One of the dragons had gone missing.
Noah had searched everywhere, to no avail. The dragon was not on the ark, which could mean only one thing. He called his three sons.
“Now, lads,” he began. “I know that when God was giving us all this information about cubits and stuff he didn’t mention one of the most important things, which was that we would have to become vegetarian for the duration of the journey.”
It was true. Unable to eat any of the passengers, Noah and his sons had had to stock the ark with cabbages and potatoes. There are only so many recipes that use only these two ingredients, one being potato-and-cabbage, and the other being cabbage-and potato.
“I know it hasn’t been easy,” he went on, “especially when we are surrounded by all of the potential elements of a good steak-and-kidney pie. But we have persevered, at least until now.”
“What’s happened, father?” asked Shem.
“Someone’s eaten one of the dragons,” said Noah.
“Ugh,” said Japheth. “What would that taste like?”
“Like chicken,” said Ham. The others stared at him. “I mean,” he said, “that’s what everyone says about everything – force someone to eat badger, or giraffe, or the leg of a fellow desert-island castaway, and they will always say afterwards that it tasted like chicken.”
The others stared at him.
“Well, ok, I ate it,” he said eventually. “If you’d wanted me to embrace a life of vegetarianism then you shouldn’t have called me Ham.”
“God’s going to be pretty annoyed,” said Noah.
“Why? They were the most dangerous of all the creatures on the boat. A tiger can terrorise a whole village, but only a dragon can reduce it to ash. I was saving humanity. It was a win-win situation.”
“Except, of course, for the dragon,” said Shem. “Did you eat it raw?”
“Of course not,” said Ham. “I cooked it with the other dragon. I just held the steaks in front of it, then tickled its tummy.”
“The question now,” said Shem slowly, “is what do we do with the other dragon.”
“I suppose we could breed it with one of the other species,” said Japheth.
“What, like a cow?” said Noah. “And produce a creature that can light its own farts?”
There was a long silence.
“Like chicken, you say?” said Noah eventually.
“Just like it,” said Ham. “There are drumsticks and everything.”
“Well, it would be cruel to leave it on its own,” said Shem.
“Yes, we’d be doing it a favour,” said Japheth.
“A win-win situation,” said Ham.
“There is one problem,” said Japheth. “How are we going to cook this one? We can hardly ask it to barbecue itself.”
Noah sighed. “Boys, boys,” he said. “Did you learn nothing from your time in the scouts?”
“Yes, we learned to sing “ging-gang-gooly-gooly-wash-wash”, said Shem.
“Er, really?” said Noah. “Well, never mind that. Didn’t you learn how to light a fire?”
“Yes,” said Ham, “but we need two stones to bang together to produce a spark, and all the stones are under fifty feet of water, on account of the fact that it’s been raining for the last six weeks.”
“Yes, but that’s not the only way to start a fire,” said Noah.
“What do you mean?” asked Shem.
Noah smiled. “We can rub two stick insects together,” he said.