Agnes Peabody, my baker friend, recently had her roof fixed. Not the most exciting of things you might say, but she opted for a dragon scale roof. And one of a top notch (and very expensive) make, might I add. Anyway, I thought you might be interested in learning a bit about the unfortunate folk who make them. Well, I thought they were unfortunate before I learnt the truth…
I suppose I should start with the basics. A Dragon Scaler is the lowest of the low in the roofing business. It's a pretty dire position to be in, and the worst paid of all jobs, particularly if you consider how much danger's involved.
Dragon scales are shiny and so hard-wearing that they're impervious to anything the elements could throw at them. However, dragons don't happily leave them lying anywhere. Indeed, it takes one hell of an itch to make a dragon scratch so hard that one would fall off. And they're such proud creatures that the only time you'll ever see them scratch is if you're right in their lair with them: but you really wouldn't want to do that.
As you can imagine, most people in the dragon scale trade have very few eyebrows intact. Arm hair is almost non-existent. If you ever want to meet a Dragon Scaler, it's certainly easy to pick one out in a crowd!
After a bit of a search, I found a Dragon Scaler called Tufflin, and he was very open to questioning, particularly after a bit of Moonshine.
Apparently, dragons are susceptible to treats, much like horses. As long as you enter the lair with a packet of mints they will normally let you pick up as many scales as you like. It seems they like to have fresh breath – it makes it easier to breathe fire, so they say. Also, Dragon Scalers help to keep the lair tidy: dragons seem to like having cleaners in to sort out their mess.
So all in all, it's not quite so dangerous as they make out. And he even insinuated that sometimes a Dragon Scaler will have a particular deal going with a dragon so that it will singe eyebrows and hair on demand. Although I wonder whether he's just trying to rubbish the bravery of some of his colleagues.
So I hope that's all a bit clearer for you now. If you're interested in taking up Dragon Scaling I can give you Tufflin's address for more info. But in the meantime, be happy knowing that if you ever meet a spiteful dragon that won't leave you alone, try offering it a mint.