"Jackie Draper Meet
Once, quite be chance,
there was an extraordinary old universe. And it was filled with matter
and magnificence; with worlds and wonder; with moons and magic . And moving
through this universe was a familiar old world of cities and streets;
of trees and cars. There, in an ordinary house, on an ordinary chair,
was a boy. And in the boy's head was locked an untold story which was
as extraordinary as anything that old universe had ever seen or heard.
The boy sat quietly, surrounded by his mother, father, and three learned
The doctors turned to the boy's parents grimly, and the tallest of them
"We have concluded our consultation and find that your son will not, nor
cannot speak, comminicate, nor relate in any way to the world around him."
"But doctors, we know that," said the father sadly. "He hasn't said a
word for such a long time."
"Can't you give us some hope that he will someday be able to speak again?"
pleaded the little boy's mother.
the tall doctor cut her off with a wave of his hand. "Alas, the case is
The mother and father looked at each other sorrowfully, then followed
the doctors out of the room, closing the door softly behind them.
The boy's name was
Jackie Draper. He was only eight years old, but magnificent things were
about to happen to him.
Puff the magic
dragon Lived by the sea And frolicked in the autumn mist In a land called
Jackie Draper seemed
to hear the song deep inside his heart. And at that very moment, a large
face passed by outside his window. it was all green, with dark green eyebrows,
strands of even greener hair, and friendly green chin whiskers down below.
the face was there just for an instant, and then was gone.
Suddenly it popped
back into view, smiled, and looked into the room. "I beg your pardon,"
said Puff, trying to start a proper conversation. "Could you tell me if
you just saw a dragon pass be?"
Jackie sat still and silent.
"I could swear I saw one. Most unusual nowadays," continued Puff, searching
Jackie's room with his eyes. He spied his own reflection in the mirror
above Jackie's bureau.
"Ah, I did see one! Me!"
The boy did not reply, but merely blinked his sad little eyes.
"May I consider that blink an invitation?" chuckled Puff. Without waiting
for a reply, he climbed in through the window, which was really much too
small to admit a full-grown dragon. "I shall have to make myself smaller
to fit. No trouble. Just magic."
There was a tinkling, like the sound of silver bells, and in an instant
Puff was the size of a large, friendly dog. He easily climbed into the
room, put down his battered old satchel, and smiled at the boy. "I've
come to help you, Jackie. To help you help yourself."
Jackie Draper managed to make a tiny halfhearted smile.
Puff opened up his satchel. Magical sparkles flew out like giddy June
bugs in July. He searched for something in his bag, tossing out various
objects that were common to him but totally wondrous to Jackie.
There was the famous glass slipper, Alice's mushroom, Peter's shadow,
gold spun from straw, and a yellow brick or two. Finally he found a large
piece of drawing paper, a crayon, and a pair of sissors.
Going about his magic business in a way both magic and businesslike, he
tacked the drawing paper to the wall. Then, using the crayon, which could
colour every hue and shade of the rainbow, he began to draw a picture
of Jackie Draper. As he worked, he chattered cheerfully.
"I'm one of the few dragons to ever have a song of my own. That is because
instead of destroying things, I try to muddle through. Ah splendid likeness
of you, Jackie, if I do say so myself."
Using the sissors he snipped the crayon drawing of Jackie Draper free
from the rest of the graph paper and brought it over to the boy.
"Jackie Draper, this is Jackie Paper," said Puff, introducing the real
boy to the cutout.
"Now, Jackie Draper, I am going to borrow the 'living-thing' from inside
you and place it inside Jackie Paper."
The little smile froze on the boy's lips and Puff realized he was frightened.
"You wonder what a 'living-thing' is?" asked Puff quietly. "Let me try
to explain. It is that which causes you to laugh and cry, to hurt and
to care. It is that which makes apples crunchy and tells your nose to
tingle on a crystal winter's moring." Then he leaned down and whispered
gently. "It's kept in your left ear, you know."
