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DRAGON - DRAGONS
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DRAGON - DRAGONS
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BOOKS - DRAGON - DRAGONS - ALL AGES

Book titles are in blue and underlined. Click on them to find out more about the books and how to buy them.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
In performance, always credit your sources.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

Boy Who Made Dragonfly (The): A Zuni Myth. A Zuni Myth retold by Tony Hillerman. (1986 - Ages 4-8)
Retells a Zuäni myth in which a young boy and his sister gain the wisdom that makes them leaders of their people through the intercession of a dragonfly.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George. (2008 - Ages 9-12)
When an orphan girl named Creel befriends a dragon, she unknowingly inherits a pair of slippers that could be used to save her kingdom, or destroy it. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Cornelia Funke’s Dragon Rider, the light tone and charming characterizations bring this heartwarming fantasy to life. Older middle grade readers and young teens alike will appreciate the adventure, fun, and dragon-drenched action!

Dragon Soup by Arlene Williams. (1996 - Ages 4-8)
It is the story of a young girl who, in order to help her father pay the debt he owes to the local merchant, tries to steal a pearl from the den of the cloud dragons. She is captured and forced to make a difficult decision. Ultimately her response to the dragon's challenge ends in a peaceful resolution that is satisfactory for everyone involved.

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons (Ologies) by Ernest Drake and Dugald Steer. (2003 - Ages 9-12)
Do you believe in dragons? Now, the long-lost research of renowned nineteenth century dragonologist Dr. Ernest Drake is presented in all its eccentric glory, happily bridging the gap between dragon legend and fact. The meticulous Dr. Drake assigns Latin names to various dragon species, ruminates on why dragons are able to speak, speculates on how they could fly, and explains the true purpose of their notorious hoarding habits.

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett with Ruth Chrisman Gannett (illus). (2005 - Ages 9-12)
A favorite of young readers since the 1940s and a Newbery honor book--captures the nonsensical logic of childhood in an amusingly deadpan fashion. When Elmer Elevator (the narrator's father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island.

Once Upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean E. Pendziwol with Martine Gourbault (illus). (2006 - Ages 4-8)
After a thump-bumping ride on a slide, a little girl and her dragon friend find themselves inside a fairy-tale book. The stories are familiar, and there's lots of silly fun as the Dragon is transformed into fairy-tale characters. But danger lurks in the form of strangers -- including the hungry wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White's evil stepmother. And it's up to the girl to keep an eye on the dragon, who walks alone through deep dark woods...

Popcorn Dragon (The) by Jane Thayer and Lisa McCue. (1989 - Ages 4-8)
Dexter, ordinarily a well-behaved young dragon, shows off when he finds that he can make clouds of smoke. He quickly becomes insufferable. First he watches his own reflection in the river in order to admire the smoke. Then he puffs it in the faces of his friends: the zebra, the giraffe, and the elephant.
Soon Dexter has no friends left. He is a very lonely dragon until quite by accident he discovers a way his talent can be used to win back his playmates.

Tales from the Dragon's Cave...Peacemaking Stories for Everyone: Peacemaking Stories for Everyone by Arlene Williams. (2002 - Ages 9-12)
A dozen exciting tales to capture the imagination of children while they learn the art of communication, cooperation and conflict resolution. Each story contains magical creatures such as dragons, giants, fairies, pixies or a mysterious heron in an enchanted marsh.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. (2009 - Kindle edition)
In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune...



MORE BOOKS:

Alexander and the Dragon by Katherine Holabird. (1988 - Ages 4-8)
Behold...the Dragons!. Gail Gibbons. c1999.

Book of Dragons (The)
by Michael Hague. 1995.
Book of Dragons (The). E. Nesbit. 1994.
Book of Gryphons (The) by Joe Nigg. (1982)
Christmas Stories for the Very Young by Martin Waddell. See Imdela and the Dragon.
Demi's Dragons and Fantastic Creatures. c1993.
Discovery of Dragons. Graeme Base. 1996.
Dragon and George (The) by James Cressey and Tamasin Cole.
Dragon-Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic (A). Margaret Weis.
Dragonfly's Tale by Kristina Rodanas (1991).
Dragon's Tale (The): and Other Animal Fables of the Chinese Zodiac. c1996.
Dragons, a Natural History. Dr. Karl Shuker. 1995.
Dragons (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)). Lucille Recht Penner. c2004.
Dragons Are Singing Tonight (The). Jack Prelutsky. 1993.
Dragons: Truth, Myth and Legend. David Passes. c1993.
Draw! Medieval Fantasies (Draw). Damon Reinagle. c1995.
Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams, 1976.
Fire and Wings: Dragon Tales from East and West. Marianne Carus. 2002.
Friend For Dragon (A) (Dragon's Tales)
by Dav Pilkey (of Captain Underpants fame!).
Ganekwane and the Green Dragon: Four Stories from Africa African Folk Tale by Corlia Fourie.
Gramps and the Fire Dragon by Bethany Roberts.
Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon by Jules Bass.
Here There Be Dragons Jane Yolen. See The Royal Dragon.
How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head (Sandpiper Books) by Bill Peet.
How the Animals Got Their Colors: Animal Myths from Around the World by Michael Rosen African folktale.
How to Choose Your Dragon by Ron and Val Linoahn.
King Krakus and the Dragon - a Polish folktale told by Janina Domanska.
Komodo! by Peter Sis.
Medieval Tales, trans and adapted by Jennifer Westwood. See Dragon of Rhodes.
Myths and Monsters: From Dragons to Werewolves (Mega Bites). Laura Bullere. 2003.
Once-Upon-A-Time Dragon (The)
by Jack Kent. See Uncle Lubin and the Dragon.
Paper Dragon (The). Marguerite W. Davol. c1997.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Michael Murpurgo. 2004.
Tales of Great Dragons. J.K. Anderson. Santa Barbara, CA : Bellerophon Bks, c1992.
Tell Me a Story: Timeless Folktales from Around the World, adapted by Amy Friedman. See The Littlest Dragon.
Truth About Dragons (The) by Rhoda Blumberg.
Turnip Soup by Lynne Born.

Much of the above list was compiled by Granny Sue.


DRAGON TREASURES!
For complete, searchable lists of all Children's Books about Dragons,
available from amazon.com, click on
Children's Books About Dragone - Baby-Preschool
Children's Books About Dragons - Ages 4-8
Children's Books About Dragons - Ages 9-12
Children's Books About Dragons - YA



DRAGON TREASURES!
For a complete, searchable list of all Music about Dragons,
available from amazon.com, click on
Music About Dragons for All Ages



DRAGON TREASURES!
For a complete, searchable list of all Toys and Games Involving Dragons,
available from amazon.com, click on
Toys and Games Involving Dragons - Children of All Ages

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ONLINE LINKS TO STORIES AND INFORMATION - DRAGON - DRAGONS


Artist: Isabela Siemers, Cashmere High School, New Zealand
1st Place Winner in the art competition for The Atlas Chronicles by Karolyn Timarkos
All art submissions may be viewed at
http://www.theatlaschronicles.com/entries.html


Online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more stories and information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Short descriptions included for your convenience and to save you research time.

Here are some stories online, some from Lang, Jacob, and others.

http://www.polenth.com/myth/asia/nielang.html
"The Dragon Stone - Myths: Asian Dragons: Nie Lang."

http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/crimsn08.htm
"The Prince And The Dragon."

http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/pink02.htm
"How the Dragon was Tricked."

http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/yellow03.htm
"The Dragon of the North."

http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/yellow07.htm
"The Dragon and His Grandmother."

http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/002.html
"Nonny and the Dragon."

http://lair2000.net/Chinese_Poetry/stories/Nie_Lang_And_The_White_Hare.html
"Nie Lang And The White Hare," a Chinese dragon story in Chinese Dragons at lair2000.

http://lang.thefreelibrary.com/Yellow-Fairy-Book/1-29
Andrew Lang: The Yellow Fairy Book: "The Flower Queen's Daughter" - Free Online Library.
All above suggested by Karen C. 2/28/07

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SOS: SEARCHING OUT STORIES AND INFORMATION - DRAGON - DRAGONS
Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians

(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)




Artist: Hope Mill, New Zealand
Entry in the art competition for The Atlas Chronicles by Karolyn Timarkos
All art submissions may be viewed at
http://www.theatlaschronicles.com/entries.html


Book titles, movie titles and online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
Story and song titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Posts are added chronologically as they are received by Story Lovers World.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou would be crispy & good with sauce."

"The babe in the cradle knows about the dragon. He needs the stories to know about St. George."

1) The tale where a maiden marries a dragon but is advised to remove 10 layers of shifts while having the dragon scrub off an equal amount of skins is called King Dragon by Clara Strobe. The story is in the book Dragons, Dragons, Dragons by Helen Hoke (1972), but the citation goes back to a 1922 book called The Magic Hat and Other Danish Fairy Tales (Dover Children's Thrift Classics), which is where Clara Stroebe comes in.

2) The Dragon Story by Harlynne Geisler, was first published in The Story Bag; A National Storytelling Newsletter and then reprinted it in her book Storytelling Professionally: The Nuts and Bolts of a Working Performer. Storytellers may retell the story but are expected to attribute authorship to Harlynne and to give the name of her book.

3) Try Time-Life books, Dragons, from Dragons: The Enchanted World (The Enchanted world) series.
The Enchanted World was a 21-volume set published in the mid-80's. These books were the precursor of the very popular Mysteries of the Unknown series and each volume is large and has a colorful cover. Each volume of this series deals with one aspect of popular mythology. Some of the topics covered are very interesting and there isn't really too much written on them, which is a plus. The books come off as more entertaining than informative, though, but they are pretty good anyway. This set originally came with a set of gypsy fortune telling cards for subscribers. These cards are now becoming as much of a collector's item as the books themselves, so if you have them hang on to them!

4) For an adaptation by Joe Wos of The King Who Loves Dragons, go to:
http://www.onceuponatoon.com/dragons.html
From Joe: I love dragons! I tell and draw a few original stories about dragons. I also have an adaptation of the King who loves dragons. I love the story because it's about being an artist. You can find it on my website and of course you're welcome to browse my site while you are there.

5) There's an E. Nesbit book full of wonderful stories about Dragons. It's called The Last of the Dragons. It has kept even wiggly children spellbound. There's another listing by her called The Complete Book of Dragons.

6) The poem, The Tale of Custard the Dragon, by Ogden Nash.
Also: Custard the Dragon and the Wicked Knight (Library of Nations) by Ogden Nash and Lynn Munsinger.

7) There's a great little dragon, drawing story that has gone down well with ages 5 -9 in Richard Thompson's book Draw-And-Tell: Reading - Writing - Listening - Speaking - Viewing - Shaping.
The storyline is about a princess who gets fed up with all her father's knights boasting about how many dragons they have slain. She sets off to find one herself. She gets lost and meets a friendly creature, who helps her find her way home. She only realises that her new friend is a dragon when she tries to introduce him to the King, Queen and Knights and they all run out of the room screaming. At the end of the story you will have a drawing of a dragon. Mine always looks more like a dinosaur, but the kids dont seem to mind. This book is really good if you can get hold of it.

