San Francisco, California - "You know that song about a boy and his dragon that I would sing to you all the time?" reminisced Mary Travers in a low soft-spoken voice to her family and friends and a reporter from "Rolling Stone" magazine that gathered around her bedside as she lay quietly in the final hours of her life. "Well, it's not really about a boy and his dragon."
In her semi-conscious state, Travers explained that the song was code for a Vietnamese drug lord who controlled the heroin traffic corridor along the 17th parallel.
"His name was 'Puff The Magic Golden Triangle Dragon' and he was only a boy of 11," said Travers to sympathetic, yet disbelieving faces. "Maybe you learned about him since in the documentary movie, 'Tropic Thunder'?"
"I'm sorry," interrupted Travers' personal physician as he attended to her by injecting her with a sedative. "I'm afraid Mary is suffering the side effects of her illness. She really doesn't know what's she's talking about; she's confusing the past with the present."
"No I'm not!" yelled out Travers as she tossed off her comforter, put on her slippers and walked over to her dresser, pulling out a weathered looking manila envelop marked "Top Secret" on it with faded red letters.
As Travers walked back to her bed, she slowly drew the shades close, darkening her bedroom. Opening the sealed manila envelope, spreading its contents of military documents, maps and photos on top of her hand stitched Mid-Western comforter, she began to tell her tale.
"It was in the Year of the Monkey when I was sent out on a top-secret mission by the Pentagon to assassinate 'Puff The Golden Triangle Dragon," said a somber sounding Travers as she shined a small handheld flashlight with a red lens on it over the documents.
One document that Travers' red light illuminated for a brief second was signed by President Johnson thanking her for her service to the nation in combating communism at home and abroad.
Another document, signed by Present Nixon, expressed his gratitude as well:
"Thanks for your help with that Watergate thingy," wrote Richard Nixon to Travers. "It's all set to go tomorrow night. Keep your fingers crossed. Say, Gordon still wants to know if you're dating anyone. Shall I tell him to go [censored for national security reasons] himself again?"
"Here it is!" said an excited Travers as she pulled a document from amongst the pile of others. Its only distinguishing futures being its title: "Operation: Puff The Magic Dragon."
"Puff' was code for blow the mother [censored for nation security reasons] head off," explained Travers as she dug down deeper into the pile of papers, exposing a small black and white film reel. "Would you like to see it?"
After a few moments, Travers had an old fashion projector all set up and the small reel of film marked, "Holiday in Cambodia" all loaded up.
As the black and white images of the aerial bombardment of Puff The Magic Golden Triangle Dragon's seaside beachhead instillation flickered on the bed sheet hung on the wall, Travers grabbed her guitar and began to play, 'Puff The Magic Dragon."
"Come on sing along with me," encouraged Travers in a perky uplifting voice as she sat on the edge of her bed with her back to the horrifying images of warfare that played out over her shoulder behind her. "Come on now. I just know you know the words. And if you don't, just follow the little bouncing ball."
Just then the lyrics of the song appeared on the bottom of the grainy film of carnage in black letters and up popped a little white bouncing ball over them.
"Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea --" that is all that Travers got to sing as she suddenly keeled over without warning, coming to rest on her side, laying on her bed sound asleep.
"That's just the sedative I gave her earlier. It finally kicked in," said Travers' physician. "It takes a long time to take effect because...well, you know. Because she's a child of the '60s let just say. And leave it at that, okay?"