An homage to these guys (and for the Valentiny Contest):
Dragon Hearts, by Judith L. Roth (214 words)
I hear their hearts beating. Dragon hearts.
Blue’s heart beats like a tambourine because he’s flashy.
Green’s heart beats like a drum. So steady.
Yellow’s is bouncy like tap shoes.
But Red’s is grumpy. Today, Red’s heart is like a sad tuba with nothing happy to say.
What’s the matter, Red? I ask.
Red turns away. He stomps on each flower he passes.
A smash-flower bouquet? I ask.
Red turns away. He picks up stones and flings them into the stream.
A rock-skipping dismal day?
Red turns away. He bats at each redbud leaf he passes. Then he snaps one off, holds it high, and scorches it.
I finally notice. Each flower bud, each stone shape, each redbud leaf is a heart.
Valentine’s Day has come to the forest, and no one has given Red a valentine.
I race back to the others. Blue sprinkles Green and Yellow with flowers from a bleeding-heart fern. Green plants a heartful seed-pod in the dirt. Yellow serves up a dish of strawberry hearts.
Red has left too soon.
I call him with my beating heart. Come, tum-tum, and see.
Blue, Yellow and Green join in. Come, tum-tum, to me.
Red rumbles back, paws full of nature’s gifts–unsmashed, unflung, unscorched.
The best kind of hearts. Dragon hearts.