Chapter Five

Home at Last

Jackie Paper looked about, mystified. Puff was there. And the real boy, Jackie Draper, still sat silently on his chair. the window shade was up, and the beautiful crayon sea was gone.
"Puff, why are we back in my room?"
"Because it is time for you to return. And time is stronger than magic."
"But Puff..."
"Puff explained. "As I promised, you helped yourself. And in helping yourself, Jackie, you helped me. And now it is time to be truely brave. to face growing up. to be jackie Draper again. And, eventually, to go beyond childish fancies, such as dragons, and not need them anymore." His eyes twinkled for just an instant. "Unless absolutley necessary," he added.
"No, Puff..."
"Come along, now," said Puff, as he reached toward Jackie paper and plucked the "living-thing" free. the boy became a flat cutout crayon drawing once more, and fluttered to teh floor.
The dragon led the "living-thing" back to jackie Draper and tucked it carefully back into the boy's left ear.
"It's all up to you, dear friend," he whispered. "Good-bye, Jackie."
He walked briskly to the window. He turned and looked back at jackie with wonderment.
"Chicken soup?" he chuckled, as if he still couldn't believe it. Then he climbed out of the window and was gone.
The little boy, Jackie Draper, who had sat silently all these years, suddenly opened his eyes. there was so much feeling inside him now, so muched he needed to say. words seemed to dance up from his heart, then got lost on his tongue.
Making a great effort, he managed to get up from his chair. he started across the room - slowley at first, then more rapidly. He stumbled to the window and clung tot eh sill. Puff was going! Would he never see his best friend again? he had to speak. He had to!
He opened his mouth...
And suddenly the words came - part crying, part pleading, part saying farewell:
the door to the room flew open, and Jackie's parents rushedin, amazed at what they were seeing and hearing.
Back home. "JACKIE! JACKIE!" they both cried.
Jackie turned to them. And more words came:
"Mum? Dad?"
"He's talking!" said Mr. Draper.
"Oh, my son!" said Mrs. Draper.
laughing and weeping, both ran to him and held him close to thier hearts. It was a magic moment, too precious ever to forget.
For a dragon had helped make a miracle, and Jackie Draper was home at last.



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