Dragon Tale de Guinée


Eight long months it’d been,
since we’d heard our father’s giant steps,
or seen his boyish grin.

“Consider this a lesson in restraint.” mother warned,
as we waited anxiously,
for his tales of travel to unwind.


Finally he, all clean and fresh and full,
let that grin creep through, ever so slightly;
’twas in such a way,
that it reminded me of a farmer or doctor,
preparing his most important of tools.

Slowly he spoke,
for he savored these moments,
as much as we,
treasuring the visions each word could evoke…

“My journey for discovery of things old and new,
brought me to the land of Guinea, West Africa,
where a kind old man, Tamba, my guide,
tol’ me of a legend many say ’tis TRUE…

In an accent of rich, thickened French,
Tamba filled my head with a FIERY tale,
of which every opportunity to share,
I promise I shall quench!

It be a treacherous battle, this one;
‘tis a legend left me with many a nights,
oh dreams of action and a longing to FIGHT,
for this land, as it ‘twas long ago, nearly just begun.

Tamba, all puffed up with pride, began,
‘Once and long ago upon our land,
now filled wit’ lions, zèbres et similaires,
‘twas une bataille ‘tween the people of Guinea,
and the GREAT Isa Bere dragon.

From the mountains of Fouta Djallon she came;
‘twas more than a nuisance you see,
for she drank of our River Niger,
caused une GRAVE drought,
wit’ her all-consuming flame.

‘Twas grande inconvénients,
wit’ no water for YEARS on our land,
and in les early times,
they feared ‘twas God’s curse being spent…

But Isa Bere couldn’t hide forever;
her gigantic dragon toes,
left marques DISTINCTES on our land,
and upon this discovery, the people did confer…

They devised a plan,
wit’ mighty King Samba their lead;
‘twas eight long years,
using EVERY ploy of bataille known to man.

‘Till une glorieuse day,
when our Guinee dragon, Isa Bere, took a blow;
’twas straight to the heart;
une VICTORIOUS slay!

To our grande surprise,
the waters of River Niger RELEASED,
and as she fell to the ground,
her last effort to fight,
‘twas only evident in her eyes.'”


Father watched us, his children, in triumph then,
As we sat in stunned, wide-eyed silence,
Our imaginations spinning, expounding on this dragon legend.

His boisterous yell startled us, as he knew it would,
“Time to sleep!”, he beamed,
“I promise, your dreams shall be GOOOOD!”


© 2010 Dana Renee’ Billingsley

French = English
et similaires = and the like
une bataille = a battle
Isa Bere = name of the dragon
Fouta Djallon = Futa Jallon
une grave = a major
inconvénients = inconvenience
les = those/the
marques distinctes = distinguishable marks
glorieuse = glorious


Inspiration: Written for an online challenge to write something about dragons. “The Legend of Isa Bere (Guinea, West Africa) – According to this legend, Isa Bere lived in the mountains of Futa Jallon (or Fouta Djallon), in Africa. This dragon drank all the water from the river Niger, causing a major drought. King Samba went to fight Isa Bere, taking Tarafe, his bard, with him. The battle continued for eight years, using up 800 spears. Eventually the dragon was killed by a blow to the heart with a long sword, releasing the waters of the Niger.” (http://www.polenth.com/myth/africa/isabere.html)


~ by Dana Renee' on March 13, 2011.

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