A snake-catcher hunting exotic snakes in the mountains found a mighty dragon. It had died in the cold, or so he thought.
"What a marvel!" he said. "I'll exhibit this in the city and make a fortune!"
He tied the dragon with ropes and dragged it down into the city. The people came and marveled at the rare creature.
There, in the warmth of the sun and of all those human bodies, the dragon revived. Roaring, it burst free of the ropes and started eating the spectators.
"What have I done?" groaned the snake-catcher.
Then the dragon ate him too.
Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 69 in the book. Rumi explains: "The dragon is your carnal soul. How should it be dead? it is only frozen. by frustration and atrophy." The story does not say that the dragon ate the snake-catcher, but I thought that made for a good ending.
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