Tuesday, 24 August 2010


In the far north lands of the Vikings stories are told of fights and feuds and foul deeds. The books of tales are called the Sagas and in one of them is featured Fáfnir (or Frænir) the son of the King of the Dwarfs, Hreidmar.

Fafnir was fair of face and brave and fearless and strong. He and his brothers Regin and Ótr guarded their father's house, which contained a fantastic hoard of gold. One day Ótr was killed by Loki, the trickster god, and Hreidmar was given blood money in return. But the gold was cursed and made the surviving brothers plot to kill their father. But Fáfnir wanted the gold all for himself.

As a mark of his greed Fáfnir was turned into a dragon (for the Vikings believed that dragons were greedy because they kept hoards of gold and jewels in their nests. Regin sent his foster-son Sigurd to kill the dragon and they feasted on the dragon's flesh.

Regin was still cursed by the gold and planned to kill Sigurd, but Sigurd had eaten the dragon's heart and so could understand the language of the birds. They warned him of Regin's approach and so he was ready for the attack. Regin fell in the ensuing fight and the curse was broken. Sigurd kept the gold for himself.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

E is for Eldritch

Eldritch portrait

Eldritch is now four and a bit years old. Like all English dragons his official birthday is Midsummer's Day, June 21.
He shares that with his little brother Bamburgh and they are the same official age even though Bamburgh arrived a few months after Eldritch did.

My first sight of Eldritch was unusual to say the least. He was elbows-up in a pile of plush animals at a local garden emporium so all I saw was his bottom, a red tail with a golden tip and the edges of a pair of gold wings. Of course I had to pick him up and take a closer look and once I did I was enamoured!

So he came home to live with me and his Unclclcecle Kevin and cousin Moo and the rest, as they say, is history.

According to the Penguin English Dictionary the word eldritch is Scottish and means weird or uncanny. He is naturally a magic creature and so I think it suits him exactly.

Normally he is a cute, kind and lovely dragon but beware - do not excite him or make him cross. For you are crunchy and taste good with mustard!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Diamonds and Deities

Oriental dragons, unlike their Western counterparts, go through many stages of development before they are considered fully grown. In the very early stage (the first 500 years) they are called lung, which translates as deaf. During the next 500 years the lung grows a set of horns that enable it to hear. After that it is known as kioh-lung.

It takes another 1,000 years before the dragon grows wings and becomes a ying-lung. At this stage it can develop into a god-like dragon deity.
The tien-lung is the sky dragon, protector of the gods' heavenly home. His cousin is the shen-lung, bringer of dark skies and storms.

Another is the fu-ts'ang lung or treasure dragon. He is master of the deeps and dark mines, where diamonds and other jewels are discovered.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Dragons of Wayward Crescent

There are many different kinds of dragon and there are myths and stories about them dating back many thousands of years. But some of the best new stories are by Chris D'Lacey. He writes about a family of dragons who live in Wayward Crescent.

They have all been made from special clay by a lady called Liz and, for the right people, they are clearly alive. When the wrong people are around they behave just like ornaments.

A young man called David moves into the house as a lodger and Liz gives him his own dragon called Gadzooks. He soon realises that Gadzooks is more than a ceramic figure. Gadzooks helps David to realise his dream of being an author and together they have lots of adventures.

Start with The Fire Within and enjoy some great Dragon stories.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

C is for Claws

How many claws should a dragon have? Well it depends on where it comes from. In China there were traditionally two kinds of dragon - the three clawed and the five clawed. Only Imperial dragons had five claws and any commoner who was found in possession of a five-clawed dragon would have his head chopped off with great ceremony.

Another Chinese legend tells that all dragons begin with five claws but, as they get further from China, they lose their toes. Consequently Korean dragons have four claws and Japanese only three.

English dragons have completely different feet from Oriental dragons. They are more like cats' feet. Most of Eldritch's plush friends have just three claws. And Eldritch doesn't have any at all! He's too gentle for anything so cruel.