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Zidstraffer And Smuss This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Late last December,

One bright morning early,

The good knight Zidstraffer

Rode off to find glory.

Away from the kingdom

To find dragon Smuss;

To slaughter the dragon

And earn the king's trust.



Zidstraffer was smart,

Fearless and bold.

Although he was wise,

He wasn't too old.

He rode toward the dragon,

Without fear in his head,

"I'll slaughter the dragon!

He soon will be dead!"



Meanwhile, Smuss was alone in his cave.

He knew the knight's mission

And his few thoughts were grave.

"Why do humans persist in killing my kind?

They don't know our use. They all must be blind!"

I don't like to fight, and I don't like to kill,

But it will not be me who will die on this hill.

If I can't scare him off, and I cannot escape,

Then I'll just have to kill him, if that's what it takes."



Zidstraffer kept riding,

On toward the sun.

He thought of his mission

And what must be done.

He thought of great Smuss

With his fiery breath

And knew that the dragon

Would soon meet his death.



Zidstraffer pushed onward,

And as he drew near

The great dauntless knight

Felt a small pang of fear.

He tried to ignore it,

And tried to be brave,

But just couldn't get rid

Of the feeling it gave.

"Oh why am I scared?"

Zidstraffer did shout.

"I must find the fear

And I must push it out!"

Then he yelled something

That was loudly heard,

"I need all my strength to kill Smuss with my sword!"



Zidstraffer was frightened

And dragon Smuss knew,

So Smuss gathered his fire

He blew and he blew.

The bright flames blew upward,

Up into the sky.

Zidstraffer saw fire

And now feared he would die.

He was just a small knight,

On a mission for honor,

But now the knight fears

He can't take this much longer.

"I don't want to fight,

I once did, but I'm wrong,"

Said the knight as he feared

His life wouldn't be long.



Smuss kept on blowing,

Avoiding the fight,

Sending his fire

To scare the small knight.

Zidstraffer came closer,

Smuss blew with his might,

And hoped in the end

It would turn out all right.



Now Zidstraffer was terrified

And shook like a gnu.

"I must kill the dragon,"

If it's the last thing I do!"

And so he kept going,

And as he came near,

He hoped against hope

That he'd live one more year.



They were soon face to face,

The beast and the knight.

Two violent creatures

Reluctant to fight.



They glared at each other

With fiery red eyes

And there was not a movement

Till Smuss let out a sigh.

The knight took this as weakness

And began to attack.

And although he was frightened,

He couldn't turn back.



They punched and they kicked,

They poked and they spit.

They clawed and they yelled

And they slugged and they bit.



They jabbed at the stomach

And swiped at the head.

They both kept on fighting,

And soon, both were dead.



Why were they fighting?

Was it free choice or fate?

They could have been friends,

But now it's too late.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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