University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Title and Author: The Dragon Who Liked to Spit Fire by Judy Varga

Field of Philosophy: Ethics

Plot Summary: Darius, a little dragon who likes nothing more than to spit fire (in many colors), and young prince Frederic become close friends. Eventually Darius decides to move to Frederic's castle with Frederic, because he has been lonely and he wants to be close to Frederic, although he is wary that he will not be able to spit fire at the castle. As Darius tells Frederic, "[L]ife without spitting fire wouldn't be much of a life for a dragon." Frederic tells Darius that he will be able to spit fire when they are alone. Darius is made to feel very at home in the castle, but he finds that he can't ever spit fire, because he and Frederic are never alone.

Some discussion questions:

Does friendship require compromise? If so, are there compromises that demand too much of us? How would we know?
Can Darius be himself and still be friends with Frederic?
Is Darius being asked to give up something that is too important to him for a friendship to require its absence?
Is being a dragon essential to Darius' identity? Is spitting fire?
If something is part of our identity, is it necessary for our well-being?