Shari's Visit

Steve Oualline

Clyde rushed into his lair and skidded to a stop, his claws striking sparks against the stone floor. "Zabbar, get out here immediately! We're in big trouble."

Zabbar quickly looked back up the cave to see if anything was following Clyde. Satisfied that it was safe, he stepped out into the open. The big dragon was noticeably shaken. Quickly checking to see that the nearest exit was open Zabbar nervously asked, "What is going on, Clyde? I've seen you single-handedly take care of a large army, a phalanx of magicians and a horde of goblins. What's on earth could get you scared?"

"My sister is coming for a visit," he said plaintively.

Zabbar thought for a moment. "Is there bad blood between you and her?"

"No. We like each other."

"Then what's the problem?"

"Well," said the dragon, straining for words, "She's sort of . . . She's has a kind of . . . She's like she is," he concluded.

Zabbar was not enlightened by this information. Before he could quiz Clyde further the dragon barked out a series of orders, "First, I want you to take out all the crystal pieces from the lair and hide them in the small side caves. Make sure they are well beyond dragon reach. Then we can get started on saving the precious stones. The gold and silver will have to be buried. Get Sabina to help you. And hurry we don't have much time."

Zabbar and Sabina worked day and night trying to get everything hidden. The smaller pieces went into the smaller passages, the larger pieces were buried. Even though Clyde drove Zabbar and Sabina hard, they were only able to take care of about 60% of the treasure.

Finally the day came when Clyde's sister was due to arrive. The dragon took a quick bath in a nearby lake and Zabbar spent the morning polishing the dragons scales. A little before noon they went out to the entrance of the cave to wait. It wasn't long before Clyde spotted a dragon in the distance.

As she approached, Zabbar could see that she was smaller than Clyde and colored a lighter bronze. A small brown traveling pouch hung around her neck. Approaching the meadow, she backwinged into a perfect landing.

"Clyde," she shouted and ran toward the cave.

"Shari," replied the dragon as he raced down to greet her.

"I've got a present for you," she said, removing her pouch. "You know how you like rock candy."

"Yes!" Clyde exclaimed brightly.

"Well, I brought you a ton of rocks," she replied dropping the pouch. Zabbar felt the ground shake and decided that she was not speaking figuratively.

"Shari," said Clyde smoothly, "I've got the perfect cave picked out for you. And it's only three miles south of here."

"Oh, I wouldn't want you to go to any trouble. I'll just stay with you."

Before Clyde could protest, she continued, "I insist." She turned to look Zabbar over. He felt like a side of beef in a butcher shop.

"This must be one of the humans that lives with you. I think it's amazing that you get along so well with them. How do you do it?"

"I treat them with respect and they do the same with me. Live and let live."

"Well, I always say, 'East is east, west is west, north is north and south is south.'"

"You say that," interjected Zabbar. "Does anyone understand you?"

Clyde shot him a reproving look as he led Shari into the cave.

The next morning Zabbar got up early and walked into the main cavern. Clyde and Shari were already up talking. Or rather Shari was talking and Clyde was listening with a slightly glazed look in his eyes.

"I'm going into town for supplies," announced Zabbar. "Do you need anything?"

"Nothing," replied Clyde sleeply.

"What are you getting?" asked Shari.

Zabbar pulled a list from his pocket. "I'm getting some flour for Sabina, and -"

"Shame on you, Zabbar," exclaimed Shari. "Selling that nice girl for some food. If you're hungry why don't you get a job and earn some money. Then you can buy your own food honorablely."

"I didn't mean . . ." protested Zabbar, then he gave up and said, "Never mind." He turned back to his list. "On the way back, I've got to stop by the Villagemaster's house. He's sick in bed with a doctor."

"Isn't that crowded?" asked Shari.

"The doctor isn't in bed with him," explained Zabbar.

"But you said - "

"Never mind," said Zabbar.

"Maybe you can get the doctor to come here and look at me."

"What's wrong?"

"I've got this patch on my back side where my scales are shedding. That's why I'm here. Mother thought the southern climate would be better for me."

"I'll see what I can do," said Zabbar. He put the list back into his pocket and shot out of the room.

That evening Zabbar returned with the sack of flour for Sabina. The conversation between Clyde and Shari was still going on. Sabina sat off to one side, knitting. She looked up as he entered and asked, "How is the Villagemaster doing?"

"Fine," replied Zabbar. "As a matter of fact he would like to have you for dinner tomorrow."

Shari jumped up and turned to Zabbar. "How dare you?" she exploded.

