Once upon a time there was an ancient dragon.
He lived deep in a cave in the mountains, far from any others of his kind or of any known civilization. Over the endless centuries he had caressed and counted, studied and contemplated his hoard a thousand times over. Each time he would go deeper and deeper in to the infinite realms of commentary on the nature of his treasures, and his life.
One day he heard strange vibrations coming from deep in the earth, soft, distant rumbles and groaning. At first he simply shrugged them off, they were far away and he was cozy. Time passed. The rumbles got louder and the grumbles began to become shrieks. As the pitch rose he was distracted finally from his meditations. The vibrations increased. He felt a sudden quake around and within him and it seemed that the whole earth shivered. Dust fell from the arches of his library and he became aware that something was going on outside of his quiet world.
Brought at last to the realms of curiosity, he stretched and twisted and slowly moved his soft, warm body out into the open air. Without pausing a moment, he launched himself off his cliff side to survey the quaking world. The transformations of millennia nearly dropped him from the sky in shock.
The ancient races of his friends he’d taught to care for the world had disappeared.
The vast forests of giant trees where he’d played with the faeries was gone. Great swathes of the Mother Earth exposed like raw infected gashes on vibrant skin. Towering structures covered acres of landscape, surrounded by miles upon miles of military grid formations of houses and buildings. He saw dams in the rivers, black slime turned to rock slithering everywhere, millions of loud little vehicles speeding along them. He saw things beyond even his knowledge and imagination that filled the shores of the oceans, tangled around the bodies of the sea creatures.
And he wept.