairies raised the child to grow up brave, strong, calm, courteous, quick, and clever. They taught him to be a noble knight.
At last the time came when George was old enough to seek out his destiny. The queen of fairies called him to see her.
"Your journey starts today," she told him. "You have many adventures before you. Your fantastic quest will take six years. The world is filled with monsters to be slain and battles to be fought. You'll meet kings and paupers, wizards and witches, evil princes and kind princesses."
"Yes, Your Majesty," George bowed before the queen. He was very fond of her. He was sad to leave the land of the fairies, but he was not afraid.
"Always remember one thing," the queen added, tapping George's silver battle helmet. "Your greatest weapon, George, is your brain."
With those words, George set off. He traveled for weeks, through many wonderful kingdoms. But as George approached Silene, he noticed the land changed from lush and green to dark and desolate. It seemed the ground had been crossed by fire. There was no grass, only the darkest mud. The trees were bare and black, and a foul stench filled the air.
As George walked through this stark land, he did not see a soul -- not a bird, not a squirrel, and certainly not a single person.
George finally saw a castle in the distance. A high, solid wall enclosed the castle and the small city around it. The gate was closed up tight. Again, George saw no one around. When he got closer, he saw a young lady. She crept quietly through the gate.
"Excuse me, my dear lady," he called after her.
"Quiet!" she hushed him. "Have you no sense? You would do well to leave here now and never return."
"But I am a brave knight here to help you," George whispered.
"Alas, sir," the woman replied, "you are but one man. I fear that you cannot help."
George looked her in the eyes. "It is my destiny," he said to her. "I will not go until I have done all I can, even if it costs me my life."
"I am Princess Sabra," she said. "Come with me."
They tiptoed through what was once a deep, green forest. Sabra explained why the kingdom lived in such fear.
A fearful dragon had lived in the kingdom for many years, she told him. The horrible beast had ravaged the land. Many men had tried to slay the dragon, but its sharp claws, vast flapping wings, and fiery breath made it impossible to reach, let alone kill.
The people had moved to protection within the castle walls. But soon the dragon had run out of animals to eat.
"If you do not feed me sheep each day," the dragon roared, "I will come through those walls for my breakfast!" So each day, as the sun rose, so rose the dragon, looking for its breakfast.
"The dragon sleeps now," said the princess, "but we gave up our last two sheep this very morning. Tomorrow we shall have nothing to give the dragon, and we shall all perish."
"Then I have arrived at the right time," said George bravely.
Find out how George and Sabra faced the dragon on the next page.