Of course the abundance of diamonds and platinum on the exoplanet meant that diamonds and platinum were practically valueless there. From the point of view of Earthlings however, the planet could be viewed as a goldmine (in a manner of speaking). That is why Anselm Bloemendal had landed on the planet with a pick, a shovel, and a cardboard box.
Anselm’s private spacecraft couldn’t take a heavy load, but a boxful was more than enough to make him filthy rich on Planet Earth.
One of the hazards that Anselm had learnt from previous visits was the prowling curiosity of the local intelligent beings. They looked a little like large lizards and were forever getting in his way. This time Anselm came prepared. He had brought a gun. The first lizard to bother him would get shot. That should keep them away. However it took the shooting of seven lizards before realization set in that from the lizards’ point of view, distracting the Earthling was not a safe thing to do.
Some members of the local Council of Lizards had suggested that the Earthling be killed, but the Lizard President forbade it. “Stay away from it,” the President had said. “But if it comes near you without cause then kill it instantly.”
Anselm’s mining soon filled the cardboard box. He returned to his spacecraft. The spacecraft wouldn’t start. Its solar panels couldn’t harvest enough energy from the pathetic sun which the exoplanet circled. Anselm would have to seek help from the locals.
Charleen rented. The rental agency inspected the house every seven weeks. The inspector pretended the visit was in case anything was needed, or if anything needed fixing. In reality, the inspection was for the sake of the landlord. Make sure those horrible renters are not destroying my property.
Charleen loathed these inspection but was grateful she got seven days warning. It gave her time to “tidy up”. It also gave her time to hide her pet dragon. The rental agreement had stated “NO PETS” and in particular “NO DRAGONS”. Charleen had kept her dragon for well-nigh twenty years. It was impossible to find a landlord who would allow a pet dragon. The only way to find accommodation was to lie about the dragon – and hide it every seven weeks.
Charleen’s dragon was called Constibelle. It was a very pretty name for a dragon. The thing that Charleen detested the most about dragons was that they stained the carpet like you wouldn’t believe. It was possible to house-train them, but it wasn’t an easy task. Fortunately Constibelle’s was house-trained, but there were a few accidents on the way, and Charleen had to tastefully arrange mats and furniture to hide the stains. She dreaded the day when she might have to move house, and the final inspection would reveal the dragon stains in hideous detail.
Then disaster struck. Constibelle died. Quite suddenly. The neighbours wondered why Charleen was digging such a huge hole in her back yard, but Charleen explain that she was hoping to plant a well-grown apple tree.
Those of you who have never had a pet dragon will be unaware of the two possible things that can happen upon the death of a dragon. Either nothing happens at all, or dragon stains made during the course of a lifetime miraculously disappear. In this case, nothing happened.
Charleen was devastated. She grew to despise her departed dragon. Why had Clara’s pet dragon performed a miracle upon its death and why not Charleen’s? Selfish selfish dead dragon.
To hell with the corpse. The hole digging was abandoned. Charleen threw the dead dragon into a dumpster. She swore she would never get another dragon. She would never make that mistake again. Her next pet would be a pterodactyl.