8) Raising Dragons, written by Jerdine Nolen, illustrated by Elise Primavera.
A young girl finds an beautiful, large egg found near her family's farm, and from it hatches a tiny dragon whom she names Hank. Sensible Ma and Pa don't really believe in imaginary critters, but they begin to change their minds when Pa discovers his field turned over and his seeds sown and when Hank saves Ma's withering tomato crop. Eventually the dragon must move to a volcanic island where other dragons live, but he leaves behind a wheelbarrow full of glowing eggs as a parting present. This loving story is enhanced with wildly colorful and imaginative illustrations. Suitable for grades RP-3.

9) A Book of Dragons by Ruth Manning-Sanders, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1965.
Baskets in a Little Cart
Chien Tang
Constantes and the Dragon
Dragon and his Grandmother
Dragon of the Well
My Lord Bag of Rice
Nine Doves
Pepito
Prince with the Golden Hand
Stan Bolovan
Thirteenth Son of the King of Erin
Three Dogs
Yanni
Yellow Dragon

10) The Tear by Dan Keding.
For permission to tell, Dan may be reached at:
http://www.dankeding.com/

11) Dragons by Peter Hogarth with Val Clery- 1979.
Has history of dragons divided up - ancient-classical-medeivil-rennaisance-and modern. Great book!

12) The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson illustrated by Wayne Anderson Harper and Row, 1979. Beautifully illustrated, distinguishes between "European" and "Chinese" primary types... even offers a reasonably plausible scientific theory as to how there might indeed have been such flying, fire-belching lizards and why we would not have any fossil record of them...

13) Look for bestiaries in the children's collection of the library, like Helen Jacobsen's The first book of mythical beasts ([First books, 128]) (1960) or Georgess McHargue's Beasts of Never (1968). Good for history and symbolism.
Also look in the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend (1972), various reference books by Katherine Briggs.

14) There are several anthologies of dragon stories, like Dorothy Spicer's 13 Dragons and even E. Nesbit's The Complete Book of Dragons (1899, repr. 1972).

15) There are retelling of epic stories, like St. George and the Dragon (I liked a version adapted by Sandor S. Warburg, illustrated by Pauline S. Baynes, 1963), and Siegfried (or Sigurd) and the Dragon (I used a translation by Margaret Armour of Wagner's Siegfried and the Twilight of the Cross, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, 1931, but I am sure you can find other versions.) Also, Jason, Cadmus, etc.

16) For folk and fairy tale anthologies, use the Storytellers Sourcebook: A Subject, Title, and Motif Index to Folklore Collections for Children by Margaret Read MacDonald or the Index To Fairy Tales, Myths And Legends: Supplement, if your library has them. I like The Laidly Worm in Joseph Jacobs English Folk and Fairy Tales. There are too many to name, from all over the world.

17) There are lots of great literary stories about dragons, like Paul Fenimore Cooper's Dindle (1963), Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon (1938), J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (Collector's Edition) (1966) and Farmer Giles of Ham : The Rise and Wonderful Adventures of Farmer Giles, Lord of Tame, Count of Worminghall, and King of the Little Kingdom (1961).

18) There is also a Chinese story about a girl who makes beautiful lace. The emperor orders her to court to make lace for him. When she pricks her finger and drops blood on the lace the animals she makes come to life. The emperor is greedy and demanding and in the end she makes a lace dragon that comes to life and devours him. My version is called Sister Lace and it's in an illustrated anthology called The Moon Maiden and Other Japanese Fairy Tales by Grace James and The Moon Maiden and Other Asian Folktales by Hua Long, published by China Books and Periodicals Inc.

19)
Wild Bird found in Anne Pellowski's Story Vine, The.

20) The Chinese dragon is identified with water rather than fire-- Look at the curly decorations all around the images, and you will suddenly see that they represent waves-- and It is, in popular iconography at least, a force for good.

21) Chinese dragons sleep in the river, and are associated with that river. They protect the river and may challenge those who cross the river. You can see that strongly in Monkey; but for a modern look, you don't have to go any further than the Japanese animated movie Spirited Away. River dragons appear throughout the movie, with the modern consequences of pollution and over development. I would recommend Spirited Away to every storyteller.

22) Does anyone know of Celtic dragons?
Yes... My new book, Tales of The Tintagel Dragon, tells of just such a young Cornish dragon. He is only a thousand years old - good - and lonely - and invisible, because dragons are related to chameleons, but much cleverer. When the bad press about dragons made people attack all dragons on sight, they chose to become invisible. He lives with his mother, The Materiana Dragon, in the next cave to Merlin, who is his tutor - and, being young, does get into trouble from time to time. The stories I tell are true - many of them can be researched in the newspaper archives - but, of course, until now, no one realised that an invisible dragon was involved. His presence explains many mysteries.
Jill L.
http://www.lamede.com/Dragon.htm

23) This story was told to me by a Korean lady, Mrs. Poksung Pak in 1996 on the day of her naturalization. She was in her 70s I'd guess from her daughter's age, but looked much older and her tiny body was stooped to about 4 1/2 feet. First, we had one of those funny interchanges where I couldn't pronounce her name and she kept correcting me, but it sounded just the same to me.
We'd say:
(me): Poksung Pak.
(her): Poksung Pak!
(me): Poksung Pak.
(her): Poksung Pak!
I was hopeless!
It is a River God's wife story that she remembered from her childhood and which she tells to her grandchildren. She told it to me in Korean and her daughter translated it for me. The River God is, in form, a dragon. Simchung was raised by her widowed father, who loved her dearly. He was blind, and when Simchung became a young woman, she wanted to heal his blindness. She heard of a man could help her father, but the charge would be 300 pounds of rice, which was an impossible price for Simchung. Then she heard of a village which, each year, had to throw a maiden into the river to become the River God's wife. Of course, the villagers did not wish to offer the River God their own daughters, so Simchung told them that if they would give the man 300 pounds of rice, she would marry the River God. They agreed, and Simchung lept into the river. When Simchung's father heard of her great sacrifice, he wept, and when he opened his eyes, he could see. He cried out her name. Simchung! And when Simchung heard her father calling her, she returned in the opening blossom of a water lily.

24) In my Druid Animal Oracle, they talk about four dragons: Water Dragon, Earth Dragon, Air Dragon and Fire Dragon with their Gaelic names being: DRAIG-UISGE; DRAIG-TALAMH, DRAIG-ATHAR and DRAIG-TEINE. The books then describes each Dragon's Tradition.

25) I think most of the early European dragons were from Teutonic -- Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon as well as continental Germanic groups -- sources, and were generally viewed as not beneficial to man -- a dragon chewed at the roots of Yggdrasil. I see these dragons as forces of chaos rather than "evil," much as the Jotuns were in Viking mythology (indeed, the most famout worm of all, Jormungandr, was the progeny of a giantess and Loki). When Christianity became the prominent religion, dragons were equated with the Devil and of course were viewed as evil. It's hard to specify exactly what they mean by 'Celtic' since that is a very vague term covering a long period of time and a wide variety of cultures ranging from early groups who migrated out of central Asia (Scythians?) to the Romanized groups who settled in Western Europe and the British Isles.

The dragons of China were neither good nor evil, they represented elemental powers of nature. The original image of the Yin Tang was that of two dragons locked in an erotic embrace, so I am told. Dragons had a similar role in medieval alchemy, which has its roots in similar concepts in medieval Islamic countires and the Far East.

Do you know that the word dragon, according to the linguists, derives from an Indo-European root that means "to see"?

26) On the whole Celtic dragon thing---
Well, let's see, our buddy Tristan fought one, takes tongue, is poisoned...(this one sounds like your typical wyrm though- poisonous, near a well, etc.)

Then there is the two Dragons found by Merlin, the red and the white, both seem to be able to fly, one Saxon, the other Welsh (hence the red dragon on the welsh flag.) Other than that, there are allusions, but not a lot of Celtic Dragons in stories...that I know of anyway. Back then there were a lot weird things..venemous sheep for instance....In the Celtic Mythos you see a fair number of "super critters" Giant Boars, Eagles, Horses, etc. I've not run into many dragons though. And with the Fay running around, they can be most anything that they want via shapechanging or glamour. From Gruagach, Redcaps, Waterleapers, all sorts of weird stuff. Dragons I think got most their press from the Saxon/Viking angle (worm ourobouros, midgard serpent) Sigurd fighting Fafnir and so on, and we have some transmigration happening from East and North...I think it's important to remember our ancestors really got around (the ones that travelled, that is.)With the Vikings pressing all the way to the Baltic and Black sea, stories would have come back that way. Likewise, the Romans brought a lot of stuff with them. It's hard to imagine, but there were probably Buddhists, Jainists, Druids, in Rome, and they were influencing philosophers just as the Phoenicians, and Egyptians were. So China to India, India to Rome (think of what Alexanders troops brought back!) Rome to all of Europe,,,etc.

27) I may have one living in my house:
Saren's Song
I am a dragon in sneakers
disguised as a regular kid
but I've folded my wings and retracted my claws
and I keep my fires hid.
I'm an intergalactic dragon,
who dives and soars and sings -
But everyone wants me to walk on the ground -
I guess they don't know I have wings.

28) I am delighted to hear that dragons are still alive and well, and that a dragon child is living in your house. You must be blessed with a pure heart, or could it be that you yourself once cavorted with dragons? Was it anything like the Bulgarian wedding song below?
Source: Todora Varimesov in Tim Rice's book May It Fill Your Soul: Experiencing Bulgarian Music (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology).
There sat two girls, three friends,
embroidering embroidery and crying tiny tears,
and they asked each other who loved whom.
The first said: "I love a shepherd."
The second one said: "I love a villager."
The third said: "I love a huge dragon.
He comes to me in the evening, in the middle of the night.
He lightly knocks and he lightly enters
so that no one will hear him, so that no one will know.
This evening the dragon will come,
he will come and he will take me away."

29) Belief in the Bulgarian dragon, the zmey, lasted well into the 20th century and there is a wealth of folklore and many wonderful tales about them.. They were often seen as benign and had a protective function. Each village had its own guardian zmey to protect the fertility of the land and to do battle against the malignant forces that cause drought and hail. The ferocity of these battles gave rise to thunderstorms and lightening (a belief linked with the mythology of the Slavic thunder god, Perun, and his Christian successor, St Ilya). Zmeys could summon up whirlwinds. They were shapeshifters and could take on human form. They could also transform into dogs, flower garlands, or even a necklace; and zmeitsas (the females of the species) could shapeshift into bears. Conversely humans could become dragons, either through magical means or by taking certain herbs. Zmeys often fell in love with humans, who would then grow pale and lovesick and pine away. The only cure was to take a potion made with herbs such as gentian, tansy and wormwood to repulse the dragon. But sometimes humans would marry a zmey and give birth to offspring who looked human in every way except for tiny wings growing under their arms. Twelve maidens would then be called in under oath of silence and secrecy to weave a jacket for the child to hide its wings. The dragon child could then safely enter the human world, and no-one would ever see his/her true nature except for the pure in heart. Are there any still among us?

