“Tell me again why dragons can’t tell time,” my daughter asks.

“It’s a breathing problem. Dragon time has no minutes or hours, just centuries and millennia.”


“A very long time.”

“Longer than you?”

“Yes, older. People told time by sun and moon rise and fall; changing of seasons. Fine by dragons.”

She nods her agreement.

“Then, someone decided it was important to know that precisely twelve o’clock noon meant lunch and 7 o’clock in the evening meant bedtime. So, people invented precise time.”

“Sounds silly,” she laughs.

“Not to some – government officials and clockwork makers especially. Dragons were traditionalists – they liked dragon time just fine. Knights began insisting dragon slaying matches had to begin at precisely 4 in the afternoon. Dragons were forever showing up rather late.

Large clocks were made and placed outside dragon lairs to speed up the slaying session process. Trouble was, the dragons liked to take deep breathes when reading big and little hands. Fire breath. No one could invent a fire-proof clock.

Now, what time is it?”

My daughter breathes deeply on her Disney princess watch. No melting, so she begins, “The big hand is on the . . .”

Writing in the raw for Al’s Sunday Photo Fiction April 16, 2017. Photo © Jade M Wong