"What?" said a startled Zabbar.

"First you want to sell Sabina and now you want to feed her to the Villagemaster."

"But I -"

"Slavery is bad enough, but cannibalism."

"But I -"

"Sabina's a nice girl. What's she ever done to you?"

"But -"

"Clyde told me you were a nice person. How could you even suggest such a thing."

"But -"

"You tell that Villagemaster that he'll have to make do with a cow for dinner."

Zabbar paused to catch his breath. Sabina put down her knitting and said, "Why don't you try going back to 'But I'?"

"But I -"

"I'm watching you Zabbar. If you do anything to hurt this nice girl you'll have to answer to me."

Zabbar gave up. He ceremoniously lay the sack of flour at Sabina's feet and went to his quarters.

Three days passed. Zabbar and Clyde returned from a short hunting trip to find Shari napping behind a pile of vases.

"Where'd you get all that stuff?" asked Clyde, pointing to the stack.

Shari opened her eyes and sat up. "I met the nicest human today down by the lake. He sells olive oil, so I bought you thirty jars."

"What am I going to do with all that olive oil?"

"It'll come in handy if you ever encounter a squeaky olive."

"Where'd you get the money to pay for it?"

"From that cache of gold pieces you had buried in the corner. I paid two gold pieces a jar."

"The going rate for olive oil is ten coppers a jar."

"That's what the man told me, but I talked him into two gold pieces."

"Why did you that?"

"At ten coppers, the oil would have been cheap. I didn't want to give you a cheap present, so I made him take two gold pieces for them. That way I can give you an expensive present."

"But you're using my money."

"Oh Clyde," Shari sighed. "It's not the money, it's the thought that counts."

Clyde started to refute this logic, paused to figure it out and finally gave up.

The next day, Clyde returned to find Shari sitting next to a box full of short, funny looking poles.

"What happened?" he asked.

"A man dropped by selling pogo sticks."

"How many did you buy?"


"Why only twenty-five?"

"That's all he had."

"But what are you going to use them for?"

"They'll come in handy in case we are attacked by a horde of wild pogos."

"What do you think a pogo is?"

"I don't know, but I didn't tell the man that. He might think I was dumb."

Clyde slowly walked over to the sleeping area and lay down muttering to himself.

During the next three weeks, fifteen salesmen called at Clyde's cave. The pile of junk rapid grew as Clyde's supply of ready cash dimmished.

Finally he had enough. "Shari," he barked. His sister looked up at him.

"This pile of stuff has to go. I'm sending Zabbar into town to get the junk man. I want you to get the best price you can and clean this place out."

Shari nodded. Zabbar immediately left for town. After he finished his chore for Clyde, he stopped by the tavern for a few drinks. After his fifth beer, he got a brilliant idea and started looking for the town's sign painter.

It was late when he got back to the cave, a freshly painted sign under his arm. Clyde was sitting outside the cave, his head resting on his claws.

"What happened?" asked Zabbar.

"The junk man came," moaned the dragon.

"How much?"

"Twelve gold pieces."

"That's not too bad."

"She bought everything but his horse and wagon."


"What's that under your arm?"

"A sign, I thought it might keep the salesmen out." Zabbar undid the burlap and let it fall to the ground. The sign read:

In this cave two dragons dwell
To one you can make a sale
To the other you'll make a meal

"And," announced Zabbar proudly. "If that doesn't work, I've got another idea." He turned the sign over.

Museum of the totally useless
See the world's largest collection of
junk and worthless inventions

Admission two coppers.

"By the way, while I was in town, I found out that Shari stopped by the goldsmith today. You know that small gold statue of a knight that you have?"

Clyde nodded slowly.

"Well she took it in to have it bronzed."

Clyde shook his head. "Something has to be done. This is driving me nuts."

"You're not the only one. I've collected commissions from twelve villagers. They want me to cast a spell that will make her leave. So far I've got two hundred gold pieces."

"Two hundred," laughed Clyde. "I'll pay two thousand for such a spell."

"Done!" exclaimed Zabbar. "Cash in advance."

"O.K," said Clyde as he got up and headed for the cave. "I've got the money right  .  .  . -- WHAT AM I SAYING!!" he shouted.

Shaking his head he continued, "I was going to hire you to cast a spell. You couldn't spell your way out of a wet paper bag. Shari has me so confused that for a moment I actually though you could do magic."

He wearily walked into the cave. Shari was talking to Sabina when they entered.

"How much longer do you plan on being here?" blurted out Zabbar.

