Have you ever thought about things like Unicorns and Elves and even Dragons?

We know there are many things that used to be that don’t exist anymore except in fairy tales and coloring books. You know that they probably did exist once. How else can you account for all the vivid descriptions of them? Things like Vampires or Zombies may have been real once. Sometimes when you see the news you think that they may still be around. How else can you explain some of the things that happen? Mars may have a quota of little green men that travel here and some people see them. Are we too quick to discount the stories? We haven’t explored every square inch or even mile of this planet. Under the sea is a whole different world and there just may be a mermaid or two who call it home.

The story of Atlantis seems to have survived a long time. Could it have been a real place once? When it disappeared under the sea did it have beings who looked like mermaids?

Will we ever know for sure?

These are the times when we are able to clone a deceased pet. If Fluffy died and we have enough money to spend, we can have Fluffy right back, sleeping under the couch and shedding hair all over the house. It will be a genetic Xerox of the original Fluffy and it may have the same annoying habits. We won’t have to mourn good ol’ Fluffy because , there he is again! Will there ever come a time when we can just have a copy of someone made to commemorate the original? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? NO! I don’t think so!

Scientists are always finding out new things about us. They have mapped all the DNA and RNA that make us different from everyone else. They can find out who sneezed in the Kleenex long after the cold has worn off. There is no end to this research.

You know how they have discovered ancient bodies in ice and in bogs? That’s when they do the “Who was this person? Where did they live? What did they eat?” And they can find out!

Think about this--------They find a whole group of bones hidden in an ice cap in Finland.

The scientists have a field day with it. They take the skull and reconstruct a face on it.

They start running the DNA to see if they can find out more about him. One of the scientists is so fascinated by this that he notices a small piece of material, looks like a bit of fingernail. No one is paying any attention to it, so he grabs it and puts it in his pocket.

He is going to take it home and find a way to work on it himself. He is convinced that the lab is going to take ages to get any real info on “Mr. Cool”. He has a friend or two who will be happy to let him use their labs as long as they get some credit for any discoveries that may turn up.

Dr. Stein, (Yes, his first name is Frank and his middle on is Norman.) takes this tiny bit of ?fingernail? and brings it to his best friend Dr. Noway. They are determined to beat the others to all the background on “Mr. Cool”. They will go down in history books and maybe win a Nobel Prize or get their picture on the cover of “The Rolling Stone”.

They work all day and all night. They keep getting some strange results from the tiny bit of what they thought was a fingernail clipping.

All the tests keep coming back with really weird results. Dr. Stein is at his wit's end and he turns to Dr. Noway..”Jose? What are we doing wrong? This is so messed up, I am ready to quit.” Dr. Noway looks up from his microscope, “Frank, we are not going to quit now. I think that we should just go ahead and clone this and see what happens. The only thing this shows is that it’s similar to a fish scale. Maybe “Mr.Cool” had fish for breakfast or lunch and didn’t wash his hands before he dropped dead. Let’s just go and clone and see.” And they did….

It took over a year for them to see what they had cloned. It was a huge, green veined egg. It sure didn’t look like a fish egg, unless the fish, when full grown, was the size of a nuclear submarine. They kept it warm and watched it day and night. They didn’t want to do anything else while it was just sitting there in a huge incubator. They still weren’t sure what it was nesting in that egg.

And then the day came……Frank and Jose were sitting in the room just staring at the egg when they heard a faint scraping sound. They dropped their coffee cups on the ground and looked at each other…..”Did you hear that Frank? Is that what I think it is?”

Jose stood up and walked over to the incubator. Frank joined him. “Jose? This is it! It’s hatching!! Whatever it is.”

It took a long afternoon of watching small chips fall off the egg. Finally, a small orange eye looked out at them. It sure didn’t look like any fish eye they ever saw. It didn’t look like anything they ever saw. They held their breath while it struggled and finally broke free.

“Frank! It’s a goddamn lizard! All of this for a lizard? Oh NO!” Frank stared at it and looked over at Jose who was sitting with his head in his hands. “Jose! If this is a lizard, it’s no lizard found here on earth. LOOK AT IT!!!!!!!”

The green puffy reptile, (there was nothing else to call it but reptile), sat in the incubator and shook some of the egg shell off itself. It yawned and flicked out a long forked tongue. As it stretched out it’s legs and unwound it’s tail, it blinked a few times.

And then it BARKED! Kind of like a Chihuahua. Frank opened the incubator and reached in to pick up this newborn.....WHATEVER. The first thing he noticed was its skin was covered with scales. Very nice scales, almost like green sequins and the orange eyes were looking directly at Dr. Stein’s face. He held it as though it were a human child. It felt like it weighed about 20 pounds and it acted like a pet. It cuddled against his chest and flapped that forked tongue against his cheek. Jose reached over and petted it very lightly and slowly. It looked over at him and flicked that tongue over his cheek.. Now it was making purring sounds and its long tail was whipping back and forth. They noticed the end of the tail had several barbed points on it. While they were admiring that tail, it gave a shiver and stretched, and WINGS reached out from its back. They flapped a bit and seemed to take on rainbow colors. They resembled bat wings in a way.

It folded its wings back and nuzzled its green head on Frank’s arm. A row of golden upright fins ran from between its eyes to the tip of the tail. Frank and Jose looked at each other with their jaws wide open, at the same time they said, “It’s a DRAGON! It’s a real Dragon!”

They took turns holding the dragon and rocking it. It snored quite contentedly and only farted a few times. They discussed what to feed it and the only thing they could remember was that dragons seemed to eat brave, chivalrous knights. They tried giving it soup----it ate it. Tried dog food…it ate it. As a matter of fact it seemed to eat almost anything they gave it. The only thing it wouldn’t eat was Sicilian Pizza. It really enjoyed Spaghetti O’s with hot dogs. It gained weight at an amazing rate and within a month they gave up trying to let it sit on their laps. For some reason, neither man ever brought up the fact that no one else in the world knew it existed. No scientific papers were ever written. No press conference was called. This was their dragon and they weren’t going to share it.

They sold all their lab equipment and the building it was housed in. They put their houses up for sale and made a good buck on them. They bought a large RV with the capability to haul a large trailer. They took a road trip up to Alaska and found a large area with no one on it. They taught the dragon to stay close to them during the day and if he flew at night, to avoid airplanes or helicopters. All of their supplies were dropped from a plane to a clearing. They didn’t have to worry about much at all. The Dragon, who they named Saint George, would go hunting and bring them back all manner of meat. They watched Saint George grow and grow. They had a airplane hangar for him to live in and they moved the most comfortable chairs in. As they would sit and watch him sleep and give him a few pats on his humongous nose.

One night, the conversation turned to how lonely Saint George would be when they passed on. They were both in their 60’s and living all the way out where they were if anything happened to them, no ambulance was going to come and get them.

One night, they were sweeping up the hangar because Saint George would occasionally shake himself and some scales would fly off. Frank picked one up and looked at it. He started laughing hysterically, “Jose? Remember when I thought this was a fingernail clipping from “Mr. Cool” and when I cloned it we wound up with Saint George!” Suddenly he stopped laughing and with his eyes twinkling, he held up a scale and turned it so the light twinkled off it. Jose got up and walked over to him, “Frank, I have an idea of something we could do to make sure Saint George as happy as any other dragon ever was. Now that we know how to do it, we could probably clone a female dragon for him. I wonder exactly how dragons mate anyway…….”

© By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)

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