Maude and the Wyvern of Mordiford (AKA Mr. Pickles)

Maude was a little girl who often played in the woods of Mordiford in the English county of Herefordshire.  One day while in the woods, she found a weird little reptilian creature that was roughly the size and color of a cucumber. Given the little freak’s hue and stature, she dubbed him “Pickles.”  Judging from her parents’ over-reaction to the little grass snake she brought home a few weeks before, she decided it was better to keep Pickles a secret.  She placed Pickles in an empty cider-barrel in a forest clearing and brought him milk everyday. Mr.Pickles grew rapidly and within a matter of days was able to exit the cider barrel of his own volition and within a matter of months was several times larger than his playmate.

Maude and Pickles frolicked everyday and were the best of friends.  When it was time for Maude to go home Pickles would patiently wait in the clearing for Maude to return, except when he was hungry.  During those times he would go out look for food.  Pickle’s taste for milk led him seek out to cows.  However, it ain’t pretty when a giant reptilian carnivore with serrated teeth attempts to suckle a cow.  As a result Pickles discovered the joys of carnivory.  Of course, the local farmers weren’t exactly happy about this development. A few farmers made the mistake of trying to deal with their new dragon problem and Pickles found that people is good eat’n too.  Now, Pickles would engage in typical dragonic activity, terrorizing the countryside.

Eventually, the towns people decided to seek out somebody who was competent with a weapon.  They went to Garstone, a disgraced knight who they had imprisoned for activities that I’m not comfortable describing here.  Anyway, they told Garstone that he would be pardoned if he would agree to take down Pickles.

Garstone eventually tracked Pickles to his clearing and they engaged in an hourslong fierce battle, with each taking chunks out of the other. Finally, calling upon the Almighty and the last reserves of his strength, Garstone managed to inflict a fatal wound to the neck of Pickles.  At this point Maude showed up and began pelting a very confused and exhausted Garstone with rocks. Maude ran over to her dying pet and comforted it as it died, while a shocked Garstone could only gawk. After Pickles went to dragon-heaven, the enraged tot attacked the exhausted dragonslayer with a savagery that was surpassed that of her fierce playmate. Luckily for Garstone, Maude’s blows were wholly ineffective.  Garstone limped back to town, with Maude following flogging him with a tree branch while spouting every curse she could come up with using her limited vocabulary. Eventually Maude tuckered out and a weakened Garstone made it back in to the town to a hero’s welcome. Maude vowed revenge but between her short attention-span and her discovery of a puppy, Pickles II, all was soon forgotten.

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