I expect that when most people think of a dragon, they think of a monster. A terrifying beast that tries to eat a princess, finally to be vanquished by a valiant knight. Or, a cunning serpent hoarding a mass of treasure, finally to be vanquished by a valiant knight. The vanquishing part is guaranteed.
I have never seen dragons that way.
(I've only just come to realise that this is probably due to the stories my father told me as a child, with three dragons in them: one organised and slightly gruff, one mysterious and magical, one with a paw always raised in greeting — but all very friendly.)
When I think of a dragon, I think of something wise and ancient and powerful. A creature that has seen so much and felt so much and could teach us so much. Someone to be listened to and talked to, but big enough and fearsome enough to bring down your enemies.
I have read and heard and 'seen' many different dragons in my time. I have seen flesh dragons and spirit dragons, huge dragons and tiny dragons, dragons of the forest and dragons of the mountains. I have seen dragons that could fly on wings and dragons that fly with magic, dragons that could breathe fire and dragons that couldn't. I have seen dragons that live in lakes and dragons that live in glaciers, dragons of ice and dragons of fire, dragons that created their worlds and dragons made by human hands. I have seen dragons that walk on four legs and dragons that walk on two, cat-like dragons and bat-like dragons, dragons with gems for hearts and dragons who donated their hearts. I have seen dragons that spoke and dragons that sang, dragons that fell in love and dragons that learned to hate, dragons who helped and dragons who hindered. I have seen dragons hatched and dragons slain, dragon tattoos and dragon statues; dragon blood, dragon bone, dragon tooth and dragon skull, dragons in disguise as people and dragons who were not dragons at all. The only ones that did not impress me were those that were, truly,...
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