Friday, January 16, 2015

Appreciate a Dragon Day!

Who doesn't love a dragon?! Well...knights...townsfolk...little, hobbit-like creatures. Okay, maybe there are a few folks who don't like dragons, but readers LOVE them! These mythological creatures have been around for centuries and are very popular in folklore all over the world.

No one is really sure where the first dragon actually came from. The word dragon comes from the Greek (of course) "draconta" which means "to watch". Dragons have always been popular watch "dogs". Whenever there is treasure to guard, the best thing to do is to get a dragon to sit on it and keep it safe. I guess you could say, they were the first banks. This inevitably leads to a knight-in-shining-armor having to fight the dragon to rescue the gold for the townsfolk because honestly, why does a dragon need riches anyway?

Dragons can be see in a number ways. Some have wings and some don't. Some have 2 or 4 legs while others are like serpents. Some swim while others fly. They can live in the depths of the ocean or in a remote cave high on a mountain top. Even their attitude varies. Some dragons, especially the European models, can be grumpy and fire-breathing and always looking for a fight. If you travel closer to Asia, then the dragon takes on a more benevolent tone and is seen as wise and magical. The Chinese especially revere the dragon and it is an important part of their culture.

Dragons are featured often in children's literature. "Puff the Magic Dragon" is one of the first experiences a child has with a dragon and Puff is a lovable and wise. Other literary favorites soon follow such as "How To Train Your Dragon" by Cressida Cowell, "The Library Dragon" by Carmen Agra Deedy and "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini. Even Harry Potter had a cute, little, bundle of fire named Norbert.

Fantasy wouldn't be the same without dragons! Are they real? Not truly in the sense that we read about them, but you can still find dragons out in the world. The Komodo Dragon is a HUGE lizard that lives in Indonesia. They are close relatives of the dinosaurs! If you'd like a dragon in your own home, then there is the bearded dragon that is available in pet shops locally. They make great pets! As always, you can visit your favorite dragon in a book!

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