Twig walked silently along the edge of the forest with four other green dragons. All were alert. Suddenly, a roar came from the forest. Six blue dragons burst from the woods and attacked Twig and his startled friends. Roaring with fury, the green dragons leaped into battle. Twig found himself face to face with a dragon twice his size. He realized with dread that this was a battle experienced warrior, not a trainee like Twig was. Before he could flee, the dragon leaped on top of him and began to claw his side. Now filled with fury, Twig lashed out and caught the side of the dragons face. He roared with pain and staggered back. Twig took this opportunity and fled. He looked around and saw a younger dragon. Twig sneaked behind him and leaped. The young dragon yowled with alarm and tried to flee. Twig held on and began to sink his teeth into the dragon. But then he remembered what his trainer, Claw, told had him. "Do not kill unless you have to." Twig released his prisoner. The dragon shot off across the meadow that bordered the forest and ran for his camp. Twig looked around for another opponent but couldn’t find any. The rest had fled. The Forest dragons were victorious. They roared in triumph and made their way back to camp.
Once at camp, the captain of the patrol reported back to their leader, Star. She was called that because of a dark green star on her forehead. Twig walked over to the healer, a dragon named Herb. “What happened to you?” asked Herb.
“We were attacked by the Water dragons.” explained Twig. “Six of them. But we won!”
“How many from our tribe were there?”
“Only five! Wow! That’s the first time since Star was born that Forest Dragons won a fight when they were outnumbered. We are growing stronger, you know. Ever since the Great Fire that destroyed our forest we have been weak. But we are strong again. We have many more warriors than ever, seven trainees, three newborns, and five eggs in the nest. But enough talk. Let me see your wound.” Herb put some medicine on Twig’s wounds and told him not to leave camp until it was healed. Herb sent him away and began to patch the others' wounds. Twig went out of the medicine den and sat down. Life was going to be boring for a few days. He looked around and saw a newborn talking to an elder, Silent. “What is the difference between each tribe besides the colors?” asked the newborn.
“That is a very good question.” said Silent. “Each tribe likes and does something better than the other tribes. Us, the Forest Tribe, blend into our surroundings and love the forest. The Fire Tribe can breath fire and are very smart. They love heat. The Water Tribe loves water and can swim better than any other tribe. The Lightning Tribe love flying. They are the fastest of all. The Ice Tribe breath ice and love the cold. The Rock Tribe are immensely strong and love climbing. The Dark Tribe loves the dark and are very sneaky and crafty.” Silent began to further explain each tribe, but Twig wasn’t listening. He headed for somewhere quiet to sleep.
After a few days, his wounds were healed. Twig was eager to get out of camp. But just as he was leaving, Star called a meeting. “It is time for Strike to become a warrior.” she said. “Strike, come here.” Strike flew over and landed next to her. "Strike, it is with great pleasure I name a warrior of the Forest Tribe.” The Forest dragons yowled their congratulations. Twig walked over to Strike. “Congratulations, Strike. You deserve it. Maybe you’ll even become a leader” Twig said. “Thanks, little brother.” replied Strike. He was about to say more but other dragons came to congratulate him.
“Hey, Twig.” Claw called.
“What?” replied Twig.
“ I know your dying to get out of camp, so how about you go hunting. We are getting low on food.”
“Sure. Where should I hunt?”
“How about the canyon. No one has hunted there in a long time. There should be a lot of prey there.”
But that’s not part of our territory!” exclaimed Twig.
“It’s nobody's territory. You’ll be fine.”
“OK” said Twig as he flew off. When he reached the canyon he began to look around for prey. Soon he heard a vulture screeching. Twig slowly and silently walked closer and closer to where he heard the screech. Then he spotted a vulture. Then another. Then another. There were at least twenty! If he could only get a couple that would be enough. Twig waited until the right moment, then leaped into the group of vultures swiping in every direction. The vultures cried in terror and and tried to escape. Twig got one then leaped onto another. He got two more before they escaped. He felt very pleased with himself. Then he heard a cry of another dragon in distress. Twig hesitated, then flew toward the sound. He heard more cries, then a deafening roar. Twig flew faster. What he saw next made his heart stop beating.
At the edge of the other side of the canyon was the biggest creature he ever saw. A huge dragon with three heads on long necks was snapping at three dragons from the Lightning Tribe. The dragons were trying the best to avoid the monstrous beast that was trying to destroy them. Twig was frozen to the spot. He couldn’t help even if he wanted to. Then, in a split of a second, all three heads snapped and caught the dragons. The beast flew into the canyon with them. Twig shot away, leaving the vultures, and headed straight for camp. He was too terrified to speak or think. All he knew was that a monstrous beast was living in the canyon and was a threat to all dragons.
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