once upon a time there was a peaceful village, filled with peaceful people.
a dragon came along.
he hung outside the village, making threatening and belligerent noises, and indicating that he was hungry.
he demanded that the villagers send him some children or fair maidens to eat.
just a few, he insisted, then he would be on his way.
the villagers held a council.
st george stepped forward at the meeting.
there is no need, quoth he, to surender any children or maidens to the dragon. with my sword and my lasso i will capture the dragon and put him in a cage, when all you good people can laugh at him forever.
this sounded like a good idea to the villagers, and they told st george to do what he could.
true to his word, st george captured the dragon and put him in a cage.
the villagers rejoiced, and held a great feast in st george’s honor, in which much ale was quaffed, and much beef and mutton devoured.
the dragon in his cage was treated to some pine cones and gruel.
life went on in the village.
st george and the other villagers went back to working in the fields and the farmyards, with occasional expeditions to poach in the bad king’s forest.
every year on the anniversary of the capture of the dragon, a feast was held with st george as the guest of honor.
on some years when there had been a bountiful harvest, the bad king himself attended the festivities and gave the villagers his blessing.
the villagers kept the dragon in his cage, as his presence reminded them of st george’s great victory, and kept him alive by feeding him gruel, pine cones, pine needles, and an occasional mouse.
st george lived to the venerable age of ninety-nine. the villagers gathered around him as lay on his deathbed, and after he downed one last hearty flagon of ale, they bid him good-bye.
even with st george gone, the villagers continued to keep the dragon in his cage and feed him. he lived for another three thousand years.