This is the story of Sad Dragon and how we became friends.
I met Sad Dragon in a dump truck full of trash.
Sad Dragon was sad because someone had lost, forgotten, and discarded Sad Dragon as trash.
Sad Dragon was even sadder because the trash was in the river.
Sad Dragon said to me "I used to make someone happy..."
I could see the sadness in Sad Dragon's eyes so I said,
"But Sad Dragon you have now been found!"
Sad Dragon looked up and then back down..
"I am still trash and will be taken away and buried with the rest of the trash."
"No Sad Dragon, today I am going to save you."
Sad Dragon showed eyes of hope and then asked...
"Why have you come here today to save me?"
I told Sad Dragon about the Colorado River Cleanup that just happened.
Sad Dragon was happy because people were taking trash out of the river.
Sad Dragon looked around at all the trash in the dump truck and was amazed.
"Those Volunteers cleaned up so much trash!"
"Oh, but there is more Sad Dragon, let me show you."
Sad Dragon and I left the dump truck and ventured up river.
I had a job to pick up all the tires people plucked from the river.
We came to the next stop and when Sad Dragon saw the enormous pile of trash before us Sad Dragon began to cry.
Sad Dragon didn't know that there was so much trash in the river.
I said, "Sad Dragon look on the bright side, this trash is no longer in the river."
Sad Dragon looked up and then back down.
"But there are so many people that don't care about the river, look at all the trash."
"But there are so many more that love the river."
Sad dragon showed eyes of hope and then asked...
"Will the river be clean now that the trash has been picked up?"
I told Sad Dragon that the Colorado River Cleanup is something we have to do every year.
Sad Dragon was confused.
"Do you collect this much trash every year?"
"Yes Sad Dragon we do."
Sad Dragon was now heart broken knowing that people throw so much trash in the river every year.
The muddy tears that poured from Sad Dragon's eyes were soaked up by the dirt that covered Sad Dragon from head to tail.
Sad Dragon had reached the saddest of sad's.
I need to cheer Sad Dragon up.
"Do you remember the first thing you said to me Sad Dragon?"
Sad Dragon cried even harder and struggled to get the words out.
"I used to make someone happy."
Tears and greater sadness overwhelmed Sad Dragon.
"Do you know what I saved you Sad Dragon?"
With a sniffle and a raised chin Sad Dragon said,
"Because of the Colorado River Cleanup!"
Sad Dragon smiled for a moment.
"Sad Dragon instead of someone you can make so many happy again."
"By sharing your story Sad Dragon and how sad trash in the river is."
Sad Dragon sniffed up the sniffles and with a raised chin said.
"I am going to help."
"I need to be strong unlike the person who threw these weights in the river."
Sad Dragon and I have been friends since.
Sad Dragon and I are sharing this story so that anyone reading it will understand how sad it is that there is trash in the river year after year.
Now not all stories are sad.
Sad Dragon and I share our sadness so that there can be hope.
Hope for a cleaner river.
Hope for people to learn from the sadness.
Let us work together to help Sad Dragon not feel so sad.
Keep trash out of the river.
Educate, encourage, and demonstrate good behavior.
Sad Dragon and I will be doing our best as friends to share our story of sadness and hope.
We hope you will help the sadness go away by sharing our story too.