30) Yes, you're right. Zmeys are generally good (ish) - though they can misbehave. They can even be troublesomely sexy and sometimes musical. But the lamia is malignant, greedy and blood thirsty. It resembles a huge yellow-scaled lizard with a dog's head or heads, wings, four legs, talons and a tail.. It wants to devour everything with its enormous mouth and sharp teeth, It lives in deep lakes, seas and caves, and it can lock up the earth's nourishing waters, causing drought. Then it may demand human sacrifice to release the rains. Zmeys would often do battle with lamias to protect the fertility of the land; but in folktales, it is often the hero who slays the monster. The word lamia is Greek in origin, but I believe that the Greek beasties are quite different, though equally nasty.

31) Bulgarian dragons: The word lamia is Greek in origin, but I believe that the Greek beasties are quite different, though equally nasty.

Response:
A Basque lamia (same word used in the Basque language) is described as a beautiful fair-haired young woman in one story. A student falls in love with her, asks her to marry him, reports the encounter to his father. Father says he thinks she is a lamia, tells him to look at her feet. Student lifts her shirt enough to look -- they are the feet of a goose. She suddenly disappears. Student is inconsolable and soon dies of grief. A group of lamias arrive at his laying-out and tenderly cover his body with a white sheet bordered with gold. Neighbours nail it down so lamias can't remove it. They rip it from the nails and throw it away. Next day, the weeping lamia lover follows the funeral cortege at a distance, but can't enter the sacred precinct of the church, and returns to the mountain where the student met her. (Tradiciones, mitos y leyendas del País Vasco, María José Llorens Camp, M. E. Editores, Spain, 1995)

In another story, a good example of blended pagan and Christian beliefs, a lamia is captured by an exceptionally strong man and held prisoner in his house in the village of Igorre in the region of Arratia. His family couldn't make her talk for several days. Lamias have a passion for milk. One day, the milk in a pot began to boil over, and the lamia said, "The white above, the white below." [I don't understand that; apparently some sort of spell to prevent the milk from being lost.] The people made her continue to talk, and they asked her how to get rid of lamias. Apparently something about the milk made her crazy enough to answer and she said, "Lamias can only be destroyed when the arroyos are plowed by a team of young brown oxen born on the morning of Saint John's Day." So everyone in the region found such bulls and plowed the arroyos, and to this day Arratia is lamia-free.
Basajaun El Senor del Bosque, Seve Calleja, Ediciones Gaviota, Madrid, 1995)

32) These do sound different from the usual Western European dragons. Their habit of seducing humans reminds me of foxes I've met in Chinese folklore. Do you know anything about the etymology of the word? I believe that Russians and other Slavic peoples have a similar word to zmey, but I don't know if their dragons share the same characteristics as the Bulgarian zmey. Bulgarians are a composite of Thracian, Slavic and proto-Bulgarian peoples, and their land was ruled by the Ottoman Turks for 500 years, so their folklore reflects that mix.

Zmey is cognate with the word for snake (zmiya). This reflects its serpent origins. Snakes that have not been seen for 40 years, for example, can turn into zmeys. Zmeys usually look like large scaly snakes with legs, wings, a tail and a human face - part snake, part bird, part human. Like western dragons they live in caves and underground palaces, and there is a connection with water. But part of what distinguishes them from their western cousins is their human element - they can walk among us unrecognised.

But the lamia is malignant, greedy and blood thirsty. These sound more the dragons we know and hate. Yes - St George (Bulgarian version) fought a lamia. Yet the lamia is related to the zmey through its serpent origins: the lamia is formed from the severed head of a snake combined with an ox or buffalo horn. Gruesome stuff!
Response: Yes, these were blood-sucking serpent-women, more like vampires. Their image probably contributed more to that of vampires as did Transylvanian folklore; unless my memory misleads me, it was Bram Stoker who also wrote Bram Stoker's Lair of the White Worm (who was also a woman).

33) Thanks for these two lovely tales. The Basque lamias you describe resemble Bulgarian female zmeys. In Bulgaria, a female, the sister of a zmey is often called a lamia (confusing!), but they are not lamias at all: they are really full-blooded zmeys and you can tell that by their characteristics. The Basque and the Bulgarian lamia/female zmeys seem to be related - they've clearly taken wing and travelled in the past. As an addendum to my previous postings on Bulgarian dragons, zmey is cognate with zmiya(snake) and probably also related to the word for earth, zemya.

34) Sugaar (various spellings) is a Basque loathly-worm type of snake. One apparently ancient tradition says he fathered Jaun Zuria (Fair-skinned Lord) on a North European woman -- Scottish or Scandinavian -- while a presumably more recent literary legend says Jaun Zuria, who became the first lord of the Basque province of Bizkaia, was the son of an Irish king. The latter story is thoroughly cleansed of any mythological element, possibly because the first lord of Bizkaia, Lope I Fortún (AD 870), was really titled Jaun Zuria.

35) Query: What are the classic dragon stories? You know, the prototypes; the ones which formed our image of what a dragon is in the first place? I'm looking for both western and eastern dragon stories--with their practically opposite dragon natures, and other serpents, too, now that I think of it--sea serpents, hydras, Quetzalcoatls.... We have an exhibit in the works called "Here Be Dragons;" it's gonna be neat!

Responses:

a) There's my adaptation of the story from Taiwan about the ghost of a dragon on my web site:
http://www.katedudding.com/

b) St. Michael, with his fiery sword forged from the stars, conquers a dragon. There are many different tales. Michaelmas is coming up September 29th--a time to celebrate the harvest and vanquishing the dragon. Michael reminds us to be brave and have courage in the face of danger and darkness.

36) You talk about the prototype stories that form our image of what a dragon is. I want to remind that it is important to recognize that that image varies from one culture to another. I once heard a storyteller tell a beautiful version of a Chinese dragon story. She was a wonderful, evocative teller, and I could almost see the dragon's wings move as she flew. However, to me, this was a problem, since Chinese dragons "fly", but they don't "have" wings. I talked to her about this privately afterward, and she insisted that in this story, the dragons had wings, but I read the story from the source she referred me to, and the words refer to the dragon flying, but not to the dragon's wings. Her mind created the image she conveyed so clearly to her listeners. I have trouble now myself, when I tell a different Chinese dragon story, because I find myself doing the same thing - using my arms to suggest wings as the dragon flies overhead to swoop down on a child. Unless I keep my mental image of a Chinese dragon firmly in my mind (I have a large red and gold one framed in the entrance way of our house, a smaller one on the bedroom door, and others scattered around the house), I find myself reverting to a more European image of a dragon as I move.

Some of the most classic tales I was raised on: Siegfried and Fafnir, the Laidly Worm in Jacobs' English Folk and Fairy Tales, illustrated by John D. Batten, Tolkien's own illustrations of The Hobbit (Collector's Edition), various versions of St. George and the Dragon, etc., Pauline Bayne's illustrations of dragons in Narnia and in Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham : The Rise and Wonderful Adventures of Farmer Giles, Lord of Tame, Count of Worminghall, and King of the Little Kingdom, etc. I know, many of these I am listing are the illustrators, the visual imagery, not simply the classic tales. I know there is one particular book about Chinese dragons in the UH library that I especially liked, but I can't find a record of it in my files, and I get over 10,000 hits searching "dragons" & "Chinese," even after I limit it to items in English. Maybe I could find it again by browsing.

37) Quilts and Dragons, Jim Niles
http://www.washingtontourist.com/quilting/jniles/

38) Query:
I would like to ask all of you for some suggestions. My specailty is Dragon stories and I have lots of them- but this is my dilemma. I am scheduled to tell 'Dragon stories' on Valentines day at the library where I am working. The program will be part of the children's' programming so I am quite sure my audience will be a young group. We chose Feb because of Chinese New Years which of course is in Jan (22nd) this year! and of course the only day that would fit was Valentines day. Well I have dragon stories, and I have Chinese New Years stories, and I have Valentine stories. What I would like to find are stories that include dragons and Valentine's day themes -for kids (we are restricting it to kids over 4years old and we are unlikely to get anyone over 12 or 13 yrs old). Any suggestions? I figured if anyone would know it would be this group. Thanks in advance for your help. Talk to all of you soon.
Loretta
"There is always a story, be a shame not to share it!"
"Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou would be crispy & good with sauce."

Responses:

a) A tall order to be sure. I think I, or rather Dan Keding, has just the right story. It is called The Tear and it is about a young shepherd boy who befriends a dragon, the last of his kind. He reaches out to the dragon, and they grow to love each other. The young boy also teaches his townspeople to welcome the dragon as well whose greatest fear is dying alone. He brings the dragon to his town where they all remember how to gather and tell stories. The dragon ends his days surrounded by the townspeople who love, cradled in the arms of a now grown man who was once the shepherd boy. It is a lovely touching tale. You can find it on Dan's tape Promises Kept, Promises Broken. Dan is very generous with his permission to tell.

b) The Dragon's Tear by Dan Keding is in The Healing Heart for Communities: Storytelling for Strong and Healthy Communities (Families) book.

c) One of my favorite Dragon stories is Where do Dragon's Come From? It is in Tales from a Taiwan kitchen by Cora Cheney, I think, though I first heard it from teller from California. The jist of the story is this - there is an underwater "gate" off the coast of China guarded by a dragon. Any fish strong enough, fast enough or smart enough to fly through it becomes a dragon. So along comes a rather ordinary dumb sounding carp who questions the dragon and finds out about the gate. He tries to casually swim through, only to be whapped away by the dragon's tail. He tries rushing through, sneaking through - Whap! Whap! Whap! Just gets black and blue. Finally he asks the dragon about his wings, questioning whether the dragon can really fly, finally challenging him to prove it. Which the dragon does, and while he soars into a loop, the fish swims through the gate. . . becomes a dragon and takes wing himself. "I may not be strong and I may not be fast, but I'm not as dumb as I seem!" and with a mighty stroke of his new dragon's tail Thwhappp!! sent the dragon pin wheeling across the sky. And that afternoon as one of the mightiest storms ever seen over the China sea crackled and boomed - the people looked up and said: "There's a new dragon in town!"

d) The Rainbow People by Lawrence Yep, found in a collection by the same title. It is sort of a love story, even though the guy doesn't get the gi....er, dragon, in the end. A friend of mine wrote a reverse Beauty and the Beast. Three princesses sent out to slay dragon (who has done no harm, but whose mere existance is felt as a threat) First two are frightened away, driven off cliff and die. Third falls in love with dragon, returns with him to castle, and when they are greeted with hostility and weapons, SHE turns into a dragon and the two of them fly off together into the sunset.

e) Another just occurred to me - a picture book: The Paperbag Princess (Story Corner) by Robert Munsch. The girl tricks the dragon and saves the guy, who then dumps her cause she is scorched - such is the nature of love.

