This image titled Mouse hunt has become my most popular painting at conventions, and I’ve for some time wanted to put a short story to it more firmly cementing this image into the Shards of Etheria universe.
The dragon is young, bearly a yearling. It had never known others of its kind, dragons are hatched in solitude and rarely ever meet their sires. There are so very few dragons in the universe, and they can travel in the space between things, the etherian pathways that connect all that is and was and could be, they have spread far across the universe using this talent. In the times of Illyria, they were hunted by scientists hoping to learn how they traveled. There was a prevailing theory that they would unlock the secrets to a new form of space travel that would render current methods obsolete. But little was ever learned, and now their number has dwindled even further.
The yearling sees a mouse, munching on a small piece of fruit. He is hungry and the mouse would sait that hunger for a time. Yet something was wrong. The mouse was eating a peeled piece of fruit, looking closer the dragon sees a small piece of cord drailing from beneath the grass, the mouse was bait.
The yearling growls alarming the small mouse into flight, it runs the fruit grasped in its tiny jaw. The dragon disappears back into the woods. His presence had been noticed, it was no longer safe here. The memories he had inherited from his line told him the anthropods that dwelled here were dangerous, and not to be trusted. It was time to leave, these hunting grounds were not safe.