Kid Joey's mouth gaped for a couple of seconds, but Kato's terrified barking and running around in circles brought him out of it pretty quick.
Kid Joey burst through the yard and grabbed the hose coiled by the back door, quickly turning on the valve and running toward the back of the yard that lay in flames.
Within four minutes the fire was squelched, and Joey released the squeeze handle of the hose, turning off the spray.
Sir WHIP hung his head in shame. He'd never set someone's yard on fire before, even when he was a little dragon, just learning to use his power.
"It's okay," Kid Joey comforted his friend in a soothing voice. "You didn't mean to do it, and Daddy will be happy…he won't need to cut the grass for a while until it grows back. Hey! Maybe we can rent you out as a landscaper!"
Sir WHIP slanted Joey a scathing glance, and then turned his head away in embarrassment.
Kato joined Kid Joey and lay beside him. Kid Joey, trying to restore his dragon pal's dignity said, "Let's try again. You probably just sneezed after being in a basement so long, and now you're out in a yard with grass and leaves and stuff."
Kid Joey boarded his friend's head, slid down his neck and landed on his shoulders, then called Kato to join him. Kato hopped onto WHIP's head, and WHIP began drawing in little snorts, a sneeze building. Kato jumped down and ran for his life - well, at least to keep his furry butt out of the way of the fire, just in case.
When he moved away from Sir WHIP, the dragon's sneeze faded away.
"Oh no," Kid Joey gasped, looking from the relieved dragon, across the steaming yard to his best pal, Kato, lying flat, chin in the grass, looking sad and whimpering.
Kid Joey looked back up at WHIP. "I think you might be allergic to dog hair."
"Yes, I believe my mother was as well."
"Kato's my best bud! What are we going to do?" Kid Joey plopped down in the grass in despair.
Kato longed to come over to his buddy's side and give his semi-cruddy face a comforting slurp (partly because there was still peanut butter on it from lunch), but decided not being barbecued today was perhaps the smartest choice, at least as far as his furry little brain could figure out.
"I just brushed him last night, and he's not shedding that much this time of year anyway," Kid Joey said, wishing he could pet and hug his pal; it always helped him think.
"I used to take some kind of medicine when I looked after Lady June's cat…"
"Allergy medicine! Sure!" Kid Joey exclaimed in excitement. "I take allergy pills!" But as fast as he'd become excited, he became disappointed. "But little kids aren't supposed to touch medicine without a grown up helping them. Mom will never give me medicine to give to someone else…she might not even believe in you, Sir WHIP."
"Well, you might be a little kid human, but I am a grown up dragon, Kid Joey. So it is perfectly alright for you to give me medicine that I ask for."
Kid Joey burst through the kitchen door and dragged a chair over to the cabinet where Mom kept vitamins, daily medicines like for allergies, and Band-Aids.
Within seconds he'd grabbed a pill, bounced back out the door, grabbed the hose and landed back at his scaly friend's side.
You can chew the pills, but Mom says a drink of water after, makes them melt faster so you feel better quicker.
WHIP gulped down the water and waited for a few minutes for it to start working. Ten minutes later (it felt like a whole hour - you know how it is when you're waiting, right?) Kid Joey called Kato over to him. Kato licked Kid Joey's face, wagging his tail, happy to be brought back from his exile.
Boy and mutt eyes zeroed in on the dragon, mostly his mighty nose, and things seemed calm.
Kid Joey climbed aboard his dragon pal's head and slid down to his shoulders in the usual way, and patted his thigh, signaling Kato to follow.
Kato leapt onto WHIP's head, and leapt right back off again at the sound of gasps - gasps that meant a fiery sneeze was coming soon.
Kato whimpered from across the yard again.
Kid Joey patted the back of WHIP's head and the dragon lowered it like a ladder for his friend to disembark.
Kid Joey hurried over to his furry pal, and wrapped a comforting arm around his shoulders while Sir WHIP waited at a safer distance, his head drooping in snotty shame and sadness.
"What are we going to do, Kato?" Kid Joey said, leaning his head down to rest on top of Kato's.
Just then Rosie came out the door. "Hi Guys! Whassup?"
"Nothing," Kid Joey grumbled, his head forlornly cupped in his hands, propped on his knees. Kato's tail was between his legs, and the yard smelled funny and was wet.
"When did it rain? Rosie asked, then looked into Mrs. Levy's nice dry yard and frowned, puzzled. "What are those brown spots in the grass?" came another Rosie question. Then her eyes widened and she asked, her voice a mix of surprise and horror, "were you guys playing with matches?"
"No! No, no, no!" Joey said, tears welling in his eyes at the world of trouble he would be in at the mere suggestion of such a thing. "You don't understand!"
Kato licked Rosie's face, thinking, "Mmm, Cheese sandwich," as he listened while Kid Joey explained to his big sister about Sir WHIP's allergy and why they were so sad. Little did he know she would have the answer to the dilemma, and save the day.
"Well maybe you didn't give him enough medicine," she said, looking over at the giant, fire-breathing lizard, all sad and embarrassed across the yard.
"My mom always gave me just one pill," Sir WHIP said.
"But you were a little dragon then, right?" Rosie said. "Look at you now, Sir WHIP, you're bigger than our daddy and he takes two pills."
Rosie went inside and got another pill for Sir WHIP.
He washed it down with a drink from the hose.
Half an hour later all of his friends, including his furry one, climbed upon his back and all was well - the great dragon's nose stayed calm and dry.
Around the yard they swooped, then all around Pennsylvania, then back to Mrs. Levy's house for a snack - personally, Kato was hoping for peanut butter cookies.
Mrs. Levy snorted in amusement at the sight of the four travelers on her back doorstep, but unlike WHIP there was no fire from her nose.
They all entered the kitchen and crowed around the table. (Sir WHIP shrunk a bit so his mighty tail would fit under the table and not trip Mrs. Levy as she poured milk into everyone's mugs. (She rather liked mugs better than glasses, especially for small hands - handles were so much easier.)
The children told her all about zooming up Main Street in Media, all around town past the Media Theater, then out and around Tyler Arboretum and Linvilla Orchards, dipped down over the trees in Ridley Creek State Park (they all squealed, holding on for dear life, they told Mrs. Levy), and out over the mountains of Pennsylvania.
"You were invisible, correct?" she asked Sir WHIP, a bit alarmed.
"Madam, what kind of dragon do you take me for?" Sir WHIP said, a might huffily.
"Sorry, Sir WHIP, I meant no offence, I just was concerned for your safety."
"Well, it was much safer flying around town a little while ago, then it was in our yard before that," Rosie said, casting a sideways glance at her brother and friends.
Mrs. Levy's brows rose. "Why is that, Rosie?"
Kid Joey, annoyed with his sister for spilling the beans - burnt beans at that - told Mrs. Levy all about the burnt spots in the yard, and the allergy pills.
"Oh dear," she said at the fiery sneeze parts. "Very quick thinking," she said at the Kid-Joey-grabbing-the-hose-and-putting-out-the-fire part, and "Oh yes, he would take two pills now that he's a big dragon" at the allergy-pills-save-the-day part. She added, "I shall add allergy medicine to my shopping list from now on, Sir WHIP, so that you and Kato can continue to be friends safely."
That brought smiles from everyone, especially Sir WHIP and Kato who reached up and gave his new friend a resounding slurp on his face (Kato never missed a chance to clean up peanut butter cookie crumbs, even off a scaly chin."
After the treat Sir WHIP took everybody, even Mrs. Levy, for another ride upon his massive back and giggles and shouts of excited joy echoed through Media Pennsylvania.
TD - 10/17/2015