"That depends on my scales," replied Shari.

"Your scales?" queried Clyde.

"Yes. Mother told me to stay here until my scales stopped shedding. As soon as that happens, I'll be going home."

Clyde's outlook brightened. "I know of a magician who can do some healing magic. If he cures you, then you promise to go home?"

"Of course," said Shari.

Clyde turned a conspiratorial eye toward Zabbar. "Who do you know that might have a spell to stop Shari's shedding scales?"

Zabbar smiled. "You want me to summon Simon Shay," he said knowingly.

Stopping only a moment to pack a traveling bag, Zabbar left to find the Master Magician. He was glad to get out of the cave, his sessions with Shari had taken their toll. Two days later he returned with Master Shay in tow.

Clyde was sitting outside the cave entrance, resting. The dragon had been spending a lot of time there since Shari came to visit.

As soon as they reached Clyde's resting place, Zabbar turned to Shay and asked, "Have you got anything for a headache?"

"Sure thing," said the magician as he rummaged through his pack. He pulled out a leather pouch filled with white powder. He poured a measured amount into a small envelope, handed it to Zabbar and asked, "When did the pain start?"

"In about five minutes," said Zabbar.

Clyde looked up. "Does that stuff work on dragons?"

Shay looked at him. "I think so." The Master Magician carefully weighed the pouch in his hand as he mentally calculated how much powder to use. Finally he settled for tossing Clyde the whole thing. "Do you have a headache too?"

"Same one," said Clyde. "My sister. She's inside waiting for you."

"She can't be that bad."

"Oh yea," exclaimed Zabbar. "I'll bet you ten gold pieces that she drives you crazy."

"Done," shouted the magician cheerfully. He picked up his supplies and started for the cave entrance.

"Aren't you going to yell at me for gambling?" Zabbar asked Clyde.

"In this case, I don't think you are," replied the dragon.

Zabbar and Clyde followed the magician into the lair, keeping a respectable distance behind. When they reached the lair, they stopped, and waited to see what would happen.

Shari was lounging at the far side of the room. The magician boldly walked into the cave, and announced, "You must be Shari. I'm here to help you."

She sat up, looked at Simon Shay standing there, and said, "Oh hello, Zabbar. How are you doing?"

Shay blinked, recovered and said, "I'm not Zabbar, I'm Shay."

"Well, don't worry. You'll get over it. Just keep on trying to meet new people."

"I've lost four gold pieces already," the magician said to himself. He continued, "Not shy, Shay, SHAY," he shouted.

"Your Shay. Gee, I don't know how to cure that."

"First of all, it's not a disease, it's a name. Secondly, I don't have have it, I am it. Er.  .  .  . it is me. Er.  .  .  . I am him. Er.  .  .  . I am me. Er.  .  .  . Zabbar, come in here and collect your money."

"What happened?" asked Shari.

"Zabbar bet me ten gold pieces that you would drive me crazy."

"That's a silly bet," laughed Shari.

The Master Magician nodded knowingly. "Clyde," he said plaintively. "Do you still have that headache powder I gave you?"


"Could I have a little of it back?" He turned to Shari and said, "I'm a healer, could you please show me where your scales are shedding?" Shari lay down and turned on her side. Simon Shay took a magnifying glass from his bag and began to examine her. Every once in a while he would murmur things like, "Uh huh," "I see," and once he went so far as to say "Ah ha."

Zabbar and Clyde crowded in so they could watch his every move. Finally he concluded his examination and said, "It's a fungus infection. Not too difficult to remove."

"How long will it take?" asked Clyde.

"Oh not long. I'll have to brew a potion and for that I'll need some ingredients."

"What are they?" asked Zabbar.

"Let's see. The scales from seventy salmon snatched from the South Sea. The stinger from a sand scorpion. Seven sacks of slimy snails from the stinking swamp, small ones with the shiny spots on them. The scent sack from a speedy snow skunk. Better capture that one alive, I'm good at skinning snow skunks. Oh, you'd better get some soybean soap."

"You put soybean soap in your potion!" exclaimed Zabbar.

"Oh no, the soybean soap is used to scrub away the snow skunk stink. It makes a good solvent. Also, I'll need the sugar of several sweet strawberries. And last but not least, crushed chalk from the cliffs at Canterbury."

"What?" asked a startled Zabbar.

"A friend of mine, Cliff Cauldwell, recommended that last ingredient." The magician paused for a moment and thought. "Oh, one more thing, a steel stove to cook everything. It has to simmer from sunrise to sunset."

