Day after day the dragon of Albertville bellowed and roared. Night after night he growled and grumbled.
The people in the nearby town found it hard to work and even harder to sleep. They started to complain. Finally the mayor called a meeting. “We need to tame that dragon,” he said.
“Agreed!” said the people.
“But who will do it?” someone asked.
“I will,” said Henry in a small voice.
“You are only a boy,” said the mayor.
“I can do it!” said Henry in a louder voice.
“Let him try!” someone yelled.
The mayor shrugged his shoulders. “All the best, my boy.”
The next day, Henry set out to find the dragon. He spotted the beast over a far hill.
“Mr. Dragon,” called Henry, “could I talk to you, please?” Henry stepped closer. “Excuse me, Mr. Dragon, it will take only a minute.”
“What is it?” grumbled the dragon.
“You have been making quite a racket lately,” said Henry.
“I am sorry,” said the dragon, “but my tummy has been upset. I have just been drinking water from the pond. Sometimes that helps.”
“What have you been eating?” asked Henry.
“Trolls, mostly,” said the dragon. “But I do not think trolls agree with me. They are rather sour, you know.”
“Hmmm—I think I know how to help you feel better,” said Henry. “Meet me at the pond at lunchtime.”
Henry raced home and grabbed beans, carrots, and potatoes. He packed rice, peas, and celery. Then he picked some herbs from the garden.
“Now get ready, Mr. Dragon,” said Henry when he reached the pond. “After I add the ingredients, you turn on the heat. Soon we will have delicious vegetable soup!”
The dragon inhaled and blew. Whoosh! His powerful flame heated the water and the vegetables began to cook. The soup bubbled and simmered and soon it was ready.
The dragon took a small taste. “Mmmm! This is really yummy! Much tastier than trolls.” He kept eating until the soup pond was empty.
“My tummy feels great!” the dragon said happily. “Thank you for showing me how to make vegetable soup!”
“You are welcome,” said Henry. “Now get a good night’s sleep—and no more trolls.”
Now that the dragon was feeling well again, things returned to normal in the town. The people were so happy that they put up a small statue of Henry—the boy who tamed a dragon with vegetable soup.
And the dragon? He started growing his own vegetables and herbs so that he never had to eat sour trolls again.