Three hours and several drenchings later, the crew was spreading out, calling and cajoling the lizards up from their various sun spots.
The older dragons had quickly settled down after bathing and were now laid out like muscled scaly mountains, baking in the sand. Upriver and out of draconic earshot–which was quite a ways–the three younger reptiles were still playing; they had been chased off hours ago by the elders. The ranchers had held a lottery for who would collect that rambunctious lot, and Chris had pulled the short straw.
Actually, he was the second one to draw it, as the first, Robert, was still out there.
Swatting flies and branches out-of-the-way, Chris forged his way down the bank, away from the older, and grumpier, dragons. Glancing up at the flash of light on water, the blond rancher caught sight of the bronze, Skora, and the twin emeralds, Seki and Luppi. Breathing out a sigh of relief–none of them were fighting–Chris quickened his pace… only to crack his shin on an upraised root.
Chris yelled out and clamped a hand over the abused bone, taking a moment to glare at the chunk of very sturdy wood. It would have to be a birch, wouldn’t it? And then, rather maturely, kicked an innocent rock towards the water.
A few moments later, the rancher emerged grumbling from the treeline to find three dragons crowded around the bank watching for him. As the youngsters pressed close, sniffing and nosing him, Robert hesitantly called out, “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” Chris said, pushing away the green snout that was going for his treat pockets. “Just had a talk with nature.”
Prompt: Kicking Rocks