Deenagh: The Pictish Years Chapter 9 – Healing the Dragon

Sure enough, Deenagh woke up early the next morning before the sun had risen, and her first thought went to The Dragon as she wondered if he was alright and would he still be there if she just went back for a look. Her curiosity got the better of her and a in a very short time she was packed and ready for her trek back to the clearing before the rest of the village clans folk were even awake. Deenagh passed her Tree Mother, the Wizened Hawthorn and Blessed her with a good day, and she told her Tree Mother that she was just off to see if The Dragon was still there. The Dryad smiled to herself and decided that she didn’t have to tell The Dragon that the child was on her way as he would find out soon enough, and the Dryad was amused at that thought.

Deenagh had a trek that would take half the morning, and as she set off, she too found that she was smiling to herself, and she wondered at why she was not feeling afraid of seeing The Dragon again. When she reached the clearing, The Dragon was still there as Deenagh knew he would be somehow, and she walked towards his giant head. He opened his eye briefly and then gently closed his huge eyelid. The Dragon’s body lifted and lowered to his rhythmic breathing, and he seemed to be somewhat relaxed. Deenagh realised that she no longer felt fear which she also acknowledged that she had bravely faced by just coming back to this creature.

She knew from the cries of pain that she heard coming from The Dragon the day before that he must have injuries, so she started to walk around him to assess the damage because Deenagh was a healer by nature. The Dragon lay on the ground in a restful state, barely moving and she hoped that he would
not hurt her, but somehow she felt safe and in no danger. Deenagh quickly began to establish the extent of the wounds on the body of this magnificent creature. There were claw marks on his hind leg and his side, and as Deenagh walked around his other side she saw more of the same, huge gashes and open wounds. Some of the wounds still had The Dragon’s blood flowing steadily out like a slow moving stream. When she got all the way round to The Dragon’s long tail with golden spikes, she had to turn and come back the way she came because she knew it would be a violation to climb over the top of his tail. Deenagh could see the sides of The Dragon’s body but she needed a view from above so she could assess the damage done to the rest of his body, so she climbed the trees that surrounded
The Dragon in the clearing.

The Dryad had given Deenagh a gift from her people, and it was the protection of the trees and the ability to tree walk, which was simply to be able to walk across the canopies of even the highest of trees as freely as if she were walking on the earth itself. This gift came with one condition, that no other human could know of it, which Deenagh kept at all costs, being careful not to be seen tree walking by anyone. This gift came in very useful in this case, and with no other humans around, Deenagh walked in a circle around the top of the trees that surrounded the clearing, moving from
tree to tree with confidence and a surefootedness of someone that had done this many times. This was the most natural thing for Deenagh, as she loved the literal bird’s eye view from high above the woodland floor. She had been climbing trees for as long as she could remember and to her it was so
much easier to walk from branch to branch of tree to tree without having to climb up one tree only to have to go down and climb up the one right next to it, which surely did not make sense to anyone, which she thought many times when she was tree walking.

Deenagh moved around The Dragon from her high vantage point and she got a true sense of his colossal size, for he was surely as big as one of the mountains near her village, and she was filled with an even greater sense of awe and appreciation of the beauty of this creature. She also saw many more injuries on the top of his body. She saw too for the first time The Dragon’s wings, immense and spectacular but somehow delicate, as they were tucked underneath The Dragon, and she wondered how she had missed them while she was walking around him. The truth was that her mind was trying to process what her eyes were seeing, and it didn’t occur to Deenagh that this creature had wings, but then she remembered the stories of Dragons in flight, and she felt a bit silly, which made her smile as she laughed at her own joke. This unexpected humour helped her to deal with the mammoth task she was beginning to see laid out before her.

There were so many old scars as well as new wounds, that Deenagh felt herself fill up with the emotion of sadness, and she felt a greater respect for this creature who had endured so much pain and suffering. She also felt an overwhelming sense of compassion, and her heart went out to this Dragon who had been so badly injured while fighting against the forces of evil, which she knew to be true without it being said to her. Deenagh wanted more than anything to help The Dragon, because she knew instinctively that he was a Good Being, and that he deserved something good happen to him.

