The Cadw Dragons' Tale — Chapter Four: a dragon family is born

To say that Dewi was excited is an understatement.

His scaly black heart was positively brimming with joy at the thought of hearing the pitter-patter of tiny claws at Caerphilly Castle.

The minute Dwynwen told him the news, he tucked her up in his cosy tower and flew high, low, back and fore across the still-sleeping town of Caerphilly to collect twigs, branches and leaves for the dragon nest.

All the while, he could hear Dwynwen sneezing with flashes of fire and could see rings of smoke billowing from her tower.

Dewi smiled. He had always wanted dragon whelps of his own and was determined to build the comfiest nest possible for his future children.
It took him all day to build but when complete, the nest looked spectacular — he couldn’t wait to show Dwynwen.

With a roar and a high-flying fireball, he beckoned her down from the tower to have a look at his masterpiece — and she wasn’t disappointed.

To say thanks, she gave Dewi a big slobbery lick on the cheek — a rather affectionate gesture among dragons — and with a sigh of relief, they both cwtched up next to the nest and watched the sun go down over Caerphilly Castle.

The romantic reptiles were ready for their babies.

***

The castle custodians arrived for work as normal the following day. It was a lovely spring morning and they were all chatting cheerfully while unlocking the enormous wooden gates.

But as the doors cranked open and the dragon nest came into view, the custodians stopped talking and stood in amazement as their eyes met with a most magnificent sight.

Within the nest were two gigantic dragon eggs — gleaming in fiery shades of orange, red and yellow.

The amazed custodians immediately called the local vet, who arrived within an hour — very excited to see the nest’s contents. After all, dragon eggs hadn’t been seen in Wales for centuries.

Armed with ultrasound gel and a sonography machine, the vet approached the nest confidently and watched with fascination as Dwynwen doused the eggs in gentle streams of fire, straight from her nostrils.

“What is she doing?” asked one of the custodians, nervously.

The vet smiled and said: “Why, she’s tending the eggs, of course. Dragon eggs are forged in flames, you know. She’s helping the babies to grow!”

The custodians exclaimed with knowing relief — Dwynwen’s mysterious fiery sneezes finally made sense. Her body was just getting itself ready to tend the eggs!

After fully examining the mum-to-be and her nest, the vet confirmed that both Dwynwen and the eggs were perfectly healthy, adding:
“It could be weeks, months or even years before the babies are born though — no one really knows the gestation period of dragon eggs.”

Dwynwen snorted with discontent. She didn’t want to wait for years to meet her babies!

The vet stroked Dwynwen’s nose gently and asked the custodians to call him if they see any egg movements — big or small. The custodians agreed and waved as he left the castle with a hop, skip and a jump.

News about the dragon eggs spread like wildfire and hundreds of humans came from across Wales to see them — proud that their homeland was bringing baby dragons into the world. 

But as the days turned into weeks, there was no sign of the babies. 

Until one evening in May, that is.

The custodians had left the castle for the day and the Cadw Dragons were getting ready for bed.

As she did at sundown every evening, Dwynwen wandered over the nest to say goodnight to her eggs. 

While rearranging some dislodged twigs in the nest, she stopped and listened. She was sure she could hear something moving in the nest. She moved closer to the eggs and nearly jumped out of her scales when she saw one of them move. And then the other.
The time had come.

Panic-stricken, she called for Dewi and they both watched as the nest began to tremor and wisps of steam protruded from the gleaming red eggs.

The ground around the nest was quaking and the stones of Caerphilly Castle were shaking for what felt like hours, when all of a sudden — it all stopped.

Dewi and Dwynwen exchanged glances with confusion before hearing an enormous ‘CRACK’ and seeing huge pieces of shell fly through the air.

And then, through the sudden silence, two little dragon heads poked out from nest. The babies had arrived.

Dewi roared with joy and Dwynwen wept a perfectly purple tear.

The Cadw Dragon family was complete.