excerpt from Lachrymae Draconis
"Father Wulfraed says we need dragon's blood. I've come to fetch it."
Colburga had a thought that the child was going to simply hold out her hand and expect it to be filled. Dragon's blood! Who in all Kent would suggest such thing? There were few who knew of the herb, fewer yet who knew what it was for. Or could they really have thought she had the real thing? "Father Wulfraed?"
"Father Wulfraed from the abbey," the little one continued, as if all the wide world knew his name. Colburga did not, though she had often had commerce with most of the abbey folk and knew a good many by name. This was all getting off on the wrong foot, threatening to run down a useless path that would make neither of them any money.
"Why does the monk say you need dragon's blood?"
The grave little face became even more solemn. "Mummy's dying, and Father Wulfraed said that only dragon's blood would save her. Please, do you have some?"
Colburga's eyes narrowed. It could be a lucky guess, or it could be a trick. The herb with that name came from the far east and was unbelievably expensive. She had seen some once in the abbey. Why would a monk or friar suggest coming to her? Her herb selections were great, and the concoctions well-made (if only she said so), but they had their own dragon's blood and didn't go for foolishness like dragon's tears themselves. "Are you sure it wasn't dragon's tears he requested, child?"
The girl shook her head decidedly. "No, dragon's blood. Father Wulfraed said they had an herb called dragon's blood in the botanica, but what we need is real dragon's blood. And everyone knows you have a dragon."