Response to e) above:

Oh no no no, she dumps HIM! She dumps him because he doesn't appreciate that she no longer looks like a princess because she is wearing a paper bag, smells of smoke, and her hair is a mess, even though the brave girl rescued the cad! One of my students told this last year in hysterical fashion, she had the audience in stitches. I LOVE the ending. Elizabeth tells Ronald, after he has scolded her for not looking or smelling like a real princess, "Ronald, your hair is neat your clothes are nice but you are a BUM! And they didn't get married after all!" Gotta love a girl with moxie.

f)
There is an EXCELLENT programme today on BBC Radio 4 about the Laidley Worm.
The programme is Landlines and the URL is
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/landlines2.shtml

A geologist and a folklorist explore the story in its setting of Bambrugh Castle in northern England. You hear the story and a lot about dragons in folklore.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/landlines.shtml
is a page with links to other broadcasts in the series.

39) I just read a story called Nine Dragons: A Contemporary Fable where the dragons live in the mountains that separate two peoples who live on opposite sides of an island without knowing the other are there.

40) There is a beautiful and bitter-sweet story called The Black Dragon in a collection of Chinese folktales. The book is West Lake, a collection of folktales, translated by Jan & Yvonne Walls, 1980.
In the case of this story, the dragon represents wisdom (hence he is black, like ink), and true to Chinese dragon lore, the dragon helps people rather than threatening them.

41) I love & collect dragons -- guess that makes it dragonalia?!? I confess that I'm not overly ready to tell dragon stories even though they will come in mighty handy in the summer of 2005 when they are part of a theme that tends to be a bit medieval. My problem is that the representations you make are purely Western culture where the dragon is . . . well the evil part of medieval. In the Eastern viewpoint dragons are more elemental, matching the force & fury of nature at times, but not intentionally out to cause harm. It is said that you shouldn't walk over a bridge after eating a dish of sparrows (now who would eat that? chicken, maybe, but I'm mainly vegetarian, so I'm not worried) lest the dragon's hunger lead to thinking you're edible. Also young dragons sometimes have difficulty making their leap into the sky so that they can soar among the clouds. The closest to greed is that they swallow pearls & that certainly seems reasonable & preferable to hoarding gold or eating maidens. Look at Asian robes & other items with dragons & count the # of toes. Only the Imperial dragon was allowed to have 5 toes.

42) Have you looked at Jack and the Old Fire Dragaman? In the The Jack Tales, easily available in the collection by Chase. It's got a dragon in the Appalachians.

43) I am not sure if this will fit your needs but I adore Dan Keding's story of The Tear. The dragon does live in a cave so there is a mountain in the tale. The dragon is gentle and fears dying alone. The young boy befriends him and in the end the dragon becomes the storyteller in the village and when he dies, he is not alone but surrounded by people who loved him. It is on Dan's tape titled Ruby and the Roller Skates. I have his permission to share it and all the children, and adults, love it.
Response: I'll second that emotion -- Rudy and the Roller Skates is a favorite tape/CD -- the greats love it, and I always get a tear in my eye for the dragon.
Note: "Ruby" or "Rudy"?

44) Oh good we are talking about one of my favorite subjects -dragon stories! Sorry I am late to this thread but first I must say all the suggestions I've seen on the list so far are great! And some of them are new to me -how wonderful! Many of our list-members have great dragon stories on their web pages. Anyway, I thought I would pass along the list of dragon stories I draw from when I tell -although it is incomplete. There are so many good dragon stories it is hard to find the time to tell them all! Of course there are many more stories that I have not added to the list yet and even better more that I have found. And of course do be careful to get permission to tell the original stories from their creators -or the CopyRight Dragon may devour you! If you are trying to find out what dragons are supposed to be you may never be able to settle on a story- for dragons and their stories, it seems to me are as diverse and populated as the world of imagination. Dragons can be any type of character or element you would like to portray them as. Here literally the sky is not the limit. The Eastern dragon stories show them in a more favorable light but I am sure that for any subject or theme you can find a dragon story. I have not yet found a theme that I could not find at least one dragon story for. My advice to you is read read read! I know that I am preaching to the choir on this list but the more you read the more stories you will find. You may also find patterns and folklore that will lead you into creating your own dragon stories. So here is a very incomplete list of dragon stories to start you thinking. I started to star (*) my favorites but I found that I was putting stars by every title. Each story is perfect for the right audience the only real problem is finding enough places to tell all the stories dragon or otherwise that you will find!

45)
Query:
A friend just e-mailed me about the source of a literary story where the narrator (supposedly a maiden) is waiting for the knight in shining armour and when he shows up the narrator- who is actually a dragon- eats him. I cannot remember title or author and so far my searcing has been in vain.
Janice M.D.N.

Responses:

a) Take a look at this site...dragon tails/tales by the score. It might be among the list.
The Serene Dragon: Dragon Tales, Legends, and Myths
http://www.theserenedragon.net/Tales/tales.html
Karen C.

b) This is it. Waiting for a White Knight by Teresa Bateman. Cricket Magazine, October 1993. For further information, contact
http://www.cricketmag.com/home.asp
Janice M.D.N.

46) I can think of several dragon stories worth considering. . .
The Paperbag Princess (Story Corner) by Robert Munsch (which I see has been turned into a play)
The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Graham (noted for the The Wind in the Willows)
And the story of where dragons come from, from Taiwan, where a fish has to get by a dragon and swim through a gate by strength, speed or wits.
And there is the poem, The Tale of Custard the Dragon, by Ogden Nash.
http://www.eldrbarry.net/

47) My favorite original piece, begun in 1960, is Long-Grin, the tale of a dragon whose image today adorns the flag of Wales. To learn more about this red-backed, scaly, black-bellied, tusked, bat-winged dragon, herald of the Arthurian legend of dark age Britain.
http://www.long-grin.com/~travpike/index.html

48) How about Li Chi Slays the Serpent? (In Yolen's Favorite Folktales from Around the World (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) and found, too, in many other sources.)

49) Query:
Does anyone have stories related to the Chinese year of the dragon?

Response:
The Japanese follow the cycle of years too. Fujita-san told me that it is possible for a snake to become a dragon ("tatsu" or "ryiu") if it studies and learns many sutras, prays very hard, and undergoes trials of endurance and privation. Upon its successful transformation, it can be seen rising into the heavens with the aid of a whirlwind cloud: "tatsumake" (tornado) literally means "dragon-maker." Thus, a whirlwind was a traditional cause for celebration in Japan. Next year with be the Year of the Snake. Folklore says that snake and dragon arrived at the gate of heaven simultaneously (on The Year of the Christmas Dragon (1964) & like dragons, look it up. It has an interesting theory of why many Latinos look Asian (the main character is carried by a dragon from China to Mexico), too. I think it also fits Christmas if I recall correctly. It's a children's novel, but could possibly be summarized.

50) And another dragon story for you, although it is really about tiger too. TIGER from How the Animals Got Their Colors: Animal Myths from Around the World by Michael Rosen (1992). (Copyrighted material; get permission.)
Bones:
At meeting on great mountain, all participants claim to be best for these reasons: Tiger (strongest), Thunder (loudest), Echo (toughest & cleverest), Dragon (mightiest and hottest). Tiger brags he is not afraid of anything.
Decide to have contest. Whoever can make the other three cry "Stop, no more!" is winner. All agree, tiger laughs. "Now I'll show them."
First, Tiger paws the ground, opens his jaws, shows every tooth in his head, roars.
Thunder vanishes into thin air and sits among the clouds. Echo rolls down great mountain, across Blue River, up Little Mountain, and is gone. Dragon coils and twists her long body and tail ans squirms her way up into
the sky, out of reach of Tiger's claws. No one cries "Stop, no more!" Tiger is left pawing the ground and roaring to himself until no roar is left. Thunder, Echo and Dragon come back.
"Tiger loses" they say.
"I know, I know, I know," says tiger.

Next Thunder comes forward, looks around at the clouds, and flies off to the deepest, darkest one in sight. From that cloud comes the most horrendous drumming and deafening rolls.
Tiger can't bear it and shouts "Stop, no more!"
But Echo listens to Thunder's rolls, waits for them at the top of Little Mountain, and rolls them back at Thunder. And Dragon just coils long body and tail and squirms way up into sky, above Thunder's clouds where it is all quiet.
Thunder, Echo, and Dragon come back.
"Thunder loses," they say.
"I'm better than tiger," says Thunder.
"I know, I know, I know," says tiger.

Next Echo comes forward and waits.
"Well, aren't you going to start?" says Tiger.
"Going to start?" says Echo.
"Well, don't hang about," says Tiger.
"Don't hang about," says Echo.
"It's not me that's hanging about, you fool," says Tiger.
"You fool," says Echo.
"Who are you calling a fool?" asks Tiger angrily.
"Who are you calling a fool?" asks Echo angrily.
"You," says Tiger.
"You," says Echo.
"Just get on with it," roars Tiger.
"Just get on with it," roars Echo.
"It's not my turn," says Tiger.
"It's not my turn," says Echo.
"It is," shouts Tiger.
"It is," shouts Echo.
"You're driving me mad," says Tiger.
"You're driving me mad," says Echo.
"Stop, no more!" shouts Tiger.
"Stop, no more!" shouts Echo.
"I agree," says Thunder.
"I agree," says Echo.
"Stop, no more!" says Thunder.
Echo looks around for Dragon, but Dragon has coiled and twisted up her long body and tail and squirmed up into the sky, where not even an echo can reach. Sometime later, Dragon comes back. "Echo loses," they say.
"Echo was better than Thunder, says Dragon.
"Better than Tiger," says Echo.
"I know, I know, I know," says Tiger.

It's Dragon's turn. Dragon coils and twists long body and tail and pours fire out of mouth. Thunder flees to cloud, but Dragon follows and breathes fire on cloud and dries it up until there is nowhere for Dragon to sit.
"Stop, no more!" shouts Thunder.
Dragon chases Echo down Great Mountain, across blue river, and up little mountain until they meet going down the other side. "Do you want to give up?" asks Dragon.
"Give up," says Echo.
"And now for Tiger," says dragon. But Tiger is hiding in the forest on the side of great mountain. So Dragon coils and twists up her long body and lets fly a huge jet of flame, setting that forest on fire. But Tiger is ready, and he runs from the fire that races through the trees. And Tiger could have escaped, but for the wind in the treetops that flies even faster. Just as Tiger is leaving the forest, the fire crackles overhead. Flaming branches of a tree fall on Tiger, just as he thinks he is free.
"Stop, no more!" shouts Tiger.
"I've won," says Dragon.
"That's true," say Thunder and Echo.
"Never mind that," says Tiger, "look at my coat, the branches have burned my fur."
"Yes, says Dragon. You're all stripy."
"I know, I know, I know," says Tiger.

