(Published in “We Are Here” anthology)


a grassy field

 shared with an aging bay horse

four goats, two Nigerian and two Nubian 

of different mothers, form an unlikely herd. The undeveloped 

stretch where they run and forage rolls boundless, pristine pasture 

purchased by a man who thought he would build on it,

but the land lies in a flood plain, so

the field remains as virginal 

as the day he 




four goats who 

claim this field want their necks 

stroked, ears scratched, that soft spot at the base 

of the V between their racks rubbed, but don’t mistake

them for docile creatures. They will fight fiercely for snacks offered, 

clash brutally, bash foreheads, lock curved white horns, attack with whiter teeth 

for a banana peel or piece of carrot or Fig Newton cookie. 

They battle over the scant shade offered beneath 

sparse boughs and the narrow awning 

shielding the old 

horse’s feed 



the black and beige goat 

with angular horns jutting like two boomerangs,

holds sway over the other three goats. Lately, he suffers 

debilitating arthritis in his legs, his joints have lost their agency, 

his bones struggle to work in tandem, the links between them broken. 

His right front leg resists any attempt to put weight on it, 

causing him to trip and fall, even at a slow pace,

move forward with 

an abnormal 



has become thin, 

can barely forage despite the 

lush green of the plain and the autumnal leaves 

tumbling from the oak tree in the middle of the field.

He is attacked by two of the others. The fourth goat, having 

no hope of competing, minds his place, observes 

quietly as one of the contenders 

hammers his horns into 




as the night 

falls to freezing temperatures,

the other goats follow Nutmeg to where 

he chooses to rest, nestle around him oblivious 

to horse and goat manure, use the 

warmth of their bodies 

to shield him from 

the icy 


Recent Reviews

Impressively original, exceptionally charming, fully entertaining, and with an important message about the importance of the acceptance of difference for children ages 5-8, "Who Wants to be Friends With a Dragon?" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections for young readers.

Midwest Book Review

This book is an awesome, welcome addition to my little children’s library. Should be picked up by therapists, teachers, parents and grandparents if they want their children to learn to accept and socialize with other children different from them. Couldn’t ask for a better book to share with my little friends.

Amazon Customer

The story follows a timid dragon that wishes to leave his current world and make new acquaintances. The book can be used to teach children about not being judgmental of others and how a single act of kindness can go a long way toward building great relationships.

Nothing But Picture Books

"There are multiple teachable moments within “Who Wants To Be Friends With A Dragon” for parents and teachers to expand upon. I believe this book will make an exceptional addition to any school, church, daycare, or family library."

Read Reviews Kids

Linda Drattell’s latest poetry collection is a reflection born out of resilience… tenacity, healing, dealing with unexpected trials and contemplating the wonder of everyday life… Her poems honor the precious bonds with loved ones …I like to revisit her words, to savor them in silence or share them…

Julia Hone