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Stan Bolovan


A man believes his beard makes him look wise and sophisticated. He is shocked to discover that he has been embarrassingly and tragically mistaken! 

On the outskirts of a village just where the oxen were turned out to pasture, and the pigs roamed about burrowing with their noses among the roots of the trees, there stood a small ramshackle house. In the house lived a poor man named Stan Bolovan and his wife and children. They had so many children that the couple had lost count of how many they had. There was Vincent, Tessa, Valerie, Janine, Martha, Andrew, Thomas, Walter, Pat, Linda, Michael, Evadne, Alice, Dominique, and Sasha, the list was much too long. Certainly, too many for a poor family to feed! Soon came a time when the family had eaten all there was in the house and there was no money to buy more. Stan decided it was time to venture out into the world to find some more money.

He wandered and wandered and wandered till he saw a shepherd with an

enormous flock of sheep. Stan crept up to the sheep, hoping he might steal some. He stopped.

“What’s that strange rushing noise?” he wondered.

He turned around just in time to see a gigantic dragon swooping down. It grabbed a few sheep in its talons, before soaring off again. Stan was too petrified to move. The same thing happened the next night and the next. And each morning, the shepherd moaned and groaned, “I’m at my wits end? What on earth can be done about this dragon?”

Stan thought of his hungry children and approached the shepherd, "What will you give me if I get rid of the dragon?" he asked.

"Half of my flock, with pleasure, answered the shepherd.

Stan thought of the dangers “...death by dragonfire..” and the benefits

“Food for a year, at least……It's a deal," he replied.

At midnight Stan hid himself amongst the sheep. Once again there was the rush of air as mthe dragon swooped down.

"Dear me!" exclaimed the dragon, as Stan emerged from his hiding place.

"Who are you, and where did you come from?"

"I am Stan Bolovan," roared Stan at the top of his voice, although he was terrified. "I eat rocks all night and in the day I feed on the flowers of the mountain. These sheep are mine! And if you steal one more sheep I will carve you up into tiny pieces."

When the dragon heard these words he trembled. “By the sound of it this Stan Bolovan must be a mighty hero,” he thought.

The fearful dragon thought quickly and came up with a plan to lure Stan home to

his mother - she was bigger and much stronger.

"Hold on, hold on, hold on," said the dragon. “If you promise not to carve me into tiny pieces I will pay you seven sacks of gold coins. Come home with me and

I'll give them to you.”

Stan could not resist it. He nodded to the dragon, and they set out for the dragon’s lair.

When the dragon’s mother saw that her son had come home without any sheep she grew very angry and flames darted from her nostrils. But before she could speak, the dragon whispered in her ear, "Mommy, this man eats rocks all night and in the day feasts on the flowers of the mountain. He carves dragons into tiny pieces!”

“Leave him to me," muttered the old dragon. “We'll just wait until he is asleep. Then you take your club and bonk him on the head.”

“Oh mommy, you are frightfully clever!”, said the young dragon.

That night, when the dragon and his mother had gone to bed Stan stuffed his clothes with pillows and blankets and placed them on the bed to look like he was sleeping, while he hid himself under the bed. He then began to snore very loudly. Soon the dragon crept into the room and brought the club down with a massive blow on the spot where Stan's head should have been. Stan groaned loudly from under the bed. Satisfied, the dragon left the room.

The next morning, the dragon and his mother were having a celebratory breakfast when Stan came calmly strolling down the stairs.

“Good morning, my scaly friends" he said cheerily.

“Good morning?" stammered the dragon's mother, surprised and shocked to see Stan, who looked alive and perfectly healthy.

"Did you sleep well?" the dragon asked.

"Oh, very well thank you," replied Stan, casually rubbing his head, "but I dreamt

that a flea had bitten me. In fact, I think one must have done, as I've got a tiny lump just here."

The dragon and his mother looked at each other in alarm. "Do you hear that?" the young dragon whispered. “He talks of a flea. I broke my club on his head. His skull should be shattered.”

Now the mother was just as frightened. It seemed that they would never defeat a man like this, so soon they filled seven sacks with gold coins, to get rid of Stan ASAP! (that stands for as soon as possible).

As they rushed about, Stan stood still, trembling with fear. “What will the dragons do when they see I can not lift even one sack?” he thought.

When the seven sacks were full to bursting with gold, Stan just looked at them.

"What are you standing there for?" asked the dragon.

"Well, come to think of it, I rather like it here," said Stan. "Do you mind if I stay a little longer?"

The dragons both gave little shrieks of dismay. "I'll tell you what," the

mother dragon said, "If you leave right now, we’ll make it seven times seven sacks - and my son will carry them home for you himself."

Quick as a flash, the young dragon heaped forty-nine sacks of gold on his back. Then he and Stan set off. They travelled and travelled, and at last, Stan saw his old, ramshackle house and heard his children's voices. The boys and girls had had nothing to eat since Stan left, and they were starving. They came rushing towards him waving knives and forks in their hands. At the sight of the dragon, they began to call out, "We will eat dragon's flesh, give us dragon's flesh!"

The dragon flung down the sacks in terror and flew away as fast as he could. And from that day the dragons never dared to show their faces ever again.


QUIZ TIME!

  1. Where did Stan Bolovan live with his family? Answer: B. In a small ramshackle house

  • A. In a castle

  • B. In a small ramshackle house

  • C. In a cave

  • D. In a treehouse

  1. What problem did Stan Bolovan face that led him to encounter the dragon? Answer: B. He needed money to feed his large family

  • A. He lost his job

  • B. He needed money to feed his large family

  • C. He wanted to become a hero

  • D. He wanted to explore the forest

  1. What did the dragon promise Stan in exchange for not carving him into tiny pieces? Answer: A. Seven sacks of gold coins

  • A. Seven sacks of gold coins

  • B. A magical sword

  • C. A kingdom of his own

  • D. Three wishes

  1. How did Stan trick the dragon into thinking he had smashed his head with a club? Answer: B. He stuffed his clothes with pillows and blankets

  • A. He swapped places with his wife

  • B. He stuffed his clothes with pillows and blankets

  • C. He pretended to faint

  • D. He hid under the bed

  1. What happened when Stan returned home with the dragon and the sacks of gold? Answer: D. The dragon fled in fear from Stan's children

  • A. The dragons attacked Stan's family

  • B. Stan's children scared the dragon away

  • C. Stan's wife welcomed them with a feast

  • D. The dragon fled in fear from Stan's children

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