Sometimes bad things happen. Like a flittering gold insect on the eye of the alligator that is slowly devouring you. Angela ran through the thick ebullient forest like a naked madwoman, screaming, streaking, free. She was naked, actually, but she didnít realize it, and if she had realized it, she wouldnít have cared. She had no fear, no worries. She was all joy and the truth in her was a pure unstained beauty.

As she passed berry bushes on her way, she grabbed handfuls of the blue and red, black and purple fruit, and she ate as she ran, letting the juice run down her neck all the way down to her legs. Though the forest seemed thick with growth, she did not have to push branches or brush out of her way. She was not in danger of a scratch because the foliage parted before her, opening welcomingly and leading her way.

Soon she came to a clear pool at the base of a little gurgling waterfall. Hot with sweat and covered with multicolored berry juice stripes, she entered the pool without hesitation and submerged herself in the cool clearness, keeping her eyes open with curiosity at what was below. Inside the pool giant goldfish swam, and they caressed her body with soft scales as they passed by. When she finally came up for air, she heard the sounds of all the animals of the forest. A family of deer watched her from the edge of the pond with some interest, and when she waved to them they scampered off and she laughed. Angela pulled herself onto a flat rock beside the pool and before she could get a chill the tree branches overhead swung back to let the sun come down to warm her.

She sat there a while, wondering about everything around her. A pair of turtle doves braided her hair, and spider monkeys sang to her from their perches.

Suddenly she saw something out of the corner of her eye that looked more interesting than anything she could remember seeing. It looked like a lion covered with goldfish skin, and it had a tremendous pair of silvery wings that brought it down to the ground quite near to where she was sitting. She had never seen anything more beautiful, and because she could not think of a more beautiful name, she called it Dragon and it nodded to her and seemed to smile.

Dragon lifted his paw towards her and she could see his lovely long ruby claws curled and gleaming in the sunlight. His head swung very close to hers and she marveled at the size and pointiness of his glistening white teeth. She could smell his smoky breath and it was like exotic incense from a thousand unknown lands. His eyes were golden catís eyes, and she could see her reflected form curved around inside.

He motioned for her to get on his back and she leapt up with excitement. Within moments they were soaring above the forest, swooping past the sun and dancing with the moon. As they flew around she saw the clearing in the middle of the forest where the largest tree stood. She pointed to it so that Dragon could see where she wanted to go. He understood and circled the tree three times before landing lightly in the grass in the shade of its tremendous branches. From the sky it had looked to her like the tree had been decorated with lovely golden balls, but now that she was standing on the ground, she could see that it was actually ripe fruit. Then she remembered what Tree it was and wondered about what the Voice had said when she was born.

Before she realized what was happening, Dragon jumped up and grabbed a branch of the great tree. He began to shake the branch until the yellow fruit came down all around her. She shook her head but Dragon landed again and picked up one of the golden globes. "But you musnít" she cried as he threw his head back and -- jaws opened wide -- gobbled up the piece of fruit like it was nothing. The he picked up another one and ate that too. Then he was running around her in circles eating all of them and she twisted round to follow him and fell down in a dizzy glee.

When Dragon was full he slowed down and curled around Angela on the ground. She could smell the juice of the fruit on his lizard lips and almost became intoxicated with one breath. Dragon was so full from his meal that he fell dead asleep. At first she thought something had happened to him because he was so still, but then she could see his chest move and knew he was just in a deep slumber. He looked so happy there, his dragon jaws smiling, half open, and the air was thick with the fragrance of spring and fruit and life itself.

She wondered if Dragon was the Voice she remembered, and she thought about the command He had given. Was it to keep all of this glorious fruit for himself? Surely Dragon couldnít eat all of it. It certainly didnít seem dangerous to eat, though Angela wasnít quite sure what "dangerous" even meant, really. She began to look around to see if there was one that Dragon had missed. Surely there was at least one left she could try. The harder she looked, the hungrier she got. But there wasnít any fruit left on the ground, and all she found were large flat flint stones slightly hidden in the grass nearby. Desperate for a taste she kissed Dragon, but the juice was all gone, evaporated in the mid-day sun.

She looked up but the tree was too big for her to climb, and the knots and edges of the trunk looked sharp enough that she didnít want to try. But it did give her an idea. In his sleepy bliss Dragon had rolled over onto his back and she could see that his scales seemed very thin on his underside. She put a hand on his chest and could feel his heart beating just beneath the skin.

She looked for the largest stone she could find in the clearing, and to her delight, one of its edges narrowed down to a sharp point. Throwing her whole weight into it, she drove the stone deep into Dragonís heart. The beast woke immediately with a cry and looked down to see the fountain of green blood pouring from his breast. He looked a little confused and put his paws over the hole in an attempt to stop the flow, but it was too late. Soon he was unconscious, and then a little later he was dead. Angela rubbed the sharp end of the stone across Dragonís belly until it split wide open. And because he had eaten the apples so fast, many of them were still whole.

She hungrily grabbed the biggest apple from his stomach and took a bite. Suddenly everything made sense, and she immediately knew the horrible thing she had done. Besides that she also began to feel quite naked, even though at that point she was covered from head to toe in sticky green dragonís blood. Ashamed of her evil deed, she knew she had to come up with a good story. Just then something slithered past her in the grass. That was it! She would blame everything on Snake. It wasnít her fault, he talked her into it. And just to be on the safe side she would change her name to Eve to make it harder for the authorities to track her down...