Beowulf for beginners

The Gold being gaurdedThe Dragon Disturbed

for hundreds of years the dragon dozed on its pile, sleepy and slow, as dragons are when they are sure their treasure is safe. No one knew it was there. The barrow was grown over with grass and trees. The way in was hard to find.

Yet someone did find it. A man running away from his angry master spotted the tiny entrance. He thought it was a cave and he crawled inside. Soon he followed the dark winding passage to the heart of the barrow. He saw the heap of gold and the coils of the sleeping dragon. The man was afraid, but he wanted to please his master, so he reached out and stole a gold drinking cup. He would give it to his master as a present to soften his anger. The dragon stirred in its sleep - it sensed something was wrong - and the man crept away quickly. He fled down the slope to his master and his home.

When the dragon awoke it knew its treasure had been touched, that the gold cup was gone. It sniffed about until it found a footprint, and the trail leading down to the dwellings of men. That footprint was enough to start a feud.

The Dragon wakes upNight falls and the dragon comes forth flaming to rain fire and terror on Beowulf's people. The smooth evil dragon swims through the sky, wrapped in flame. It swallows up towns and villages with fire. The night sky glows orange from the burning of buildings. Only the great dragon wings darken it once more as they beat overhead.

Beowulf's own hall is burnt to the ground. Even the gift-throne, where he used to sit giving rings and other presents to reward his people, is blackened and burnt. The gift-throne of the Geats, the hall of their lord, the homes and lives of many are lost that night before the angry treasure-guard goes back to his gold.

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