Once upon a time, in a small village called WordPress, there was a magical dinosaur. She was strong and fierce, but she was a very friendly dinosaur and all the villagers loved her. She spent her time spreading joy and helping people. There was only one dinosaur in the village, but she helped so many people that it seemed like there were many of her. She was always there when the villagers needed her.
Not everyone liked the dinosaur though. Some were threatened by her strength and the fact that she was so beloved by the villagers. One such person was the evil village magistrate. He took everything the villagers had because he was greedy, jealous and power-hungry. He taxed the villagers and took so much of their food that they could barely feed themselves.
The magistrate’s wife was just as cruel. The villagers were even more afraid of her than they were of the magistrate. The magistrate rarely left his office. He had his evil guards do his bidding and rarely met the villagers face to face. But, the magistrate’s wife could often be seen carted around the village by her guards.
She would go to the market and demand that the villagers give her whatever they were selling or the money they had made that day. If they refused, she had her guards beat them, so the villagers were afraid whenever they saw her. At the last minute though, the dinosaur always saved them, driving the magistrate’s wife away.
The magistrate’s wife was angry. She convinced the magistrate that the dinosaur was a threat to their power. The magistrate’s wife came up with a plan to accuse the dinosaur of stealing from the village. The magistrate and his wife planted some of the things they themselves had stolen in the dinosaur’s house instead. When they raided it, they made sure the villagers saw. The magistrate and his wife hoped that by framing the dinosaur, the people wouldn’t love her anymore.
The dinosaur was taken to the tower and put in chains. That night, the villagers held a secret meeting. Not one of them believed that the dinosaur was guilty, but what could they do? The magistrate and his wife were so powerful, and it was the dinosaur who they normally went to for advice in situations like this, but she was in the tower. With the dinosaur gone, they had no idea what to do.
A villager suggested that they ask the dinosaur what to do anyway. But how? She was locked up in the tower! The dinosaur’s influence went far and wide though, and from the back of the room came a small voice. It said, “I work in the tower kitchen and could sneak a message to the dinosaur.” Another voice said, “I collect the plates from the tower prisoners after they eat and could easily get a message from the dinosaur.”
The villagers secretly composed a letter to the dinosaur saying that they believed in her. They asked her advice on what they could do to free her. All of the villagers signed it. The next day, the boy who worked in the tower kitchen put the letter, a pencil and more paper inside a loaf of bread that was delivered to the dinosaur.
The villagers waited for news, but the boy who collected plates had disappeared. Meanwhile, with the dinosaur gone, there was no one to save the villagers from the magistrate and his wife. They took everything the villagers had just because they could, leaving them with only a small bit of rice to eat. No one could make a move without the magistrate and his wife knowing about it.
Still, the villagers waited for news and none came. Almost a full cycle of the moon had come and gone. They didn’t know what to do. They held another secret meeting. The boy who worked in the tower kitchen said he delivered the message as promised, but no one had heard from the boy who collected plates.
From the back of the room came a groan. The villagers turned around and saw the boy who collected plates. He was a mess. “Water,” he gasped. “What happened, son?”
He told the story. He collected the message from the dinosaur as promised, but he got caught by one of the magistrate’s guards. They arrested him and threw him in the tower where he had been kept all this time. Before they got to him, he was able to destroy the dinosaur’s words, so he was questioned over and over as to the contents of the dinosaur’s message. He refused to tell them anything and had just managed to escape.
“No one can get near the dinosaur now. She’s watched only by the magistrate’s guards.” The villagers despaired. It was their only hope. They had no other way to reach the dinosaur.
“Don’t be sad! Before I destroyed the dinosaur’s letter, I read it!”
He said that the dinosaur told them where to find proof that it was the magistrate and his wife who were the real thieves. She asked them to take the proof to the provincial magistrate, the evil village magistrate’s boss.
The villagers found the proof and took it to the provincial magistrate. The village magistrate and his wife were found guilty and imprisoned in the tower. The village was given all that was stolen from them, but best of all, the dinosaur was freed.
The provincial magistrate appointed the dinosaur as the new village magistrate. They held a huge feast to celebrate with the dinosaur as the guest of honor. The village lived in peace and prosperity happily ever after.
On June 28th, Rarasaur wrote me a letter. It was put into an envelope and postmarked July 3rd. Even though the letter was correctly addressed to me, it was delivered to my next door neighbor who has been out of town for nearly a month. Just yesterday, I finally got it. I wish Rara and the story of the missing letter had a better story with a happy ending, so I wrote one. Here’s hoping that Rara’s real story has a happy ending, too.