It’s short story week, and we’re returning to Beaufort Scales, High Lord of the Cloverly dragons and quite possibly the most exasperating creature for a clever young dragon to try and manage. Hop right in and read Beaufort Scales & the Toot Hansell WI straight away, or read on for a little background to the story. Either way – enjoy, comment, and share as you fancy!
Full disclaimer: I am not a member of the WI. I have never been to a WI meeting. I’m not sure I’m even WI material. I have, however, eaten some rather lovely WI cakes at village markets, and I have known some quite wonderful women who are members of the WI. Not exactly in-depth research here, other than to note that the aforementioned cakes really were very good. But I can’t help but be fascinated by the Britishness of the WI. By the sense that yes, these friendly, efficient women (often of a certain age) can make some lovely cakes and exceptional jams, but also that they will not stand for any nonsense from anyone. That they will Get Things Done, and afterwards everyone can have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Proper tea, of course, none of your teabag rubbish. The sort of women you’d want on your side in a crisis. The sort of women who would be less likely to scream at the sight of a dragon, and more likely to tell it to wipe its feet before it came inside.
Which, of course, raises the question: who would a modern-thinking dragon like Beaufort Scales approach, if he wanted to start building better human-dragon relations? The council, with its reams of red tape and probably some by-laws regarding dragons on county property; or the ladies of the WI, who will likely have a much better standard of refreshments? After all, an old dragon likes his tea and cake. And some old dragons quite like the company of women, too. Maidens are inclined to scream altogether too much.
If you haven’t encountered Beaufort Scales, High Lord of the Cloverly Dragons before, you can absolutely jump in right here. However, you might also want to read about how he became such a forward-thinking dragon in The Definition of Treasure, or even his first attempt at integrating with the village in The Christmas Baubles. Enjoy!