Era loosely held him, even when he fell. She felt a little bad. She hadn’t meant to hurt him. It really was his fault! If he hadn’t provoked her, she would have left him alone.
The dragon hovered worriedly over him. He was hitting his head, and that didn’t seem right. Maybe there really was something wrong with him. Some towns in the stories had men like that – ones whose thoughts were jumbled beyond reasoning.
Era considered the situation very carefully. She had held the man. He did not seem to be hurting for food. However, this woman he spoke of, maybe she was the hungry one. The dragon wasn’t certain how humans cared for each other, but maybe there was some truth to his story. It didn’t excuse the fact that he shot at her. Frantically, her thoughts went back and forth.
Finally it occurred to Era that the man might be just as afraid of her as Penny had been. Maybe all the violence and attacking was out of fear? She looked at him, staring as if seeing him for the first time. “You do know I’m not going to hurt you, don’t you? I mean, as long as you stop trying to kill me. I am not my mother.” Her mother would have singed him by now and been done with it. But then, there were no humans on their mountains. “And I may be willing to compromise. I don’t think I like the idea of giving my scales away – not if they are so valuable – but perhaps you could offer me something of a trade. If it is worth so much to you, certainly you can find some sort of payment?” Yes, that seemed a good plan.