The Cautionary Tale of Derrywickler the Non-Swimmer

Long ago, a dragon named Derrywickler lived along the shores of the Kaytney River in the area once known as Drekaland. His family owned a farm nearby where they raised Octoflorfs, eight-legged little creatures known for their tasty milk (provided it didn’t go sour). Derry became particularly close to one of the animals and named it Eureka, and the two were inseparable. Or rather, the Octoflorf went places and Derry followed along, as while their species had been kept as pets periodically before, they generally paid little mind to their owners and went about their business regardless. Still, when Eureka climbed a tree, Derry went with her, and when Eureka dug a hole, Derry wallowed happily in the mud by her side.

“Eureka, you’re the best friend I’ve ever had,” he told her often. “If there are things to be done, I want to do them together from now on- I want to follow you everywhere!”

With a couple small grunts, the Octoflorf looked up and wondered about things such as dinner, how much time was left in the day, and what in the world the strange creature in front of her was saying.

One bright, warm day, Derry was running along the beaches with Eureka, trying to keep up against the quick gait her numerous legs provided her. He looked out into the sea now and then, trying to catch sight of any jumping toothwhales in the distance, while the Octoflorf crept closer and closer to the water. Being both land and sea-based, she usually spent her time below the waves at night when Derry was sleeping, but as it was a hot afternoon, it seemed the perfect time for a quick dip.

“But Eureka, where are you going?” Derry asked.

The Octoflorf looked up at the dragon’s odd gestures, musing briefly about how the sand beneath her seventh leg had something moving under it, and wondered if it was edible. Rigrorff dipple nom nom, it thought to itself in its own little language.

“Hey, I can’t go in there,” Derry continued, watching as the creature sucked up something quick from beneath it, smacked its lips, and headed further into the encroaching waves. “I can’t swim!”

“Fluffin diff der duff duff,” said Eureka and dove beneath a small swell.

“Does that mean… are you going to teach me? Octoflorfs are great swimmers- wow, how lucky I am to have one as my best friend in the whole wide world!”

With that, the dragon pounced after his pet, jumping headlong into the water, trying to keep up.

Needless to say, from that point on, whenever someone does something obviously inadvisable, they’re called a Derrywickler. A small town was named in honor of poor Derry, but just as he would’ve preferred, it was called the Village of Eureka.

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