Clyde turned to Zabbar and said, "Get ready for a trip. We leave at sunrise."

Catching the salmon was easy. The big dragon flew low over the sea, his claws skimming the surface. In only a few hours he collected seventy-two salmon, three trout and one startled sail fish. Zabbar roasted the trout and Clyde ate the sail fish for lunch.

After they finished, the dragon lay down for a short nap. All that flying had taken a lot out of him. Zabbar stretched out at his side. That afternoon, Clyde woke up, nudged Zabbar, and said, "Get up. We've got to get the stinger from the sand scorpion."

"I know of several people who sell such things," replied Zabbar sleepily. "Most of them live near the desert."

"But they're so expensive. We can go out and get our own."

"No way," shouted Zabbar. "Those things can kill with a single sting. I'm going to risk my life for a few gold pieces."

"Oh come on, how hard can it be to catch such a small slow creature?"

"Catching it is easy," replied Zabbar in quavering voice. "The hard part is staying alive while you do it. Those stingers contain a very potent poison. One drop can kill you in a second. It takes a specialest to trap sand scorpions. They command premium prices. One scorpion can cost one hundred gold pieces."

"That much," said Clyde impressed. "That's a lot of gold."

"I'll pay half," said Zabbar.

"I'm impressed. I thought that you valued your money more than anything else in the world."

"My life comes first," explained Zabbar. "What's good is money if you can't live to spend it?"

They flew to a small village at the edge of the desert and sent Zabbar in to buy the stinger. He came back an hour later carrying a bulky package wrapped in burlap.

"Why such a big package?" asked the dragon.

"I had them put on five extra layers of cloth to make absolutely sure that no poison escaped. That stuff is nasty. By the way, the price has gone down a little, it's now eighty gold pieces not a hundred."

The dragon took a moment to digest Zabbar's last statement. "Why Zabbar," he said, "you didn't try to overcharge me. What's happened to you?"

"I'm so eager to get rid of this package, I guess I'm not myself." Clyde took off for the lair. Shay was waiting there to accept their packages.

"Next item, swamp snails," said Clyde as they took off again. In less than an hour they were over the lush green swamp forest. The dragon circled for a few minutes, then spotted a clearing and dove in for a landing.

He hit the ground with a loud "splush," mud flying everywhere. As soon as things settled down, Zabbar discovered that Clyde was buried so deep that the mud almost reached Zabbar's feet.

"I'm stuck," said the dragon. "I can hardly move." He craned his neck around, surveying the situation. "I'm going to use my flame to dry out the ground in front of me. Then I'll crawl up onto it. Meanwhile, you take the sacks and start collecting the snails."

Zabbar looked at the thick mud. "You you're not going to get me into that stuff," he said. "I'm staying put. There is nothing you can say to make me get off your back." He stubbornly folded his arms and waited for an argument.

"Ok," said Clyde cheerfully. "I'll get Sabina to do it. You can stay with Shari while we're gone."

Zabbar grabbed the sacks and muttered, "All right, I'm going, I'm going." He slipped off Clyde's back, jumping into mud up to his waist. Slowly he slogged over to the trees where the swamp snails lived. Three hours later, he slogged back, carrying seven full sacks.

Clyde sat high and dry on a small patch of solid ground, his bronze scales still tinged black by the mud. Climbing on the dragon's back, Zabbar muttered, "Let's stop by the lake on our way back. I need a bath."

"You're not the only one," said Clyde as he took off.

The next morning they flew into the high mountains in search of the snow skunk. Clyde flew low over the drifts, searching. The dragon was sure that he could easily smell the small animal even in its den under the snow.

They searched all morning before Clyde smelled one and landed. "Dig there," he told Zabbar, pointing to a small hole in the snow. Zabbar got the shovel and started working.

Half an hour later he reached the skunk. A minute later the skunk reached him. Clyde turned his face away from the awful smell and shouted, "Zabbar, you stink."

"Never mind," he shouted back. "Just toss me the sack and let's get out of here."

Ten minutes later Zabbar emerged from the hole, scratches covering his arms and face. He held the burlap sack at arm's length, keeping the squealing animal inside as far away as possible.

Clyde took one whiff of him and exclaimed, "Stop where you are. I'm not about to let you ride me smelling like that. You'll have to hike down to the nearest village and get a cleaned up."

Zabbar paused for a moment, then said cheerfully, "Ok. It will take me only two days and you can keep Shari company in the meantime."

Clyde thought this over for a second before reluctantly saying, "All right, all right, get on."

