Approaching the jetty on Komodo Island after their encounter with the flying foxes, the Clansman and his Maiden were pleased to know that they’d soon be upon dry land. It had been a breath taking day of adventure and discovery aboard the Indahnesia; exactly what the fair Maiden had hoped for before leaving her united Kingdom, many months previous. Not that reaching Komodo Island indicated the adventuring was now over; surely this was where the true expedition began – Dragons be here !
Dusk was falling as Captain Komodo ferried the pair to his humble home. They clambered off the Indahnesia and onto the wooden jetty under the watchful round eyed stare of the Captains second youngest child; a clotheless and barefoot little tyke of around 2 years old, playing happily with a fishing line and hook, shouting eagerly to see his Papa. The Captain scooped up his little lad and covered kisses on his naked tummy, earning happy squirming giggles in return.
The Clansman and the fair Maiden hiked along the wooden jetty towards the village of Komodo. Would they see dragons flying over the villagers, or prowling amongst their homes, or would they be harder and more elusive to spot than that ? Once along the pier and having seen no mystical beast as yet, the adventuring pair came upon Captain Komodo’s home. They were invited to climb up the sturdy wooden ladder to enter the abode; the Captains home, like all others in the village was built on stilts. At the top of the ladder they arrived in Captain Komodo’s front room; open on three sides to the elements and with a variety of mismatching chairs around its circumference, it was homely and comfortable looking to the weary travellers.
After a quick introduction to the rest of Captain Komodo’s family; his wife, 2 daughters and 4 sons, the Clansman and the Maiden sought out their lodgings for the night. A door in a wooden stud wall that did not reach fully to the lofty ceiling of the Captains home led through to a small room with a mattress on the floor. Freshly laundered sheets and bolster cushions would ensure the visitors had a comfortable sleep and the paneless window partly covered with a scrap of tarpaulin would guarantee fresh air and perhaps a few insect visitors of their own. A quick inspection of the facilities and the adventurous duo knew all they needed to know about Captain Komodo’s home to ensure a restful stay.
Over the top of the partition wall came homely smells of burning wood and cooking fish, causing their bellies to rumble with hunger, but before the Clansman and the Maiden could sit down to a meal they were invited to view the rest of the Captains village whilst it was still just light enough to see. Despite their hunger and tired bodies the pair were keen to see where the Captain called home, so after clumsily negotiating the wooden stairs outside his door they were escorted first to the recreational ground to see youths engaged in vigorous games of both hand and football, youngsters on squeaky push bikes and adults cheering it all on. They then wandered on through the homes, gardens and village paths of the Captains neighbours. Goats, cats and chickens were plentiful, as were small children, calling out greetings as the adults looked on, some interested in the far from home pair, some not.
The trot around the village took up half an hour or so, long enough for Mrs Komodo to have finished preparing dinner. As the adventurers hauled themselves awkwardly up the wooden ladder into their home for the night, they discovered the food laid out invitingly, ready to be enjoyed, which it heartily was. The Clansman and the Maiden retired for the evening at a suitably early hour, leaving the family to enjoy having their Papa home. Despite being on dry land the motion of being rocked gently by a boat persisted and the sounds of the house met the sleepy pair over their flimsy wooden wall; generator whirring, children chatting and lullaby singing lulled them into a dreamy sleep of dragons, underwater beasts and beautiful twinkling seas.
Waking the next day to itchy bitten ankles and a feline visitor curled sleepily at their feet, the Clansman and the Maiden were ravenous. They heard the energetic noises of the house and its occupants getting ready for their day at school and on board the Indahnesia, so they dressed swiftly and joined in the activity, hopeful for some food before their day of Dragon hunting began. They crawled out of their sleeping quarters to find tea and donuts ready for them, which they devoured gratefully. Shortly afterwards they boarded the Indahnesia with Captain Komodo and set off for the part of the island infamous for its dragon sightings. They pair sat at the bow of the pretty green vessel in excited anticipation as they approached the dragon’s land. What would they find ? What did the mighty beasts look like ? Would they be safe venturing into unknown territory ? Thoughts tumbled through their minds but not for long; after a very brief boat ride the vessel docked at a wooden jetty. This was it ! Bravely stepping onto the island the dragon hunters discovered a wide sweeping beach lined with dry tired looking trees and rugged, rocky terrain. The sun beat down on them harshly, already seeringly hot for such an early hour. It was going to be a tough, sweaty, arduous expedition.
A guide, quiet and diminutive in stature, but armed with a 6 foot long stick joined the Clansman and the Maiden for their adventure around the foothills of Komodo Island’s mountains, which housed the infamous dragons. Urging them to walk stealthily and to keep their wits about them the guide traversed the terrain with ease and the pair soon built up a sweat trekking behind him. The guide suddenly stopped and pointed up into a tree at another natural barrier to discovering the dragons; a huge swarm of bees hummed menacingly at the Clansman and the Maiden as they stole past quietly; this really didn’t seem a place people should be.
Safely past the bees unscathed the duo soon made their long awaited discovery; silently, lying in the shade of a tree, camouflaged beautifully by the fallen leaves and twigs all around him was the most fearsome and magical looking dragon the pair could possibly of imagined. From the tip of his horny nose to the final scale of his magnificent tail the dragon stretched out easily 8 feet long. His thick leathery wrinkled skin was covered in lumps and bumps of browns, greys and greens, that helped him blend in perfectly with his surroundings. He was almost invisible. His wide mouth rested open to display a long flickering tongue and pink gums around powerful looking teeth. His lizard like head housed tiny black gleaming eyes and large round nostrils. As the adventurers watch the mighty beast in awe, he hoisted himself up on his powerful legs and gave the Clansman and the Maiden a glimpse of his shiny black claws. They took a few steps back. This creature was clearly a highly dangerous killing and devouring expert. He stealthily yet confidently trudged off in the opposite direction to the pair, who had obviously out stayed their welcome.
Leaving him in peace the pair and their guide ventured on, and now they knew what to look for the Clansman and the Maiden spotted the stunning beast all over the island, as well as the fearsome creatures prey; plenty of deer, the odd wild boar, as well as friendly neighbours such as water buffalo and pigeons.
After an hour or so of bonding with their new dragon companions in the sweltering heat the Clansman and his Maiden had reached a temperature close to spontaneous combustion. They made their weary and sweaty way back to the Indahnesia, where Captain Komodo was clearly pleased to see them back safe and sound with all limbs intact. He quickly took them to a nearby reef where he deposited them gratefully into the chilled sea water. After their refreshing swim the following hours were spent chugging along the beautiful aquamarine seas towards Flores. Content in their discoveries and excited beyond measure to share their findings with their loved ones back home, the pair were glad to be heading back to their lodgings at the base of the volcano. Their long and arduous journey back to their mighty united Kingdom of Great Britain would soon begin. What would they encounter along the way ? Would anyone believe their stories of underwater flying beasts, fearsome deer eating dragons and Captain Komodo ? They didn’t know, nor did they care. They’d had the best adventure the Maiden could ever have hoped for and now she simply wished for them all to live happily ever after. Which they did, forever and ever. The End.