What Do Dragons Eat for Dinner?
The Fire Carnival festivities kick off with the Scale City night markets... The only question left is what to eat first!
Welcome and Happy Holidays!
Today we join Princess Hanna and her dad as they explore the wonderful Scale City night markets.
Here is a link to the very first story in the Princess Hanna series:
And here is a link to the previous part:
Hanna was utterly exhausted from the treacherously boring and bumpy carriage ride from Courage Town.
It was still only early afternoon when Hanna and her dad arrived at Scale City and settled into where they were staying.
Hanna could barely hold her excitement. She danced and squealed and blew fire out her window.
She begged her dad, “Can we go out now? Please, please, please! I want to see the city!”
She was dancing on the spot, stomping her feet and flailing her arms like a wild flickering flame.
Her dad just laughed. He could see the dark sleepy bags under her eyes. He could tell she was concealing a yawn.
“How about this,” he said. “Go lie down for ten minutes and then we’ll get going.”
“Why can’t we just go now?” she said, pouting like a toddler.
“Ten minutes,” he said. “That’s all. Then we’ll get going.”
Begrudgingly, Hanna went to her room and lied down in her bed.
She was fidgety and frustrated… and also fatigued.
In less than a minute, despite her best efforts, she was fast asleep.
Hanna slept and the sun slept too. As the moon then took over the sky, Scale City began to bubble ferociously with movement and activity. It was the big last rush to the finish line before the first festivities of the Fire Carnival kicked off.
In the Plaza the torches and bonfire pits were lit and all of the construction equipment was rushed out of sight. There were food stalls everywhere; the Plaza was like its own little village.
The cooking had started. The sounds rang out of pots and pans clanging. Fruit and veg were being sliced and diced. Soup bases were being brought to the boil and then carefully balanced to perfection — a pinch of salt, a splash of water, a time when chefs become wizards and witches.
Small musical bands of dragons were sprinkled out across the Plaza. They were tuning their instruments and breathing fire to warm up their vocal chords.
Spread out across the city were a thousand families of dragons hurrying to get ready to go out.
Tucked away in his tower, the king of Scale City was practising his speech for the opening ceremony the next day.
Dragons from all over Scale City were making their way towards the Plaza. The streets were packed and so was the sky. Young dragons were flying through the air and chasing each other, playing tag.
The first night of the Fire Carnival markets had officially begun.
As the festivities took off, Hanna remained, for the time being, fast asleep.
In her exhausted state, she was having a vivid dream about the Fire Carnival. She was in the middle of the Plaza and a crowd of dragons were cheering for her.
She took a deep breath and then she started spinning on the spot, releasing a constant stream of fire at the same time. Still spinning, still letting out fire, she began to flap her wings and rise into the air. She was attempting the fire tornado.
She rose higher and higher. She could hear the crowd cheering louder.
A voice cut through the noise.
The voice was followed by several thumps.
Suddenly Hanna coughed and the stream of fire was broken. Then she was falling… And so she woke with a short-sharp inhale, briefly dazed.
It was her dad and he was knocking at the door.
“What?” said Hanna.
He opened the door.
“How’s that ten minutes going?” he asked.
That was when she realised it was dark outside.
“I fell asleep!” she squealed. “How long has it been?”
“A few hours,” said her dad.
She was livid. “Why didn’t you wake me?”
“You needed to rest,” he said.
“Well consider me rested,” she said with a scowl.
Hanna and her dad flew out the window and glided above the Plaza. The maze of markets below took Hanna’s breath away. She had never seen such a condensed cluster of activity.
She followed her dad as he eased through the air and then landed at the edge of the Plaza in some rare open space.
As they walked into the thick of the markets, the first thing to strike Hanna was all of the smells around her. It was overwhelming, like her whole head had just been dunked in a cauldron of flavour.
She could smell chillies sizzling away in hot oil — the intense scent alone was almost enough to make her sneeze. There was also the warm fuzzy smell of bread and pastries baking. There was sweet caramel somewhere too and somewhere else onion and garlic being browned. She had never been anywhere like it.
“The whole world is here in this Plaza,” said her dad as they walked. “Dragons from all over have come here to cook their local cuisines.”
“I want to eat it all,” said Hanna.
“We’d better get started then,” he said with a smile.
And so the roaming feast began. Her dad encouraged her to be open to try anything, no matter how unfamiliar or strange the food seemed.
Hanna and her dad bounced from stall to stall, scoffing down a broad rainbow of all different types of bits and pieces from all corners of the world. Hot, cold, sweet, sour, spicy, savoury, dessert, they ate it all. She experienced a plethora of brand new wonderful flavours that blew her mind. It quickly dawned on her that there was so much more to food than she had ever imagined. The world had never felt so big.
By the end of their culinary trek, they were both left hobbling with their bellies bloated and sticking out. They eventually sat at a bench at the edge of the Plaza.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so full in my life,” said Hanna.
“It’s a beautiful market, isn’t it?” said her dad. “All of these different cultures here together, sharing their special grandma and grandpa cuisines.”
“It makes me want to travel the world,” said Hanna.
“And one day you will,” he said.
They both sat in silence for a moment, neither able to move.
“So are you feeling ready for the opening ceremony tomorrow?” asked Hanna’s dad.
“Honestly,” she said, “all I’m feeling ready for is sleep.”
Thanks for reading!
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