A mother shares tender moments with the son who will one day be a mighty force in the history of the Third Age.

"Mama, I'm back," chirped her son as he scurried through the entrance to their home.

Readfah uncurled and embraced her child. He was growing so fast! Still, he had much to learn, she thought, seeing the splotches of dirt that marred his beautiful pink and white skin.

"Didst thou crawl into the mud, then, my chick?"

The imp hung his head. "I was playing in the river."

"And thou couldst not wash the stink of dirt and smoked fish from thy skin?" Readfah clouted her little one. His refusal to whimper made her proud.

"Thou art the son of Scatha, scourge of the Grey Mountains," Readfah hissed, "Thy blood harks back to Ancalagon himself, greatest of Allfather Morgoth's drakes. Thou art not some dirt-delving dwarf."

"No son of mine shall be seen with mud all over his belly," she continued. "We stain ourselves only with the blood of foes and prey, not common dirt. A good dragon is fearsome, but never dirty!"

"Yes, mama." Poor chick, his eyes were large with shame.

"Now come here, my little wriggler," Readfah extended her wing to shelter him. Claws that could gut a horse began to flick the dirt from Smaug's perfect hide.


Tolkien never revealed Smaug's parentage. But I thought he could be Scatha's get, given the 'S' in common. Smaug's exact age is never given, but since he said in The Hobbit that he was young when Lake-town was called Esgaroth, I figured he might well have been born in the Third Age.

In Letter #25 (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien), Tolkien says that Smaug's name is from "the past tense of the primitive Germanic verb Smugan, to squeeze through a hole: a low philological jest." - hence Smaug's mother calling him 'wriggler' here.

Readfah is my own creation. Her name is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "red-stained", which seemed to me to be the perfect name for a firedrake.

I have assumed that Smaug was born with paler skin; and grew red-golden scales as he aged. Tolkien speaks of his color as "red-golden" in The Hobbit, and also mentions his "pale belly".

I don't know what the dragons called Morgoth, but he created them and they did his bidding, so I figure that they might give him a title of respect such as Allfather (traditionally a title of Odin).

This double-drabble was originally written for the D Like A Dirty Dragon prompt of the B2MEM Middle-earth Alphabet Challenge at the H-A e-mail list and the There 'n' Back Again LJ community.