Hello Dear Reader
What can one say about these mythical beasts? I have long believed that dragons were real and maybe still are if you look carefully. After all, how can such a mythical beast be so well documented? Given the various stories of old, some truth must exist. There have been many discoveries of fossilized bones of dinosaurs for example. What if some of those bones happened to be from a dragon?
To create such stories, often a writer or storyteller, used something in real as the basis. How far back can people trace so-called dragons? In ancient China, dragons are mentioned around the 4th century BC and are held in great esteem. They are not the feared creatures that Western civilization later portrayed.
East versus West
The earliest known Eastern dragon story is often one told about a young poor boy and a dragon’s pearl.
It is said that the poor boy finds a dragon’s pearl, after which everything he touches is multiplied. When a small amount of rice is placed in a dish one night, the next morning it was full. A thief heard of the tale and came to still steal the pearl. The boy swallow’s the pearl and is then turned into a dragon himself.
While the Eastern story is about the good of dragons, the early Western has a story is one of punishment. In this story, a prince kills his father for his fame and fortune. The dying king puts a curse on his son that he will become a dragon. In turn, this dragon is killed by another of his greedy brothers, who then receives the curse and becomes a dragon as well.
There are numerous types of dragons that appear throughout the world. It seems there is no end to their abilities and, to be honest, why should there? The main characteristics of a dragon appear to be: flight, magic powers, reptilian appearance, and fire. As for types of dragons, well that is a little more difficult depending on what you read. One could start with the basic elements: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. Some believe they are split between Eastern and Western types. Others use the classification of Drake, Fairie Dragon, Hydra, Wyrm or Wyvern. There is so much choice within this world.
I am not sure when I first became really interested in dragons. I guess it was at school and stories of St George. Considering my school was St Giles and George, I was told the tale of St George and the dragon. Oddly enough, I found the dragon to be interesting, despite wanting to be a knight. In my school days, we had no internet just good old libraries and books. I read all the stories I could find at the time on dragons. This led me to possibly the best series I could find, that of Anne McCaffery and The Dragonriders of Pern.
This series was for me, the first to really show dragons as they should be, beasts to be cared for, honored and not feared. The series is sort of pre-industrial with hints of technology along-side dragons, lords, teachers and more. There are four basic groups of people on Pern all of whom face the threat of the Thread. I won’t go into too much detail as there are numerous websites and reviews on the various books.
To date, I have around 24 dragon figures all around the house, numerous dragon books, and a few t-shirts. I continue to collect to this day and doubt I will stop.
Is there more?
Of course, there is, lots more to both read and view. Dragons do exist, even if some can’t fly. Dragonflies, for example, are a perfect example. Are they a descendant of a real dragon? Who really knows? I believe they do still roam the world just out of sight or for some, they might just guide us. How do they guide us? Sometimes we look to the inner self to understand what is around us. We trust that ‘gut’ feeling or for some, their inner dragon. Maybe that is where the dragon has always existed?
What could be better than to fly through the clouds on the back of a majestic beast listening to the beat of its wings? One can but dream.
Tagline: ‘Wake the inner dragon … breathe fire into life’