There are no such things as dragons, which is why it was so puzzling when one suddenly appeared and landed on the Statue of Liberty. It let out a long burst of flame, making the great copper lady droop a bit on her left side. Then it flew away and disappeared, leaving the world quite distraught.
It wasn’t the damage, it was the sudden, dragon-shaped hole in our understanding of the world. There wasn’t enough coffee in the world for the late nights it would take to fit a dragon into modern scientific theory.
“What if it comes back?” the news networks screamed. Their fingers were on the panic button, eyes on the ratings chart.
“What if it doesn’t?” the scientists inquired. Biologists warmed up their DNA sequencers, physicists tried out new formulas (E=mc2+Dr?).
And then the world waited.
Hollywood made movies. Fantasy enthusiasts wrote slashfic of Draco and the Statue of Liberty. Survivalists bought even larger caliber weapons and nodded to each other smugly (“I knew it was dragons all along”). Conspiracy theorists quickly shoehorned a dragon into their schematics, somewhere between the Illuminati and the Reptilian Elite.
It never came back.
Eventually, the world collectively gave a cough of embarrassment, repaired the Statue, and got on with life. People shrugged.
“It must have been a fluke.”