[Transcribed text of a children's picture book by [REDACTED], listed publisher date 1976. So far ███ copies have been retrieved and a minimum of ██ more are known to exist outside of Foundation custody. Retrieval of the remaining copies is a Grade C priority.]
Once upon a time there was a little dragon who lived in a cave.
Dragons live forever. The little dragon had lived in the cave for a very long time. Because the little dragon was so old, he was very wise.
But the little dragon had no one to talk to. He was very lonely.
One day, a man came to the little dragon's cave. "Hello, little dragon," said the man.
"Hello, strange man," said the little dragon. "I am very old and lonely. Will you talk to me?"
"Of course," said the man. "I will tell you of the mysteries of the wide world outside the cave."
"I would like that," said the little dragon, "for I know many things, and it has been long since I heard a mystery to riddle my wisdom."
"In a faraway land," said the man, "at the top of a high mountain, a long rope rises into the sky, and no one knows where it goes."
"I know of this rope," said the little dragon, "and also I know where it goes. Have you nothing new to tell me?"
"There are other worlds," said the man, "beyond the deep sky, less than a glimmer in our night, where no one has ever yet traveled."
"Over one of these, nearer than most and yet still terribly far, there is a hole in that distant sky."
"Strange things fall sometimes from that hole in that sky, metal and stone and things graven with alien words."
"You are very old and wise," the man continued, "and so perhaps you know of this. But it is very far, and so perhaps you do not."
"Alas," replied the little dragon, "I do know of this, and also I know how to read those alien words. Please, can you tell me nothing new?"
"Alas," said the man, "that I should be teaching you, and not you teaching me, for I greatly wish for your wisdom."
"But perhaps you will not have heard of the world farther than the far worlds, a world separated from us by something more and other than distance, the dead world on the wrong side of the mirrors."
"You forget," said the little dragon, growing angry, "that I am very old, and many things that are now forgotten were once known. You have failed now three times."
And with that the little dragon ate the man up.
And the little dragon went back to sleep, in the lonely cold of his cave.
After some time, the little dragon woke up, and he was lonely because he had eaten the man.
Then, because he was very old and very wise, he sat and thought. He thought for a long time.
At last, the little dragon had a plan.
"I will go out into the world," he said to himself, "and find the oldest people, and the wisest people, and I will ask them to tell me what they know."
So he went out into the world, and he traveled a long way.
The little dragon walked through hot forests and through cold forests, over dry land and under the deep green sea.
At long last he came to the place he was seeking, a castle of stone and steel, with many twisting halls.
This was the castle where a very old man lived, and his two grandsons also.
[…to be continued…]
The illustration on page 54 appears to depict the layout of Site-██ in 1975.