Papier the Purple Paper Dragon

May 22, 2016 | Featured Posts by Holly Jahangiri, Writing

Papier the Purple Paper Dragon, or “Papi” for short, perched atop the computer monitor, flicking his pointed tail this way and that. Maintaining balance on the world’s thinnest, lightest 4K display wasn’t one tenth as easy as he made it look. Papi daydreamed about roomy cathode-ray tubes, or CRTs, he’d perched upon in days of yore. There, a dragon could stretch out, absorbing the radiant warmth of a roomy platform, to enjoy a lazy afternoon nap, lulled by the staccato of a writer’s fingers on clickety-clack keys. Keyboards, these days – bah! Far too quiet.  Papi stretched his wings and fluttered down to land on his writer’s desk. He blinked up at her, expectantly.

“Where shall we go, today, Papi?” she asked.

Papier twisted his snout and snorted a little puff of paper dust. He knew that she could read his mind, but she kept demanding that he “use his words.” He trundled over to the keyboard and slowly climbed up from the bottom, hopping a little on the space bar just to show his annoyance.

G – R – O – C…

“Oh, yes – I suppose we must go to the grocery store,” said the writer, with a heavy sigh. “I was thinking of a grand adventure, but it’s hard to have an epic quest on an empty stomach.”

Papier had been thinking of the giant, Grock, and the Cave of Whistling Bats, but he reluctantly admitted to himself that a burger and fries sounded good.

“How about after that, Papi? Where shall we go, once we’ve eaten our fill?”

S – H – O – W… Papier stopped jumping on the keys and took a deep breath.

“It’s only been three days,” said his writer-person, pouting. “I was busy. Fine – a long hot shower, it is. But I think you’d better not get wet, my dear Papi – you’d best just roll around on the towel and get the dust off.”

Papier had meant to type “Show me the Elves’ Amulet, and perhaps I can unlock the code that will reveal the next clue to the whereabouts of the treasure,” but that was such a long sentence, and he had had to take a break from hopping. His toes hurt. He sniffed. His writer probably could use a shower, not that smelly things bothered him all that much. Papier sighed and began to hop on the keyboard keys again:

N – A – P…

“Oh, delightful! We shall explore the Menehune Village on the Napali Coast! I’m sure they have wonderful stories to tell, and we can stuff our faces full of pineapple as we hike the volcanic peaks – but, are you sure you’re up to flying us that far, Papi?” The writer picked up the little paper dragon and cradled him in the palm of her hand.

Papier grinned. They both knew he had been planning to stop at “NAP.” He shook his head and flew pointedly towards the writer’s bed, stuck the landing atop her pillow, curled up catlike, and began to snore.



Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Rowan

    I like this little story a lot. Thank you!

    • HollyJahangiri

      Thank you! Papi helped me to write it. He also, finally, revealed his name to me!

  2. HollyJahangiri

    I should share a little back story about Papier. He is a gift from James Graham, a fellow writer and my dinner companion at the OWFI Conference, May 12-14. James mostly folded Papier under the table, except when he brought him out to show me his progress or demonstrate a unique or difficult fold.

    While all this was going on, Plot Bunny – a small stuffed bunny in a mug – was being auctioned off, and it was suggested that Plot Bunny could accompany its author on all sorts of writerly adventures, but must return to OWFI in a year, to be auctioned off again. I believe he brought in $85 or so – but Papi fluttered onto my lap and slipped himself into my suitcase for free. I promised we would have excellent adventures, too. I hope he survives them all. 🙂 He is, after all, made of paper.

    He certainly seems up to having a bit of fun, though!
    HollyJahangiri recently posted…When the Critic Doesn’t Know Your NameMy Profile

  3. Rummuser

    For the past few posts I have not been able to leave a ‘like’ response. Since I read your post but do not have much to comment on, I wonder how else I can let you know that I have read your post.

  4. fim

    Very adorable and enjoyable, Holly. I love the idea of conversations with all manner of objects. I do it myself with my own things. 🙂


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