In the story notes, Rosen says the following:
The Chu'an Miao who tell this tale live in the far north mountain region of China. They are a very old people, mentioned in the writings of the ancient Greeks. They love singing and storytelling at marriages, funerals, and at the eating of new grain. The tiger is found in many Asian myths. He is usually cunning and greedy. The dragon is spoken of in myths all around the world. In China, the dragon is said to hoard water and cause drought, especially in stories where she seeks refuge in the clouds. The tiger lives in Asia in rain forests and mountains. It can be ten feet long and eats all kinds of meat, including buffalo and monkeys.
(copyrighted material; get permission)

51) Here is a good story opener--little chant from the Miao, supposedly a call response between the men and the women. When I do it, I say the men have the "I don't know" part and the women have the answers; I figure that's how the Miao did it since that's the way it is at our house. I do a call and echo with the men (or boys) on their part, and with the women on theirs. And of course, the line "Stories made men and demons/made male and made female" is the perfect lead in to a story!
(Under copyright; get permission..)
Men: Who made Heaven and Earth?
Who made Insects?
Who made men and demons?
Made Male and made Female?
I who speak don't know.

Women: Heavenly King made Heaven and Earth.
Siene made Insects.
Siene made men and demons?
Made Male and made Female.
How is it you don't know?

Men: How made Heaven and Earth?
How made Insects?
How made men and demons?
Made Male and made Female?
I who speak don't know.

Women: Heavenly King was intelligent.
Spat a lot of spittle into his hand.
Clapped his hands with a loud noise.
Produced Heaven and Earth.
Tall grass made insects
Stories made men and demons
Made Male and made Female
How is it you don't know?

Werner, Edward T. C., Ancient Tales and Folklore of China, 1995. (Under copyright; get permission.)

52) The announcer on the univ. public radio station was playing dragon-related songs this morning for the Lunar New Year, and he played Sorrels' delightful Green-Eyed Dragon (from her What Does It Mean to Love release.) Wonderful use of fiddle sound effects!

53) I have two Chinese dragon/artist tales. The first one, of which a version was posted yesterday (? with all that's been happening lately here, and lack of sleep, I'm a bit confused) I learned from Joe Healy, who probably learned it from the book someone else cited. I did pass it on to Ellouise some time ago, but not precisely in that form....this is the first one I used sound effects on my harp with.
The King Who Loved Dragons
[I play fourths--very Oriental-sounding, or only the white strings, that is, not Cs or Fs, which on a Celtic harp are red and blue or black, respecitively)

When the king first describes his ideal of a dragon, I illustrate the various details with different sounds--glisses, arpeggios, chords both blocked and broken.. When they are waiting for the artist to come on the final day, I drum my fingers lightly on the edge of the soundboard, and then with the flat of my hand, imitate the sound of his approaching footsteps. Then as he asks the king to describe the dragon again, I illustrate the details as before...only I add a couple more, because in the elapsed time, the king's ideal has changed a bit....

The other story I learned from another teller, I *think* from Linda McNair, although I would be glad if someone could tell me of a written citation.
Story:
The emperor decided he wanted to have a wall of his palace decorated with a picture of a dragon. He sent an official to bid the corut artist to come at once and satisfy the royal whim. The official was very abrupt and rude, and this annoyed the artist--who refused to come immediately; he was very busy with other projects. A short time later, imperial guards arrived, to tell him that if he does not willingly come with them, they have orders to drag him off to the headsman. He acquiesces. At the palace, in the designated room, he paints a wonderful dragon under the eye of the official. At last the artist says, "I am finished. All I have to do is to sign it, and then I am going home. Please tell His Majesty that it must not be touched or the paint will smear." The official had been sitting with a handkerchief over his nose, complaining of the smell of the paints, and the artist added, "It might be a good idea to open the windows." "An excellent idea!" said the official, gave him a bag of gold, ordered the guards to open the windows, and hurried off to tell the Emperor and court. The guards opened the windows and went off to attend the court. Finally alone, the artist affixed his seal in red paint on a corner of the wall. Quickly, he opened a secret compartment of his paintbox, took out a tiny carved vial, opened it, and put just the tiniest amount of an opalescant hue on the pupil of each painted eye. Then he restored the vial to the compartment, closed it, gathered up his equipment, and left. The Emperor and court, the official and guards, arrived back to the empty room, noticeably cooler from the open windows. They stood back a few feet, admiring what was surely the artist's masterpiece. But suddenly, the dragon moved. And it closed and opened first one eye and then the other. And then it leaped off the wall and flew out the window, leaving behind it an empty wall--except for the artist's seal, down in one corner. You cannot command dragons--or artists.

54) Golden Dragons
Some times are like other times and other times are like no time at all. One morning in a time just like that, Meyu awoke on the top of a hill. Refreshed by a good night's rest and eager to continue his exploration of creation, he looked to the sun's birthplace. Meyu saw what the evening mist was hiding from him, that there were no more hills between where he stood and the sun's birthplace. Meyu had been traveling for many seasons and there had always been another hill to be seen from the top of every hill on which he stood. But this morning as he looked to the rising sun he could see no more hills, only a downward slope and a great marsh and an unending blue that stretched until it met the blue of the sky. He could also see a village that sat amongst fields and orchards at the edge of a river that flowed through the marsh to the sea. To Meyu each new village meant new people to meet and new stories to hear and new things to learn. With the anticipation that curiosity brings Meyu started out for the village. The sun had passed overhead and was dropping to the hills from which he had come by the time that Meyu reached the village. The villagers greeted him and welcomed him, for he wore the totem of the wolverine and wolverines were rare for they traveled alone and respected the clans of others. While they followed no set path of their own, they respected the set patterns of living that each clan set out for their members Like the wolverine whose totem they wore,

Wolverines were fierce and tenacious hunters who never stopped hunting once they had started. Wolverines lived freely and had few patterns by which they lived. Wolverines were travelers who learned many things on their travels and who could be encouraged to share their stories and the stories that they had learned on their travels. As dinner was prepared in Meyu's honor and there was food and drink and festivities and songs and dancing and the telling of stories into the night. The stories of the village clans were told; Stories of Muskrat and Mink, of Eagle and Owl. Meyu had heard these stories before, but the stories of Sea otter and Seal, of Porpoise and Shark were new to Meyu.

Meyu, when asked, told of becoming a Wolverine, but, of course, not of the secret that he had learned to become a member of the clan. For each in his own way had to learn the secret in order to become a member of the wolverine clan. But Meyu did point out that in strengths can be found weaknesses and in patterns can be found traps and to have less fixed patterns then a wolverine is to be free. As Meyu told his tale, he saw curiosity sparkle in the eyes of a young villager and he wondered if that seed would grow and if another would embark on the quest of learning and exploration.

In the morning when Meyu awoke, the villagers asked him to join with them in council, for they had a problem that could only be solved by someone who knew how to learn the patterns of other animals but who had chosen not to limit his life to a single pattern of his own, by a member of the Wolverine clan. When Meyu agreed to help if he could, the villagers told him that their marsh had become infested with Golden Dragons and they could no longer fish in the river or the marsh or the sea for fear of the dragons. They said the Dragons were so fierce that they fed on sharks and while sharks were frightening, they were not as frightening as dragons and it was only a matter of time before the dragons started feeding on people also. They said their legends told of a brave warrior who had slain the Golden Dragons in the past and of the Sword of Destruction with which he had slain them. Their legends said that the sword could make a slave of any who picked it up and that only someone with the courage to live outside of a set pattern could escape being caught up in the sword's pattern of destruction. The villagers told Meyu of the secret location of the Sword of Destruction and his curiosity caused him to search for it. His curiosity took him through a forested swamp, damp and dreary, and filled with things without legs and things with too many legs. The hidden path was marked with the skeletons of warriors who had gone before. Their armor slashed and pierced and their brightly painted shields hung from the trees that had grown since their death.

Meyu came at last to a cave whose entrance was covered with webs that testified to its lack of use. Deep within the cave's shadows, Meyu could see a dim figure huge in its armor, its hands resting upon a sword that glowed with power. It was curiosity that drove Meyu into that cave, which was fortunate for him because if he had entered to attack, the sword would have brought to life the ancient corpse that held the sword and Meyu would have been slain where he stood. Instead, as he removed the sword from the crumbling hands and as he felt its warmth in his hands, the corpse of the venerable warrior slid to the floor for a long desired rest.

When Meyu released the Sword of Destruction from its jeweled scabbard it hummed and as he swung it through the air it sang and Meyu danced to its song. With the Sword's song in his heart Meyu rushed through the swamp and the marsh to the river and on to the cave where the Dragons had made their home. From the mouth of the cave Meyu could hear soft mewing and chirping and upon entering the cave with the Sword of Destruction humming and flashing in his hand, Meyu found two baby dragons playfully chasing one another's tail. Meyu was about to place the sword back in its scabbard when he heard from behind him the roar of a dragon who saw him standing with drawn sword between her and her young. The Dragon's cries of rage soon mingled with the sword's terribly sweet song. The slashing sword reflected brightly against the shining scales of the Golden Dragon. The sword drank deeply of the blood that flowed from the dying dragon and as quickly as the war had started it was over.

As Meyu wondered at what had just occurred, he heard from the river the dragon's mate who upon seeing Meyu standing next to the corpse of its love rushed onward in a roar that was as loud and as cold as an avalanche. The Sword of Destruction sang and Meyu danced once more and another Golden Dragon quickly joined his mate in a crumpled heap at her side. Meyu was amazed at how small they looked now that the sword had sucked the life from their bodies, the sword that now glowed so brightly and hummed so joyfully. As Meyu returned the Sword of Destruction to its scabbard he wondered if the sword had been the tool of his salvation or if he had been the servant of its violence. As Meyu stood gazing at the destruction that he had participated in, he heard from the cave the plaintive cries of the two baby golden dragons. He watched as they hurried to their mother's side and nuzzled against her.

Meyu realized that without her they would starve and the slow death of starvation or the quick death of the sword was a choice he must make for them. Without knowing how he knew, Meyu knew that these were the last of the dragons. Meyu set about to do what the sword had done so quickly to the parents. But without a threat, the sword would not sing or cut and Meyu had to use it as a club and not a blade. The violence in which Meyu had so joyfully participated now wearied his body and the ugliness of the destruction in which he stood now sickened his spirit. Meyu returned slowly to the village here he was greeted with fear because the villagers knew that the sword he carried attracted the violence that caused it such joy. The villagers wished only that Meyu would leave the village quickly, but they were careful not to offend or threaten him because of the violence and destruction that they knew would result.