He puffed some brightly coloured dragon smoke into Jackie's right ear.
the smoke billowed out of the boy's left ear, carrying with it the shadowy
outline of a small child. Puff took the fragile "living-thing" by the
hand and rushed it over to Jackie Paper, chattering, "Quick! musn't catch
With a gentle shove he pushed it into Jackie Paper. The cutout child suddenly
took on a rounded form and came to life. He blinked his eyes, took a breath,
"Am I all better?" asked Jackie Paper.
Puff chuckled playfully."Well,
we'll see. To be truely better you must make a journey with me. Impossible
for Jackie Draper. But Jackie Paper - he can go anywhere, so long
as it is magic. Come along, now." He held out his paw.
Jackie pulled back, worried. "But where are we going, Puff?"
"Ha-ha-ha! Good question, Jackie! We are going to Honah Lee."
"What's Honah Lee?" asked Jakie.
"My kingdom by the sea. Well, it's not exactly A KINGDOM," he boomed
in a great big voice. "It's more like a kingdom," he squeaked in
a tiny baby voice. "A few acres and independence. But it is rather
magical.Let me show you.
He blew a coloured ring of dragon smoke, which Jackie looked through,
as one might look through an enchanted porthole.
Jackie gasped with wonder. For stretching out in front of him was an incredible
island of mountains and coral and magic. There were fat, hearty trees
with friendly faces, whose leaves of russet and gold shaded great flocks
of wild flowers with happy faces. A warm, sandy beach of pure white sloped
down and embraced a calm and crystal sea of the purest blue. Squatting
on the horizon was a smiling sun casting its golden warmth onto a population
of birds, butterflies, and animals, both mundane and mythological. Jackie
recognized a pink rabbit and a unicorn colt. Through the centre drifted
a gentle stream from which sweet mists rose and hung lazily on the glistening
afternoon. It was a wonderful place, a land of peace and joy.
"Oh Puff. It's beautiful.
Is it far away?"
"As far as your fondest hope. And, hopefully, as near as your sweetest
dream." He took Jackie by the hand. "Come along. We'll build a boat."
Jackie pulled back. "I'm affraid!"
Puff smiled. "Well, isn't everybody?" he knelt down and spoke to the paper
child gently. "Aw, jackie, that's why I want you to visit Honah Lee. The
climate there causes fear to shrival up and makes it as useless as last
"But Puff, we've got to get there first. And I'm affraid of the
Puff looked at Jackie, concerned. Then he walked over to the window and
pulled down the shade. he held out his crayon to the boy and said, "I
want you to draw a picture of the sea on this window shade."
"Okay," said Jackie,
"but I warn you, it's going to be scary!" he began to draw a terrifying
picture of the sea. It was more like a nightmare than a drawing. There
were great waves and storms and lightning flashes and shipwrecks. There
were sharks and an octupus, and, worst of all, a terrible giant pirate!
"No wonder you are frightened," said Puff. "I suppose the sea can
be that way. But if you'll just look through my dragon smoke, I'll show
you how it might be." And he puffed another colourful ring, which
floated up to Jackie's window-shade drawing and changed it into a lovely
calm blue sea, sparkling gloriously in the sun.
Jackie came over
to the dragon, hesitated for an instant, then impulsively embraced him.
"I like you, Puff!" he said. "Let's build a boat!"
"With what?" asked the dragon.
"I've got stuff! All kinds of stuff!" he rushed over to his toy box and
dumped its contents on the floor.
Paper Loved that rascal, Puff, And brought him strings and sealing wax
And other fancy stuff.
Jackie got a great
idea. He cried out, "Hey! We can use my bed as the hull!"
"MAGNIFICENT!" roared Puff. "We'll cross the ocean on a magic boat," he
And Jackie sang,"We'll make the mainmast out of my beadpost! Let's make
the rudder out of my guitar!"
"And sail across the water!" they both sang.
In no more time
than it took to sing the words, they had built themselves the finest little
boat they could wish for. the hopped aboard and sailed off into the beautiful
sea painted on the window shade. they were on their way to Honah Lee at