A Pair of Fibbers
Once upon a time at a countryside village, there were two best friends called Nero and Simon, who lived in two ramshackle houses in close proximity to each other. They were also the youngest of their many siblings and so they often were ignored. Being of similar temperament and preferring idleness to mundane daily chores, the co-conspirators Nero and Simon never failed to sneak off each and every day to some prearranged point to partake in some wildly imaginative adventures.
One such place was the nearby lake, a sizeable watercourse, with snaking shorelines, sometimes hidden with tall bulrushes, which extended for miles and miles. As the two friends both loved fibbing and being quite adept at swimming, they often chose to frolic at the unfrequented segment of this large lake.
This part once had plenty of fish but presently, if there were any fish there at all, they swam undisturbed and secure amidst the miasma of tall underwater weeds. Sometime prior some fishermen had been ensnared by this thick underwater vegetation and consequently drowned at this very spot. As others followed suit and corpses piled up the legend quickly spread about a vengeful Dragon King. This deterred many trespassers. This Dragon King was furious, as he had been cast down from the Heavens for some infractions and forced to take up residence in this insignificant lake
Having wild and lively imaginations Nero and Simon were frequently drawn to this place and often made it their fun pastime to go on a quest to vanquish colossal monsters lurking in some shadows and deep recesses of the water.
As an added amusement each also fashioned wild claims just to see if they could hoodwink the other.
On this particular day, having snuck off again to seek another adventure, Nero and Simon eventually took refuge from the burning rays of the midday sun in the shade of a huge tree. Nero was drawing some imaginary lines in the ground when, finding the piece of meat he’d put in his pocket earlier on that morning, suddenly looked up and said:
“You know what, Simon? I was just thinking. This shade is well and good here but, hmm, thus far everything you and I had said, and you know it too, is all malarkey. Why don’t we cool off and wash out all this nonsense stuffing up our mind? But the lake waters are not so good here; do you dare go to that forbidden spot?”
“I’m no coward, lead on!” Simon jumped to his feet.
Nero reached the spot first and, without hesitation, dove in. When he finally emerged from the water he sported a big wide grin on his face and, producing the meat, settled down in a shady spot and began to chew on it.
Simon quickly picked himself up from where he’d collapsed panting from the exertion. Reminded of his growling stomach, he wanted the same. Looking wistful at the yummy morsel, he licked his chops and asked: “Where did you get that meat?”
“Oh, this?” Nero smiled. “ The Dragon King was holding a feast and when he learned that I was going to wash away my nonsense, highly pleased, he ordered his servant to present me with this delectable peace. Oh, my word!” He licked his lips. “Wow, this meat is truly heavenly; wow, its soo delicious it must be slice of dragon’s liver. You know, from the ones that displease His Highness."
“I want some too! I too am deserving of such a reward.” Simon immediately removed his sweat soaked clothes and dove into the water. But he dived in so fast that he smashed his head against a deep rock. He emerged with a trail of blood streaming down his forehead.
“What happened?” Nero asked with concern. “How on earth did you hurt your head?”
Not wanting to admit defeat, Simon shook his head and grumbled: “The Dragon King was angry because I was tardy and beat me over the head with a drumstick. The pain is unbearable."