For three days Meyu rested without being refreshed, the joy of exploration and discovery no longer drew him on and he had no more desire to leave than he had to stay. Each day that he stayed the villagers became more fearful for they knew it was only a matter of time before the Sword of Destruction became thirsty again and drew to itself the violence in which it sang with joy. In the dark of the third night the youth in whose eyes Meyu had seen the spark of curiosity when he had told his tale of becoming a Wolverine, crept into Meyu's room. Drawn on by the power of the sword and the hope of glory the youth crept with a knife in hope of taking both Meyu's life and the sword. But the sword could not be approached secretly by a heart with violence in it, and Meyu awoke with the sword singing in his hand and the youth at his feet. The spark of curiosity and of life extinguished.

Meyu left that village in the dark of that moonless night not wanting to see in it the same destruction that he had left at the mouth of the dragons cave. He thought of hiding the sword once more and escaping its grasp, but he knew of nowhere that it would be safe from those who would be attracted to its power. Meyu knew that he has lost his freedom to the sword because his choices were now limited to either spending his life wielding the sword as a tool of death and destruction or spending his life shielding the sword from others.

So removing from sight the totem of the Wolverine clan and wrapping the sword in rags he set out to travel to where neither the slayer of Golden Dragons or the Sword of Destruction were known. In a time not unlike this time In a time like no time at all.
Wayfarer Tomm

55) Our own list's Jill Lamede (sorry, I can't insert the accent over her first "e", but she tells me the "mede" rhymes with "Fred") has a resource worth knowing when considering the dragon topic. Jill's book, The Tintagel Dragon, is a delight. I am sure it's even more fun for people in her area who know intimately the old curvy-roofed post office & other landmarks & legends mentioned. It follows the story of a comparatively young dragon -- drat, I wish I had the book with me at home, but he's several hundred years old &, like young readers/listeners, still tends to get in trouble with his mother & Merlin because of his youthful exuberance. Of course what may have been easier to do in the medieval times of his youth, like flying, is now complicated by airplanes.

Tintagel (tin-_TADGE_-el) is the "Land's End" area of England where the legendary King Arthur lived & the Arthurian legends are an important feature of the book. I was expecting -- always dangerous -- to be able to tell the entire book over the course of the summer, but have decided the book will be told part way & then made available for the kids to borrow & see how it all works out. It's what kids call a "chapter book" & I'd guessimate the reading level is roughly 4th grade or so.

In addition to Jill's story, an excellent feature of the book is the illustrations by a girl who was 14 at the time. Jill tells me the girl's talents were not being encouraged, but thanks to the book they are now. The book is honored at the school she was attending & she was helped to study art in college. Two books we have at the library encourage kids to enter various contests, especially with writing or drawing, so this will tie in quite nicely to encourage young would-be artists, writers, & storytellers. (I also plan to use some puppets that will add to the fun of letting my young listeners create stories or have the puppets tell fairy tale & dragon-related jokes & riddles.)

For those of you wanting to buy this from the United States or any place other than England, the simplest thing is to order directly from Jill via PayPal.
http://www.lamede.com

Unless the dollar falls further, it is currently $20 from her & that includes postage. Libraries don't always work that way, however, so you may need to write a check. That's a cheque across the Pond, but Jill has a friend in America with accounts both here & in Britain, so that might be an option to explore with her. She was incredibly patient & accommodating with me as I try hard to avoid having credit card #s sit in the databanks of Amazon or PayPal. I can't begin to tell you how helpful she was, but it was above & beyond the level of what you might expect of an author or storyteller. I'd just as soon she decide what works for her, but will say she was a delight that I hope more people have the opportunity to experience. I wish I had her BBC video (or for giggles & grins, the 1 by Swedish t.v.) to show the kids, but I look forward to telling the children of Mount Clemens, Michigan about how the book came to be in our library before any other library in the U.S. -- &, yes, I checked because I tried to borrow it 1st & then decided to just go ahead & do it. It's not quite what I expected, but the unexpected has its rewards, too, & I'm betting quite a few young lovers of dragons will enjoy it. Sure wish I'd brought the book home to write more from it, but go to her website & the British version of Amazon for some glimpses.
LoiS

56) A friend sent this to me:
Dragons Explores Species
Charlie Foley, creator of the upcoming Animal Planet program Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real, told SCIFI Wire that the show examines different species of the mythical animal as if it had survived through periods of the Earth's history. "The way we tell the story of dragons is through the individual stories of four particular species of dragons throughout time and across the globe," Foley said in an interview. "The first dragon story we tell is the oldest dragon, which is the prehistoric dragon, [and] then we move in time through three other species of dragons to tell the story arc of the rise and fall of the predator, the dragon."

Kevin Mohs, one of the show's writers, said that the program begins with a confrontation between a real-life predator and a dragon to cement the possibility they actually existed. "We kind of start off with a surprise to get you in an unexpected scenario," Mohs said. "You see T. rex being a major predator, and lo and behold, there's something bigger and better out there: a dragon that comes and does battle with it. Then as you watch the show, you find out that there's a theory as to why when anything bigger than a cat was wiped out on Earth, the dragon survived."

Foley added that the producers wanted to show an evolution of the animal from prehistoric predator to the creature exalted in myth and fable. "The dragon that's found in the Cretaceous period and does battle with the T. rex [is] the first major dragon we visit in the CGI and computer graphics," Foley said. "The remaining dragons that we go to are the marine dragon, and that's sort of how we imagined dragons survived the KT event, the Cretaceous Tertiary extinction, that wipes out most life on Earth. Then, the marine dragon gives rise to a species of forest dragon that's in Europe and Asia, and then the last dragon story we tell is the dragon of Western myth and legend, which is a mountain dragon, and that brings us up until about the 15th century. Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real premieres on Animal Planet March 20, 2005 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Cathy M.

57) Little Wildrose (includes the lindworm) from Andrew Lang's The Crimson Fairy Book [Adapted from file Roumanian.]
Story:
Once upon a time the things in this story happened, and if they had not happened then the story would never have been told. But that was the time when wolves and lambs lay peacefully together in one stall, and shepherds dined on grassy banks with kings and queens.

Once upon a time, then, my dear good children, there lived a man. Now this man was really a hundred years old, if not fully twenty years more. And his wife was very old too--how old I do not know; but some said she was as old as the goddess Venus herself. They had been very happy all these years, but they would have been happier still if they had had any children; but old though they were they had never made up their minds to do without them, and often they would sit over the fire and talk of how they would have brought up their children if only some had come to their house.

One day the old man seemed sadder and more thoughtful than was common with him, and at last he said to his wife: 'Listen to me, old woman!'

'What do you want?' asked she.

'Get me some money out of the chest, for I am going a long journey--all through the world--to see if I cannot find a child, for my heart aches to think that after I am dead my house will fall into the hands of a stranger. And this let me tell you: that if I never find a child I shall not come home again.'

Then the old man took a bag and filled it with food and money, and throwing it over his shoulders, bade his wife farewell.

For long he wandered, and wandered, and wandered, but no child did he see; and one morning his wanderings led him to a forest which was so thick with trees that no light could pass through the branches. The old man stopped when he saw this dreadful place, and at first was afraid to go in; but he remembered that, after all, as the proverb says: 'It is the unexpected that happens,' and perhaps in the midst of this black spot he might find the child he was seeking. So summoning up all his courage he plunged boldly in.

How long he might have been walking there he never could have told you, when at last he reached the mouth of a cave where the darkness seemed a hundred times darker than the wood itself. Again he paused, but he felt as if something was driving him to enter, and with a beating heart he stepped in.

For some minutes the silence and darkness so appalled him that he stood where he was, not daring to advance one step. Then he made a great effort and went on a few paces, and suddenly, far before him, he saw the glimmer of a light. This put new heart into him, and he directed his steps straight towards the faint rays, till he could see, sitting by it, an old hermit, with a long white beard.

The hermit either did not hear the approach of his visitor, or pretended not to do so, for he took no notice, and continued to read his book. After waiting patiently for a little while, the old man fell on his knees, and said: 'Good morning, holy father!' But he might as well have spoken to the rock. 'Good morning, holy father,' he said again, a little louder than before, and this time the hermit made a sign to him to come nearer. 'My son,' whispered he, in a voice that echoed through the cavern, 'what brings you to this dark and dismal place? Hundreds of years have passed since my eyes have rested on the face of a man, and I did not think to look on one again.'.

'My misery has brought me here,' replied the old man; 'I have no child, and all our lives my wife and I have longed for one. So I left my home, and went out into the world, hoping that somewhere I might find what I was seeking.'

Then the hermit picked up an apple from the ground, and gave it to him, saying: 'Eat half of this apple, and give the rest to your wife, and cease wandering through the world.'

The old man stooped and kissed the feet of the hermit for sheer joy, and left the cave. He made his way through the forest as fast as the darkness would let him, and at length arrived in flowery fields, which dazzled him with their brightness. Suddenly he was seized with a desperate thirst, and a burning in his throat. He looked for a stream but none was to be seen, and his tongue grew more parched every moment. At length his eyes fell on the apple, which all this while he had been holding in his hand, and in his thirst he forgot what the hermit had told him, and instead of eating merely his own half, he ate up the old woman's also; after that he went to sleep.

When he woke up he saw something strange lying on a bank a little way off, amidst long trails of pink roses. The old man got up, rubbed his eyes, and went to see what it was, when, to his surprise and joy, it proved to be a little girl about two years old, with a skin as pink and white as the roses above her. He took her gently in his arms, but she did not seem at all frightened, and only jumped and crowed with delight; and the old man wrapped his cloak round her, and set off for home as fast as his legs would carry him.

When they were close to the cottage where they lived he laid the child in a pail that was standing near the door, and ran into the house, crying: 'Come quickly, wife, quickly, for I have brought you a daughter, with hair of gold and eyes like stars!'

At this wonderful news the old woman flew downstairs, almost tumbling down ill her eagerness to see the treasure; but when her husband led her to the pail it was perfectly empty! The old man was nearly beside himself with horror, while his wife sat down and sobbed with grief and disappointment. There was not a spot round about which they did not search, thinking that somehow the child might have got out of the pail and hidden itself for fun; but the little girl was not there, and there was no sign of her.

'Where can she be?' moaned the old man, in despair. 'Oh, why did I ever leave her, even for a moment? Have the fairies taken her, or has some wild beast carried her off?' And they began their search all over again; but neither fairies nor wild beasts did they meet with, and with sore hearts they gave it up at last and turned sadly into the hut.

And what had become of the baby? Well, finding herself left alone in a strange place she began to cry with fright, and an eagle hovering near, heard her, and went to see what the sound came from. When he beheld the fat pink and white creature he thought of his hungry little ones at home, and swooping down he caught her up in his claws and was soon flying with her over the tops of the trees. In a few minutes he reached the one in which he had built his nest, and laying little Wildrose (for so the old man had called her) among his downy young eaglets, he flew away. The eaglets naturally were rather surprised at this strange animal, so suddenly popped down in their midst, but instead of beginning to eat her, as their father expected, they nestled up close to her and spread out their tiny wings to shield her from the sun.

