We recently had the pleasure of reading over 100 submissions for our short story scholarship content. We invited college students to write a story entitled, “The Tale of the Christmas Dragon”. We received a wide variety of stories and poems, and chose Wade Thomas Shields as our unanimous winner. A $500 award is his to help with his college expenses.
We asked Wade about his inspiration for this very creative poem, and he told us, “Christmas is such a nostalgic time, so I was heavily inspired by the children’s books that I remember my mother reading to me as a child. It was also important to me to try and fit in the idea of a dragon with the current mythology that exists around Santa, since I didn’t want to entirely recreate the holiday. I think that storytelling has the ability to create change, so I definitely wanted to work in the theme of “goodwill toward men” that Christmas inspires.”
Here is Wade’s award winning poem.
The Tale of the Christmas Dragon
The University of Arizona
I’m sure you know of Frosty and his coming to life,
You know Rudolph’s red nose and his reindeer game strife.
You’ve heard Mr. Claus’ hearty, “Ho ho ho!”
But there is one Christmas tale that you may not know.
Back in the days, back before olden lore,
The only sound in the North Pole was a dragon’s snore.
He’d sleep all day and he’d sleep all night,
But he was disturbed by a ray of joyous light—
It was Santa and his elves, you see,
Hard at work in their busy toy factory,
Preparing for their first Christmas flight,
Delivering toys in just one night.
The dragon was angry, he couldn’t stand
People invading his snowy, winter land.
“This is no place for people,” he thought
He expelled a flame-breath, and his temples were hot.
All of a sudden, the sleigh launched into the air
“Now wait just a second,” this didn’t seem fair,
Unidentified crafts taking his space in the air.
The dragon rose up, his wings making gust
He had to stop this, he knew that he must.
He flew after the vessel, ready to attack;
He’d burn it all up, leave it charbroiled and black.
The sleigh and the dragon almost collided,
The reindeers were fearful (Rudolph was excited).
The dragon puffed his chest, his objective was clear:
The sleigh would not embark on its mission so dear.
Santa thought for a moment, then reached in his tote,
Knowing his next move could get them all smote.
From his sack, a gift for the creature he was holdin’
A beautiful dragon egg: round, warm, and golden.
It was the most spectacular thing the dragon had ever seen,
His heartstrings were torn at, he didn’t feel mean.
“Is that—that for me?” he asked Santa Claus,
“Why of course,” Santa said, without any pause.
“But I tried to attack you, how can you be kind?”
“That’s true,” said Santa, “but you’ve changed your mind.”
You see, Santa knew something we should all learn—
The dragon was not bad or evil or stern.
His life was just lonely and cold, even tragic—
But Santa lightened it up with his warm Christmas magic.
Boys and girls are often the same,
Sometimes we act like dragons (or other, worse names)
But when we are rude, vicious, or mean
Often we just need to know we are seen
And heard by the people we are closest to—
An act of kindness can fix us, yes, any will do.
So the next time you see a friend acting out,
Remember the Christmas Dragon—don’t let them pout.
Be a friend, let them know that you care, that they matter,
Lest they grow cold or they let their heart shatter.
Back to the Christmas Dragon and his tale,
Santa’s kindness, in his scaly heart, did prevail.
The two became friends and to this day, I don’t jest,
Santa’s fireplace is tended by the one who knows best—
You see, only a wyvern can keep the workshop warm
So a friendly Christmas Dragon has since become the norm.
In total it took him about 10 hours to complete. During his summer break he freelances as a writer and is currently pursuing a BFA in Film and Television Production with minor in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. Wade’s future aspirations include a career in the film industry or possibly being an author or literary editor.
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Congratulations to Wade on this achievement. If anyone is interested in our scholarship program (or submersible psychokinesis) please see our Scholarship Page for the next contest for Spring. You too can be the winner of $500.