Rune Dances

A story about how nobody is perfect and that’s ok. Free coloring pages featuring images from this story can be downloaded here.

Rune the Dragon awoke on midsummer morning and looked outside. The golden sun was gleaming. The blue sky was bright. The whispering wind was warm.

But today was the Midsummer Festival, and Rune was too afraid to eat her breakfast because she would have to perform.

“Don’t fret,” said Rune’s mother. “The festival will be fun — don’t have fear!”

But at school Rune felt so much fear that she did not hear when her teacher asked how many yaks she would have if she started with five and gobbled up two.

After class, the dancing-master gathered all the young dragons together and said “Today is the midsummer festival, so let us rehearse one last time!”

Rune took her place, but she was terrified. The music began.

The dragons whirled and swirled.

The dragons hummed and thrummed.

The dragons fluted and hooted.

Rune swooped and soared, flying for the finish, but she flipped when she should have flapped, and so she fell.

The other dragons laughed loudly. “Rune is clumsy. She should quit,” cackled one. “That’s cruel,” cried another. “We were all new dancers once.”

“That’s enough,” the dancing-master roared. “Keep dancing, Rune. You’ll grow and learn. Today just do your best.”

The townsfolk hurried to bring out the food for the festival while the artists rehearsed one last time.

The dragons flew in single file, floating over the folk as they finished a joyful journey to the festival. But Rune was so scared that she swooped away, slipping into the tallest tower of the great hall at the center of town.

Rune quickly grabbed at a curtain, hoping to conceal herself behind it. “Be gone!” a voice bellowed. “This is my hiding place.”

“Who are you?” Rune asked, surprised. “I am Ingrid,” the girl replied. “I have to give a speech before the dragons dance, but I am afraid I will make mistakes. So instead I will hide.” “I have to dance,” the dragon cried. “But my mistakes will be worse. I need a place to hide!”

Rune would not go. Ingrid would not go. Neither one would go. At first it seemed they would fight, but then they laughed.

“How silly we are,” said Ingrid. “We should just show up and do our best. We might make mistakes, but so what?” Rune grinned. “I agree. Let’s go together.”

The dragon let Ingrid ride on her back, and they swiftly soared from the top of the tower down to the center of the stage.

“Lords and ladies, boys and barbarians, girls and goblins, traders and trolls, dreamers and dragons! Welcome to you all!” Ingrid shouted with a smile. “To begin the midsummer festival here are the dragons from the north mountain to perform their dance!”

Rune took her place. The music began.

The dragons fluted and hooted.

The dragons hummed and thrummed.

The dragons whirled and swirled.

It was time for the finale. Rune flapped and fluttered, and as she flew she took a deep breath and blew a flickering golden flame.

The townsfolk cheered. “What a show!” they cried. “What fun!”

Ingrid and Rune found one another after the show. They shared cake to celebrate their success. “You did a fine job!” said Ingrid. “And you too!” said Rune. “This festival is fun!”

Rune was met by her mother, who held her in a happy hug. “I knew you could do it,” she smiled.

And Rune kept dancing, no matter how many mistakes she made while she was learning.