17 Feb 2012


Following on from my LAMBTON WORM post (grief was that really 2 weeks ago?) what else could I write about for my next folk lore post if not dragons?

 Dragons as defined by Dictionary.Com are .......
  • A mythical monster generally represented as a huge, winged reptile with crested head and enormous claws and teeth, and often spouting fire.
  • Archaic . a huge serpent or snake.
  • Bible . a large animal, possibly a large snake or crocodile, Satan.
  • a fierce, violent person, my Home Economics teacher (OK, so I made that last one up).

No need to tell you of the physical features of a dragon as I'm pretty certain that most of you will be able to picture one BUT did you know ..........

  • They have a special love of terrifying young girls, putting them off cooking for the rest of their lives - sorry, I'm thinking of my Home Economics teacher again.
  • They have an amazing sight being able to see up to a mile away or even further, a perfect sense of smell, and fantastic hearing which makes them capable of hearing sound waves too low for the human ear.
  •  They are said to eat only once a month, myth having them prefer a McDonalds Happy Meal young female virgin ..... why this is n one seems to know but I like this answer given by Miss Dementia on Yahoo Answers: A virgin would be young and everyone knows that young meat is better tasting than something that's been kicking around so long it gets old, grizzled and tough. Dragons, being unfamiliar with the culinary technique known as "braising", therefore prefer the young, tender meat so they can give it a quick blast and it's ready to eat.
  • They can change colour.
  • They are able to breath fire by devouring the bones of their prey which, when digested, mix with the stomach acid of the dragon producing hydrogen which is stored in the bones until needed.
  • In  its mouth a dragon has a Thor's Thimble which, when flexed, creates an electrical spark which ignites the hydrogen producing brilliant flames.
  • Eating a dragons heart is said to give the individual the power of understanding birds, whilst eating the dragons' tongue enables the person to win any argument, and rubbing the dragons' blood on skin will protect against stab wounds.
  • Some legends have it that the only way to truly kill a dragon s to burn it at the stake  - yum tasty.

Entering the English language in the earlier part of the 13th century, the word dragon comes from the Latin draconem meaning huge serpent, from the Greek drakon (giant seafish).

Evolving separately whilst, at the same time, influencing each other, there are two distinct cultural traditions  - the European dragon and the Chinese dragon - today I'll be taking a look at one dragon in particular, today I'll be taking a look at Nidhogg (the tearer of corpses).

A powerful dragon, found in Norse mythology, Nidhogg lives at the roots of Yggdrasill (the Tree of The World), and it is said feeds on the bodies of the dead at Hvergelmirin, a spring which is the source of the rivers of the world.

When not feeding upon the dead Nidhogg gnaws at the root of Yggdrasill and sends taunting messages to the eagle perched in its high branches via the squirrel Ratatosk (Old Norse word meaning drill-tooth) who in turn brings the eagles taunts back to Nidhogg.

In the act of gnawing the root, Nidhogg joins the four stags Dainn, Dvalinn, Duneyr and Durathor (Representing the four seasons?) who graze the leaves and bark of Yggdrasill higher up.

Nidhogg rises at Ragnarok (the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water), bringing up the corpses of the dead to join battle. The dragon however survives to continue its existence in the new order that follows. Sources have suggested that Nidhogg's continued presence in the new world is to provide an evil balance to the new good.
- Monstropedia.Com

Not that all dragons belong to the myths of times long gone you understand, certain books and animated films have once again made them popular ......  to say nothing of certain computerised fantasy games which have seen the advent of creatures such as Faerie Dragons.

Though not related to actual dragons, I had to include these cute little critters as an example of how the 'dragon' has changed and modified over the years.

The rarest of all dragons, faerie dragons (also known as sprites or blink dragons) have a feathery antennae sprouting from their head, wings that are moth like and turquoise scales that shimmer and, far form eating young virgins, are actually vegetarians.

Long used by Night Elves (Hmm, another character for my folk lore posts?), though Faerie Dragons are only small, they police the Emerald Dream (a vast, forever changing spirit world) from magic with their unique ability to phase out of reality ..... a skill that requires a great deal of energy and means that the dragon has to rest between times, it is probably for this reason that, unlike the traditional dragon, they travel in groups.


chitra said...

This is the first folk lore post I am reading. Not able to visit anyone because of severe power cuts here. Just came to say Hello. Read hurriedly through the post as the power dragon will eat me soon.
tc PW. It's been a long time.

Patti said...

Very timely, as I'm about to write a dragon scene.

naida said...

Thanks for sharing the dragon folklore Tracy. It does seem like your home ec teacher was quite the meanie...lol

Mama Zen said...

This is really cool! I'm going to tell my daughter about Thor's Thimble and impress her with my dragon knowledge.

John McElveen said...

FANTASTIC!!!!!!!! Great Witty post--I'm still smiling!

Have a great weekend!


carol said...

Now dragons are one mythical creature we are very familiar with at our house. My daughter LOVES them.

Suko said...

Fun, fun post! I learned many facts about dragons and faerie dragons.

Kelly said...

Wow, she must have really made an impression on your! (your Home-Ec teacher, that is)

This was very interesting and I was especially facinated by the reasoning behind their being able to breathe fire. Makes sense. ;)

Jenners said...

So much I didn't know! I want a fairy dragon!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

DRAGONS! There is no way I would believe they would eat a McDonald's happy meal. Virgins... maybe... McDonalds... no way. LOL

Alexia561 said...

Fascinating post! I love the idea of dragons, so thanks for the history! Wasn't aware of Nidhogg, as Norse mythology isn't one of my strong suits. Well done!

Arti said...

What an elaborate post on a fascinating subject.
And Home Economics teacher, LOL, did we not feel about some of our teachers that way!!!!
Have a wonderful weekend Tracy:)

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

thanks for the smiles, tracy!

brilliant post!thanks for the history as well.


Sridharan said...

Very interesting facts about dragons...!

anilkurup said...

A Loch Ness monster with wings ha !

Pretty good general knowledge that you gather.