Now, in the depths of the forest where the eagle had built his nest, there ran a stream whose waters were poisonous, and on the banks of this stream dwelt a horrible lindworm with seven heads. The lindworm had often watched the eagle flying about the top of the tree, carrying food to his young ones and, accordingly, he watched carefully for the moment when the eaglets began to try their wings and to fly away from the nest. Of course, if the eagle himself was there to protect them even the lindworm, big and strong as he was, knew that he could do nothing; but when he was absent, any little eaglets who ventured too near the ground would be sure to disappear down the monster's throat. Their brothers, who had been left behind as too young and weak to see the world, knew nothing of all this, but supposed their turn would soon come to see the world also. And in a few days their eyes, too, opened and their wings flapped impatiently, and they longed to fly away above the waving tree-tops to mountain and the bright sun beyond. But that very midnight the lindworm, who was hungry and could not wait for his supper, came out of the brook with a rushing noise, and made straight for the tree. Two eyes of flame came creeping nearer, nearer, and two fiery tongues were stretching themselves out closer, closer, to the little birds who were trembling and shuddering in the farthest corner of the nest. But just as the tongues had almost reached them, the lindworm gave a fearful cry, and turned and fell backwards. Then came the sound of battle from the ground below, and the tree shook, though there was no wind, and roars and snarls mixed together, till the eaglets felt more frightened than ever, and thought their last hour had come. Only Wildrose was undisturbed, and slept sweetly through it all.

In the morning the eagle returned and saw traces of a fight below the tree, and here and there a handful of yellow mane lying about, and here and there a hard scaly substance; when he saw that he rejoiced greatly, and hastened to the nest.

'Who has slain the lindworm?' he asked of his children; there were so many that he did not at first miss the two which the lindworm had eaten. But the eaglets answered that they could not tell, only that they had been in danger of their lives, and at the last moment they had been delivered. Then the sunbeam had struggled through the thick branches and caught Wildrose's golden hair as she lay curled up in the corner, and the eagle wondered, as he looked, whether the little girl had brought him luck, and it was her magic which had killed his enemy.

'Children,' he said, 'I brought her here for your dinner, and you have not touched her; what is the meaning of this?' But the eaglets did not answer, and Wildrose opened her eyes, and seemed seven times lovelier than before.

From that day Wildrose lived like a little princess. The eagle flew about the wood and collected the softest, greenest moss he could find to make her a bed, and then he picked with his beak all the brightest and prettiest flowers in the fields or on the mountains to decorate it. So cleverly did he manage it that there was not a fairy in the whole of the forest who would not have been pleased to sleep there, rocked to and fro by the breeze on the treetops. And when the little ones were able to fly from their nest he taught them where to look for the fruits and berries which she loved.

So the time passed by, and with each year Wildrose grew taller and more beautiful, and she lived happily in her nest and never wanted to go out of it, only standing at the edge in the sunset, and looking upon the beautiful world. For company she had all the birds in the forest, who came and talked to her, and for playthings the strange flowers which they brought her from far, and the butterflies which danced with her. And so the days slipped away, and she was fourteen years old.

One morning the emperor's son went out to hunt, and he had not ridden far, before a deer started from under a grove of trees, and ran before him. The prince instantly gave chase, and where the stag led he followed, till at length he found himself in the depths of the forest, where no man before had trod.

The trees were so thick and the wood so dark, that he paused for a moment and listened, straining his ears to catch some sound to break a silence which almost frightened him...
(click below for the rest of the story)
•••••
For the rest of this story, go to:
http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/249.htm

58) Query:
I have been asked to give an hour program (2 one-half hour segments sometime late in July) to a group of 4-8 year olds, "Dragons, Damsels, and Knights" is the central theme, with artistic emphasis of puppets used in story. I have puppets, probably more than I need, but could use suggestions on lower elementary stories that could fit this theme.

I don't have a dragon puppet, but think I could adapt Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book (that I made from a green sock years ago) to fit the bill.

Does anyone have story ideas of audience participation with either fish or butterflies included somewhere. I have about 60 each of fish and butterfly rod puppets that I made through the years for library programs. Right now, all I can think of is literary favorites like The Rainbow Fish and Mr. Butterfly Learns to Fly, but that doesn't really fit the theme. I also have access to bunches of finger puppets materials and accessories that could be assembled to fit a group of littlies with as much lead time as I have.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Group participation ideas are more greatly appreciated. Would especially love to hear from some of you puppeteer types.
Mel D. 6/5/05

Responses:

a)
How about The Butterfly Robe: A Chinese Folktale in MR McDonald's Three-Minute Tales, pages 16-17? A weary prime minister (which you could change to a knight) creates butterflies from pieces of his robe after bees are attracted to it. "The field was alive with butterflies" is a line where I can 'see' 60 little hands making your 60 butterfly puppets fly.

MRM's source: Picture tales from the Chinese, by Berta Metzger (1934), pp. 99-102.
Kate D. 6/5/05

b) You might want to contact Jill Lamede who has written a book about The Tintagel Dragon.
http://www.lamede.com/Dragon.htm

Here's a long list of dragon stories in picture books, many of which have a synopsis:
http://www.ferrum.edu/thanlon/dragons/satiric.htm
Jackie B. 4/5/05

c) There is a story, I think in the Jataka Tales, although I have not been able to find it in the online versions (so it might be in some other collection) about a big snake that attacks little fish. Then the little fish all gang up on him and chase him back into his hole in the bank. A lesson in bullying and what happens when the bullied decide not to take it anymore.

I think this could easily be developed into a participation story, and is one that little children would understand. Can anyone on the list identify this story? I'm at work and of course the book it's in is at home.

Another is a Russian Story, The Golden Fish, very like The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle, or The Three Wishes. Here is the link to it.
http://russian-crafts.com/tales/gold_fish.html

I think this story could be simplified, the old man's chant could be said by the children, and you could use a fish puppet in it, perhaps.

On the same site, they sell nesting dolls that tell folktales. (No, I'm not getting into the discussion about to use or not to use props--storytellers have used them--or not--for years, we are not going to be the definitive word or generation on this!). Just passing on the information.
Granny Sue 4/6/05

d) I assume if you can find a story, that the butterfly puppets would be given to children to hold and use?

How about telling the story of the frog prince. The butterflies would witness the story and give them a refrain to say such as:
Oh Princess, you promised.
Princesses always keep their promises.

Of course, the butterflies would follow the princess home and look in the window of the dining room and then her bedroom so they would be available to say their lines at the right time.

Isn't there a Cinderella story that has a fish acting as the granter of wishes? Could you use the fish puppets in a similar way to the idea above. This idea could be adapted to many stories.

Story ideas:
The Paperbag Princess (Story Corner) by Robert Munsch (which I see has been turned into a play)
The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Graham (noted for the The Wind in the Willows)
And the story of where dragons come from, from Taiwan, where a fish has to get by a dragon and swim through a gate by strength, speed or wits.
And there is the poem, The Tale of Custard the Dragon, by Ogden Nash.

Mabye this will get you and others thinking. I think Dragons, Damsels and Knights are a wonderful theme.
Just remember--sometimes the dragon wins!
Rose the Story Lady 4/6/05


59) Query:
If I remember correctly, there is a highly localized Chinese legend (maybe it is in the West Lake Folktales collection), about a dragon that swallowed the sun, a hero who went to defeat the dragon and rescue the sun, a son born at the moment of the hero's death, and grown to adulthood in record time. What I most treasure about that story, in my dim memory, is that as the young son traveled toward the (west?) he stopped in a little village. People noticed that his coat was torn, so they each donated a snip from their own padded jackets and made a patchwork coat for him that kept him warm as he continued his quest. Anybody recognize this story?
Lee-Ellen M. 5/4/05

Responses:

a) For those of you who don't receive Storytelling Magazine, one of the websites I highlighted in my column this month is The Serene Dragon.
My synopsis:
This incredible site is sure to slay you. Over 544 dragon tales, listed by country and regions, with origins, and articles; you will be breathing fine in no time at all.
The Serene Dragon : Debunking the Myth of the Maiden Muncher
http://www.theserenedragon.net/home.html
Karen C. 5/5/05

b) A very interesting site to whoever is interested in dragons:
http://www.biopark.org/dragonhistory.html
Kipnis 5/5/05


60) A glorious May Day to all dragon-lovers, I didn't realize the part about leaving footprints going both ways. What Aesop fable is that from? But on a lighter note --

What's the best way to approach a scary dragon?
Very carefully.

What steps should I take if a dragon approaches me?
Long ones.

How do I stop a dragon from charging?
Simple, take away his credit card.

Yawn. Do you know why dragons sleep during the day?
So they can hunt knights.
Batsy B. 5/1/05

61) Query:

I'm looking for a few, short, funny dragon stories or story-ets I call them. Something for summertime reading programs K-5th... I just need some fillers, short and cute.
David J. 7/20/0

Responses:

a) Try Richard Thompson's drawing story- Princess and the Critter. It used to be at his website, but noticed he has far fewer things there lately. Think it's in his book, Draw-And-Tell: Reading - Writing - Listening - Speaking - Viewing - Shaping.
Ina V.D. 7/20/05

b) Munsch's might work as well...The Paperbag Princess (Story Corner).
Sebastian M. 7/20/05

c) My thoughts exactly, although it is a story, runs about 5 minutes, rather than a short filler. This story is great, especially for the younger set. They always huff and puff right along with the dragon.
Karen C. 7/20/05

d) How about The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash (I think). It fits the funny requirement but I'm not sure about the length - my copy seems to have grown legs and taken a hike. . . I don't remember it being overly long, though.
Dawn D. 7/20/05

e) O. Nash
http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~emma/poetry/nash.html

Karen C. 7/20/05

f) The Paper Bag Princess 25th Anniversary Edition: The Story Behind the Story by Robert Munsch works well for participants to tell, also. The library I did today (Transylvania County, NC) wanted me to teach the kids to tell stories based on the theme "Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds", then perform their tales for a public audience. One young lady, about 14 years old, choose this story to tell. She was sooooo perfect for it! Actually looked like what I image the Paper Bag Princess looks like (all cleaned up). And had a perfectly indignant inflection when she ended with "And Richard, you're a bum!" Brought down the house!

Had about 20 of the group of 25 wanting to tell for the public, and they all were terrific! (Oh, that's good!)
(No, that's bad.) I had to follow the kids and we all know better than to follow kids!

Don't forget Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Dianne H. 7/20/05


62) I wrote this several years ago to tie into a longer puppet play called The Great Dragon Hunt. Instead of going on a bear hunt, try going on a dragon hunt to tie into this year’s SRP theme. Have the audience repeat after every line and fit your actions to the words. Be outrageous and have fun with it. It’s worked well with kids of all ages, especially mixed age groups. Also do you know why dragons sleep during the day? So they can hunt knights.

