The holidays drag on

20Aug12

Here in Wales there are dragons all over the place – car number plates, shop signs, flags, notice boards, t-shirts…  In the pub this evening there was a large sculpture of a small dragon on the mantelpiece.

So I have been contemplating dragons. How big were they? Didn’t they get burned? What did they eat? Were they lots of colours or just red? Where does the myth come from? As well as the Celtic dragons we have St George, in several other continents there are mythical fire-breathing beasts and, of course, the Chinese dragons.

Surely it can’t be a coincidence that all over the globe mankind has a folk memory of the same beast? Was there a huge scaly predator roaming the earth when our predecessors swung down from the trees?

Wikipedia doesn’t help. The entry about dragons is speculative and obviously factually incorrect because it doesn’t mention Shrek or Harry Potter.

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2 Responses to “The holidays drag on”

  1. 1 TonyG

    I always thought for some reason, that dragons were a way of explaining pyroclastic flow from volcanoes, eg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvG_N7eqMWk – don’t know where I got that from though – maybe it’s just time for a holiday

  2. 2 ann

    The Welsh dragon is somewhat stockier than many others, and actually doesn’t look as if it could leave the ground and fly very far. Possibly because it was bred to use in mines and needed to be compact.
    For full details of dragons and their origins, have a look at the Sci-Fi novels by Anne McCaffery – they are very good (I think, anyway). And more entertaining than Wikipaedia.


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