While she wiped the tears that flowed freely down her face, Deenagh got down from the leafy canopy of the trees in their full Summer bloom with a sense of determination, and a strong purpose to simply heal The Dragon. However, she had no idea how to start, or indeed where to start, but she did know that her Tree Mother would be able to help. Before she left, Deenagh went up to The Dragon’s right eye which remained closed, and she said out loud to him that she would be back with healing plants to clean his wounds if he would consent, and she pleaded with him not to leave, unsure if he was even listening to her, but she Blessed him with a good night and left the clearing.

As Deenagh walked away, The Dragon was still thinking about this girl child walking from tree to tree high above the ground as though she had been born to it, and he could not remember in his long history of another human to be given the magic of the trees before. He knew that the Dryads did not
generally allow humans into their protection, so The Dragon felt that this particular human must have made quite an impression on his friend, the Old Hawthorn Dryad. The Dragon then thought that this human child would be back to bother him again because he recognised stubbornness when
he saw it. But he was also pragmatic, and thought that she may be useful after all, and help clean up some of his wounds. The Dragon found that he was smiling to himself as he realised that he was looking forward to seeing this child again.

While Deenagh was making her way back to Anoc-Par, she was already talking to her Tree Mother about The Dragon’s injuries, and imploring her for help in determining which healing plants would be most effective. The Dryad was prepared for Deenagh’s requests, and she had already established the best healing plants for The Dragon because she had simply asked him what he needed.

Deenagh got back to her dwelling and immediately started to prepare the plants that she would need, but what was troubling her was the sheer quantity of the healing plants that would be required to help The Dragon. She tried not to think about that too much, and did what she could with what she had, and she had a dwelling full of the cuttings of trees and plants. Some were stored in a wooden cabinet that Duira had made specially for her, dried and powdered, so she knew they were powerful magically. Others hung drying from long wooden tubes that ran the entire diameter of her dwelling, and crisscrossed her circular home. This was another addition by Duira who had helped Deenagh about two years earlier to make her dwelling as practical as possible for an Apprentice to the Shamaness, which required a good deal of space for the healing plants alone.

Deenagh returned to The Dragon early again the next morning, and she found herself happy to see him. She decided to ask him if it was acceptable to start cleaning his wounds, and when she got no sign of an answer either way, she proceeded to wash each injury with the clear water from the nearby river, infused with crushed pine needles that had their own special cleansing properties that would help keep infection away. This initial cleaning of The Dragon’s wounds took almost the entire day. Deenagh worked tirelessly without a break, and she made many trips to and from the river, carrying water in her boar’s bladder bag, as she cleaned the wounds with cloths that needed to be rinsed many times. As she worked, Deenagh was quietly asking the Spirits of the plants and the Spirits of the Water to lend their healing and cleansing properties. She may not have known it at the time, but Deenagh was spell casting, a weaver of magic. She was also imploring the Spirits of her Ancestors to help her heal this Dragon, who she had realised she had quickly come to care about very deeply.

The Dragon had allowed this girl child to tend to his wounds and had even let her climb on top of his back to get to those injuries higher up, only because she had asked with the correct manners and respect, and The Dragon had to admit to himself that she was doing a good job, for already he was feeling a little bit better. But he could not get through to this child that she needed to rest without speaking to her mind and he wasn’t ready for that, if indeed he ever would be. However, The Dragon was getting concerned that she would soon get low on energy, although in the end he decided not to interfere as surely this small human would decide for herself that she was finished for the day because the sun was beginning to set.

Deenagh did make a decision, and as it was getting dark soon and too late to return to the village, she ate some food that she had brought with her, and she climbed up one of the great Oak trees to sleep among the branches, something she had done many times before as her Tree Mother had told
her that it was the safest place to sleep if she ever found herself outdoors overnight.

The Dragon had been observing this girl child and he thought to himself that this human named Deenagh had a strong sense of commitment. It seemed that when she set her mind to a task she would not be happy until it was complete. The Dragon realised that he was going to be stuck with Deenagh for some time to come.

My name is Deenagh Jackson and the process of my writing has helped me understand my own Pagan beliefs in this modern day, while also helping me to connect with my Ancestors of old.

The Deenagh series of books which I started writing almost 2 years ago are about the main character Deenagh who can remember her past lives and each book tells the story of the lifetimes she has lived and the lessons learned, with her Spiritual beliefs at the heart which are important to Deenagh.
This is the first time I have shared my stories outside my close circle of friends, but as a wise man once told me “a stranger is a friend yet to be”, so feel free to contact me by email 
Brightest Blessings, Deenagh