Going on a dragon hunt,
But I’m not afraid.
I’ve got my sword and shield.
I’ve got my golden crown.

Oh, oh, look ahead,
There’s a deep dark scary forest.
Can’t go over it,
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go around it,
Have to go through it.
Tip toe, tip toe, tip toe.

Going on a dragon hunt,
But I’m not afraid.
I’ve got my sword and shield.
I’ve got my golden crown.

Oh, oh, look ahead,
There’s a wide blue sea.
Can’t go over it,
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go around it,
Have to swim through it. Hold your nose!
Splash splash, splash splash, splash splash.

Going on a dragon hunt,
But I’m not afraid.
I’ve got my sword and shield.
I’ve got my golden crown.

Oh, oh, look ahead,
There’s a huge tall mountain
Can’t go over it,
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go around it,
Have to climb up it.
Puff puff, puff puff, puff puff.
 
Going on a dragon hunt,
But I’m not afraid.
I’ve got my sword and shield.
I’ve got my golden crown.

Oh no, look ahead,
There’s a dark dragon’s cave. Do you suppose that’s the Hall of Flame?
Can’t go over it,
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go around it,
Have to go in it.
Sneak peek, sneak peek, sneak peek.

ROAR! Run, it’s the dragon! (reverse all the steps quickly to arrive back at home)
Or alternative ending --
Snore, there’s the dragon and he’s sleeping. Think he’d like a marshmallow?
Batsy B. 7/20/05

63) The Man Who Loved Dragons is in Margie MacDonald's latest book of Three-Minute Tales: Stories from Around the World to Tell or Read When Time is Short.

64) Query:
I'm looking for one of my favorite books when I was a child, but of course I don't remember the name. What I do remember is the wonderful illustrations and fanciful story: the Chinese emperor is sitting down to his breakfast of a hard boiled egg, when the egg hatches a baby dragon. The dragon becomes the emperor's pet, but difficulties ensue as the dragon grows...published before 1980, but I don't know much more. Can anyone help?
Later post: I found it eventually last night -- The Laughing Dragon. by Kenneth Mahood, published in '69 or '70, and out of print now. Such a funny story...but the story is set in Japan rather than China, so I suspect that is why I have had such difficulty finding it. Used copies were easy to find, though; so my children will soon enjoy the story also!
Katherine W. 2/3/04 and 2/4/06

65) Dragon Fantastic!: The Most Beloved Creature in Fantasy in Stories by Fantasy Masters by Rosalind Greenberg & Martin Greenberg, Editors.
There's No Such Thing as a Dragon (A Golden Classic) by Jack Kent, Golden Press.
There's No Such Thing As a Dragon/Book and Cassette by Jack Kent. Bob S. 2/28/07

66) In the East the Dragon is a nature spirit and bringer of good fortune. In the West the Dragon is usually a terror —a devil that attacks innocent (hey I'm just reporting here. We all know who the innocent one is -the Dragon!) people. Personally I love Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams and I find I recommend it for all sorts of themes. It is out of print but you probably can find it at your local Public Library -the best place for storytellers to hang out! You should also check out Joe Wos' web page -probably linked from SOS for The King Who Loved Dragons.
http://www.onceuponatoon.com/
Wendy G. 2/28/07

67) I have been asked to assist elementary and middle school Gifted & Talented students as they prepare to create visual presentations of Dragons through their skill as visual artists. As a story teller I will be stimulating their imagination by telling stories about the beastie and helping them in thought process to dip into their imagination in order for them to "see" more clearly what they wish to create. I will be working with 30 to 40 students in two different sessions. Each session will be an hour. Do you have any suggestions as to the stories I might share. I find my Dragon cupboard a bit bare at the moment. I am told that not only will I have the freedom to tell, but also engage the listeners in as helpful a manner as possible. It will be a give and take, a mini-workshop. They have been doing research in both the Eastern and Western depiction of these wondrous creatures. As always, I trust that some will find their cupboard replete with the beastie and therefore most helpful to me. I will be meeting with the students in mid April and with the teachers as soon as I am able.
"The Dragon Seeker"
Jim B. 2/28/07

Responses:

a) Dan Keding wrote a wonderful story called The Tear; it is about a dragon and a boy. I have shared it before with Dan's permission. It is on is tape, Promises Kept, Promises Broken. Another tale that children love is The Paperbag Princess (Story Corner) by Robert Munsch, found in any library I am sure.

b) Here is an annotated list of books:
Dragon Stories -- An Annotated List
http://www.fairrosa.info/dragon/index.html

c) Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams could be your theme story. When we used that story with kids in story-theatre workshops nearly thirty years ago, we discovered another character, the High Priest, who has his idea of why a dragon must look like a priest and then leads the chant calling for the great rain dragon to come and save their city.

If you can find the book The Blue Bird by Fiona French, it also has a wonderful rain dragon in it.
Tom & Sandy F. 2/28/07

d) Did you know that the beings called dragon (sárkány) here in Hungary were basicly human? I mean, originally Hungarian drgaons were man-like creatures, living in palaces, they were very strong, had beautiful wives (who eventually always fled with the prince charming:), magic horses and such, and they had one, three, seven or twelve heads... they brought storms and rain. After a while Hungarian culture came in contact with others and now barely anybody knows that Hungarian dragons were not always huge reptiles with several heads... I don't know if it helps or not, but you can count it as a type of the Eastern Dragons.
Macsek 3/1/07

e) I appreciate your response to my inquiry concerning Dragons. Its always an adventure when I am asked to deal with a subject matter that I am both interested in and do not know as much as I want to know about it. And so, Dragons; You say in your country that the Dragons were seen as human as well as beast? Do you know any tales that would depict that and that perhaps I could use? Are there folk tales showing the transition from Dragon to human or human to Dragon? I want to explore as to why Dragons have existence. What is and/or was our need for them in our ancient myths. If I get a sense of that I will be able to add another dimension to my storytelling. I am told that Dragons from the East were more friendly than those from the West. There seems to be more magic and mystery from them and more horror and violence from the West. I really don't know, but this is what I keep getting in my limited research. Any help on this would be most appreciated.
Jim B. 3/15/07

f) This isn't folklore as far as I can tell without a bit of digging, but C.S.Lewis in his The Chronicles of Narnia tales has a selfish boy start to become a dragon. The miserliness of western dragons is what's involved in that case. It's true that western dragons are used traditionally as embodiments of evil. Eastern dragons may cause trouble, but it's because of their power. Eastern dragons are forces of nature -- as fellow dragonlover, Loretta, noted. The wind & rain & trembling earth or fire could all be attributed to dragons. A favorite true anecdote is that when paleontologists went to China they found nothing until they realized the importance of dragons there. When they wondered if anybody knew of any dragon bones, the people pointed them to fossils all over the land.

That brings up the question of origin. Some believe the stories may have come from dinosaurs & pterosaurs, but my favorite story isn't a folk tale at all. It's found in an Alfred Hitchcock book for young people. If I remember correctly it's the anthology called Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum: Twelve Shuddery Stories for Daring Young Readers. Giving just the bones of the story: it starts after the world has been nearly decimated because a professor re-created the dinosaur species. The professor had been fired after lending his reputation to various tabloid claims. He sets out to prove his scientific ability. He realizes that alligators & crocodiles are virtual heart patients because they have incomplete chambers to their hearts, so that they must spend most of their time resting & only exercise in short bursts. He gets a young male & female alligator & does heart surgery. Their growth & playfulness delight him, but he needed progressively larger & stronger quarters. He shows them to his former colleagues & superiors, but they fail to appreciate them & his work. As they grow, protruberances appear which he can't explain. This proves to be wings. His subjects/pets burst out of the factory where they live & have outgrown. While they continue to show affection for him, their power & the fact that they are male & female leads to dragon proliferation & their need to feed, taking the reader back to the original situation where the story opens. (Ages ago I wrote, but never marketed, a book using that premise, but without the death & destruction as it wasn't a horror story.) You might find the middle schoolers & older elementary students get fired up by the story.
LoiS S.K. 3/15/07

Response to f):
The short story in response #67-f (see above) is by Guy Endore, "The Day of the Dragon" (Zoo 2000: Twelve Stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy Beasts, 1973, ed. Jane Yolen; also in Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum, 1965).

Library catalog link - http://sflib1.sfpl.org/record=b1285319~S1

Ted K. 4/8/10


68) Dragon stories:
Alia's Dragon Story, Once Upon a Dragon Egg - StoryTell.
And the Young Shall Lead Them
- Internet.
Cock & the Dragon
- Chinese folktale.
Cooper and the Two Dragons (The) - a Swiss folktale.
Cuelebre (The) - an Austrian legend.
Dragon and George (The) by James Creassey & Tasmasin ColeSent.
Dragon New Year - A Chinese Legend by Kathryn E Dudding from Taiwan Kitchen.
Dragon of the Burning Mountain
- Chinese folktale.
Dragon of the North from the Yellow Fairy Book - Internet.
Dragon Prince (The) - a European legend.
Dragon's Heart by Samantha I Hosea - Internet.
Emperor and the Artist (The) - a Chinese folktale from Barbara the Bard.
Ernest and the Dragon
- Goldfish.com - Internet.
Eyes of the Dragon
- Highlights.
Fredricco and the Dragon
- a Mexican folktale by Carol Connolly.
Gypsy and the Dragon (The) - Russian folktale - Internet.
Jilocasin - a French legend.
Judge (The) - an untrue tale by Harve Zemah.
Land That Time Forgot - Gypsy folktale - Internet.
Li Chi Slays the Serpent - Chinese Folk Tale.
Nonny and the Dragon by Aaron Shepard.
Of Dragons and Tea
by Aubry Thonon - Internet.
Peasant and the Dragon (The)
- Russian folktale.
Summer Dragon (The) by Ken Ransom - Internet.
Tale of Qu Yuan the poet - Dragon Boat Festival racing dragon boats.
Treasures & Trees Dragons & Dreams by Teresa T Bohannon - Internet.


69) These are sites with stories about dragons. The first site has one story, about cooper and dragon that is not complete. The others are complete. Stories are short. Great for a source for building your own tale. The second site is one you can search for any kind of story. Put it in your favorites.
http://www.colba.net/~tempest1/dragons.htm
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts2.html
Just in case you don't know, if you go to a site and then go to *edit* you can select *find on this page* type a word or phrase and you will instantly be taken to that word. The first page has several stories of dragons. Return to the top of the page and click *page 2* and do the search again. You will find St. George and the Dragon.


70) http://www.theserenedragon.net/dragonschart.html
Looking for something else, I happened on this site. While the stories aren't in depth, there are some bones and some references for follow-up.
Granny Sue 2/3/11

Created 2003; last update 6/9/11.

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