DINDLE by Paul Fennimore Cooper


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A scornful court laughed when the young dwarf offered to kill the dragon that kept the kingdom in thrall. His chosen weapons were his two hands. The king accepted Dindle's offer and the dwarf, who was a skilled rug maker, went to Zoorndan's lair praising the vain dragon's loveliness and agreeing to make a perfect image on a rug. Returning in the specified time with his rug, Dindle begs that Zoorndan note the one flaw. In order to correct this, he asks that the image be brought to life so that he can see it in three dimensions. Pointing his magic life-giving, death-dealing tail, Zoorndan and his double then battle to the death over which is the lovelier. Dindle returns triumphant and laden with the treasures Zoorndan had exacted in tribute. The story might have ended here to good effect, but Dindle retires into a dwarf sized village brought to life from a rug with the aid of Zoorndan's chopped off tail. Told as a clever yarn, there are implications on the nature and uses of power that will not be lost on alert readers. Unfortunately, the pictures of the dragon do not bear out the descriptions of his awful loveliness, but the illustrator's human figures are very well done.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1964
Publisher: Putnam