Friday, March 4, 2011

Are dragons a myth or do they walk among us?

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There are few creatures as magnificent and foreboding as the dragon. Dragons have helped or plagued humanity. Though dragon folklore is thousands of years old, the popularity of the dragon lives on in our modern-day culture through movies and books.

Once again, the tales are different depending on the author: They live in caves or walk in human from. They range in size and color. Some hoard trinkets and some have healing powers. They are kind and protective or they will eat you. 

There are very few cultures that do not have some legends of dragons. Almost all of those cultures depict the dragon to as a serpent with a long neck and tail. They have either scales or leathery skin. Some have been portray them with wings and breathe fire. Many claim them to be evil, others tell of their wisdom. 
As in all myths and legends, each culture carries its own depiction of the creature. There are two distinct types of dragons. The Western Dragon and the Eastern Dragon:

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The Western Dragon is that enormous fire-breathing dragon, with scales and claws. They live in caves, hoard gold and eats humans. Not a very nice creature.

The Easter Dragon on the other hand, is much smaller. They have long serpent type bodies with no wings. They live around bodies of water and are said to bring great luck.

Since science has not proven there are such things as dragons, therefore they did not exist. But then again neither do vampires, werewolves or fairies or so we are led to believe. So, where did the legends of dragons come from? Perhaps dinosaur fossils or once again stemming from someone seeing something no one could explain.

Did someone’s imagination run amuck or was it something more? Picture depicting dragons were found far back in history. Fishman told of great serpents in the sea. In Sussex England there is a deep cleft named after a supposed dragon that lived there named Knucker. In Ireland, a dragon named Ollipeits, created the Shannon Valley by slamming his tail into the ground as fled the country once St. Patrick rid the island of snakes and turned his attention to dragons. Some even believe the Loch Ness Monster is a dragon.
So, do dragons exist?

Are dragons the fire breathers that destroyed whole villages in medieval times and stole maidens, which led knights to hunt them? Or are they a symbol of power, strength and wealth?

Over the coming week I have a few authors to tell us how they came up with their dragons.

Stop by Monday and here how Deborah Cooke came up with her dragons.


Patty W said...

I've always found dragons fascinating, Evelyn. Although I don't write in that genre, the history is always interesting to me. Such magical beings. Can't wait to read more!

Evelyn M. Byrne said...

I agree, they are fascinating. I am looking forward to reading what my guest blogger have to say.