An hour later Zabbar entered the lair with his prize and was promptly thrown out by Sabina.

The other ingredients could be bought in the village market, and Sabina went into town to buy them.

Simon Shay spent two days brewing his potion. Zabbar watched him and said, "Is there any way you could make it stink less?"

"Oh sure," said Shay as he stirred the pot. "All you have to do is leave out the skunk. Potion works just as well without it, but it smells something like honey."

"Then, why did you put in the skunk?"

"To make it smell bad, of course. Everyone thinks that medicine should smell bad. If it doesn't they think it's no good." Finally he finished stirring and poured the mixture into a huge barrel and rolled it into the cave.

Shari watched him with eager anticipation. "Is that it?" she asked.

"Yes," replied the magician. "Now you have to be very careful applying it. You should shake well before using."

"Ok," replied Shari and began to shake her entire body. Loose scales flew off, causing Simon Shay to duck behind the barrel.

"Not you," he shouted, "the potion." He waited for her to settle down. "This must be applied every other day. In other words, you use it one day and skip the next."

"Gee, that's going to be hard on my feet. After all, that's an awful lot of skipping. Do I have to keep hopping all day? Can't I take a break sometime?"

The magician reached into his pocket, pulled out some headache powder and swallowed it. "I don't mean that you should skip a day, I meant that you should skip a day."

"Now there's a hunk of logic," interjected Zabbar.

"Oh, I understand," said Shari.

Simon turned to Zabbar and gave him his best 'I told you so' look. He broke open the barrel, got out a paint brush and began to apply the potion to the diseased area.

The work finished, Simon Shay prepared to leave. Clyde and Zabbar escorted him to the cave entrance. "It was good seeing you again," said the Master Magician. "Even under these trying circumstances. You have enough of Shay's stop scale shedding potion for three weeks. If the problem doesn't clear up in two weeks, contact me. Now about the headache powder, I don't have enough ingredients here, but when I get back home, I'll make up a big batch and send it to you. Are you sure that three barrels will be enough?"

"That will take care of me," said Zabbar. "Clyde, if you want any, I suggest that you order it now."

Clyde ordered three wagon loads. Seeing that the conversation was finished, Simon Shay picked up his bag and sped down the mountain.

Clyde stuck Zabbar with the job of applying the potion. Every other day he got out the foul smelling stuff, the paint brush, and stroked the goo on the shedding area. Then he would go down to the river to wash the smell away.

One day, as he was just about to leave, Sabina joined him. "What's going on?" he asked.

"I had to get out of the cave," she said. "You'll never guess what Shari wanted me to do."


"Well, she lives up north where it's cold and wet, so I volunteered to made her one of my fur rain hats with the waterproof canvas cover on the outside."

"What's the problem?"

"She wants me to put the canvas on the inside, so it won't get wet."

"That's silly. It will stay dry if she only wears it indoors."

"But what good is a rain hat indoors?"

"That way you don't have to wait till it rains to wear it."

Sabina paused for a moment to try to understand this logic. Finally she relaxed and said, "You've been around Shari for too long."

Zabbar realized she was right. Something had to be done. He finished his washing and went down to the village.

There he found the Villagemaster, Quesnel. The old man was sitting on his front porch whittling on a small branch. "I've got a prediction," announced Zabbar. "Someone is going to rob the store today."

The old man slowly looked up, but continued to whittle. "This is a first for you Zabbar. A definite prediction. What do you get out of it?"

Zabbar thought for a moment. He didn't expect Quesnel to supply him with an opportunity for profit, but he might as well make the best of it.

"I want the fine you're going to collect when you catch the criminal."

"Give you half, only after we catch him," replied the bored Villagemaster.

"Make it 75% and we have got a deal," Zabbar shot back.

"O.K, deal. When is the robbery going to occur?"

"Follow me," replied Zabbar. He swiftly walked over to the general store with Quesnel ambling behind him.

Zabbar waited for the Villagemaster to catch up and entered the store. "What's the cheapest thing you've got?" he asked the bearded proprietor sitting behind the counter.

"Candy drops, two for a copper," replied the owner taping a jar containing the brightly colored sweets.

"I'll take one," said Zabbar sticking out his hand.

The man got out a pair of tongs, pulled out one of the pieces and dropped into Zabbar's hand. "How are you going to pay for it?" he asked. "A copper is the smallest coin in the kingdom."

"Oh, I'm not going to pay for it; I'm going to steal it," replied Zabbar. He swallowed the candy and walked out the door. Quesnel remained confused for a second, then followed Zabbar out.

