It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him

fire

There was a breath of strange air in his cave

Then the dwarves forgot their joy and their confident boasts of the moment before and cowered down in fright. Smaug was still to be reckoned with. It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. Dragons may not have much real use for all their wealth, but they know it to an ounce as a rule, especially after long possession; and Smaug was no exception. He had passed from an uneasy dream (in which a warrior, altogether insignificant in size but provided with a bitter sword and great courage, figured most unpleasantly) to a doze, and from a doze to wide awakening. There was a breath of strange air in his cave… He stirred and stretched forth his neck to sniff. Then he missed the cup!

Thieves! Fire! Murder! Such a thing had not happened since he first came to the Mountain! His rage passed description – the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted.


by J. R. R. Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973)
from The Hobbit (21 September 1937)
chapter: Inside Information

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