March 20, 2019

D is for Dragon


        My theme for this year’s April A-Z Blog Challenge is fantastical creatures, celebrating my upcoming book, On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination, which will be released by the end of the year.  Please check out my Kickstarter Campaign for this project!

        Of course D is for Dragon!  What other creature could possibly hope to compete?

        “The ancient writer says:  Their cruel cursed enemy, an huge great Dragon horrible in sight, with murdrous ravine, and devouring might, their kingdome spoild, and countrey wasted quite.
        All people have heard such terrifying tales of dragons, and many ancient accounts tell of dragons devouring villagers and in turn being slain by knights.  Pity it is that so few knights were known to take statements from offending dragons before attacking, but those records that survive demonstrate that most dragons who steal farmer’s livestock are simply hungry, as any animal may be.  Dragons are much like humans in being creatures of intelligence and free will.  For this reason you will find some dragons of deep wisdom and benevolence, and others of wickedness most dreadful.  Those dragons who devour livestock may simply be hungry, but those who devour humans do so in the full knowledge that they spread terror.  Surely to deliberately inflict fear and misery upon others is the mark of a monster, whether performed by a dragon or by a knight.”

        In this case the “ancient writer” is Edmund Spenser, from 1590.  His dragons, like those of most medieval and renaissance accounts before him, represents sin, evil, Satan, and (in his Faerie Queene) the Evil Empire Spain.  My dragons are no allegories, although these days it is
certainly quite rare to encounter one outside a book.  Which is why we need books.  I’m afraid I have no new pictures of dragons for you, as I’ve shared all mine before, but this is one that will appear in my bestiary.  For more D creatures, you’ll have to click the link to read 

[Picture: Knot-tailed Dragon, rubber block print by AEGN, 2008.]

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