He stood there, thinking. Zabbar, seeing that nothing was happening, turned to Quesnel and said, "Well, aren't you going to arrest me?"

Quesnel shook his head to clear it. Things were happening a little too fast for him. He thought for a moment, trying to figure out what the catch was, failed, and said, "Zabbar, I arrest you for petty theft. I hereby order you to make restitution and give you a suspended sentence."

Zabbar looked disappointed. "You can't do that. I insist that you give me the maximum sentence. If you don't I'll just have to steal something else."

"Are you sure?"


"O.K. I fine you twenty gold pieces and sentence you to ten days in jail."

"Oh thank you," exclaimed a relieved Zabbar. "Let's see, the fine is twenty gold pieces, I get 75%, so I owe you four gold pieces."

"Not four, five."

Zabbar pulled a pouch from his belt and counted out the coins. Quesnel accepted them.

"Do you want to take me to jail, or shall I just lock myself up?"

"I think I'd better come along. Are you sure you want to do this? Personally, I think you've been around Shari for too long."

Quesnel had never seen anyone so happy to go to jail. Zabbar cheerfully entered one of the two empty cells that made up the town's one room prison. It took only a minute for Zabbar to make up his bunk, lie down and fall asleep.

Half an hour later he woke up when Kedgwick, the town's assistant jailer came in. They had been playing cards for a couple of hours when Zabbar heard a rustle of wings and a dragon landed outside.

"Yoo hoo," cried out Shari. Kedgwick went outside to see what she wanted.

"What's going on?" she asked. "I've heard that Zabbar's in jail. That's terrible."

"Oh, it isn't that bad," replied Kedgwick. "He's getting room and board free for ten days."

"Why give him lumber?"

"I mean we feed him."

"You feed him boards? They must taste awful."

"We don't feed him boards. I mean that he has his meals thrown in."

"You might do him the courtesy of handing them to him instead of tossing them at him."

"We don't throw the food at him. I meant that his meals are on the Village Council."

"Isn't that messy?"

"His meals aren't on the Villagemaster, they're  .  .  .  I mean  .  .  .  ." Kedgwick's voice died off. He silently turned around, walked in to the jail, picked up the keys and locked himself in the empty cell.

Tossing the keys onto the desk, he looked into the neighboring cell and said, "Zabbar, I now understand why you're in jail. I've decided to do the same thing."

"What's the charge?" asked Zabbar.

"I don't know," replied Kedgwick. "I forgot to make one. Do you have any ideas?"

Zabbar thought for a moment, then exclaimed brightly, "Desertion. You left your post to throw yourself in jail."

"But I hadn't deserted until I walked into this cell," said Kedgwick, puzzled. He tried to work out the details in his mind, but the more he worked, the more confused he got. He finally concluded, "Zabbar, you've been around Shari for too long."

An hour later, Clyde and Quesnel arrived. The Villagemaster threw the door to Zabbar's cell wide open and said, "You are being released into Clyde's custody."

"But I want to stay in jail," pleaded Zabbar.

"Zabbar," Clyde sounded disappointed. "How could you desert me like this? Especially when I need you so much."

Zabbar walked outside to face the big dragon. "I've had enough. I'm staying in jail."

"Very well," sighed Clyde. "I've got Quesnel to extend visiting hours to all day. I'll send Shari down to keep you company."

"You can't do that," shouted Zabbar. He appealed to Quesnel, "Isn't there a law against cruel and unusual punishment?"

Quesnel nodded. "Shari may be unusual, but she's not cruel. I'm sure she would be glad to spend the whole day chatting with you."

Zabbar knew when he was licked. He slowly trudged back to the lair. That night Zabbar gave Shari another application of the potion. He was amazed at how Clyde and Sabina aways seemed to be busy elsewhere when Shari was in the cave. But there was no way around it, he had to be there.

Two weeks after the potion was first applied, the problem had cleared up. There was no trace of the original disease. Shari got ready to go home. Clyde, Sabina and Zabbar all escorted her out of the cave.

Clyde smiled at his sister. "Say hello to Mom and Dad for me."

Shari nodded.

"Well, it's getting late, I think it's time to say goodbye, Shari."

"Goodbye Shari," said his sister, and she took off. They watched her depart. As she flew off in to the distance Zabbar turned to Clyde and said, "I'm glad that over. Nothing can be as nerve racking as a visit from Shari."

"Oh I don't know," said the dragon. "I have two other sisters."

The End