Dragons and the Fae: Myths and Misunderstandings

I wrote this essay a long, long time ago for one of my writing classes. My writing has improved since then, but it is a fun essay, and I thought you might enjoy it.

Happy Reading!

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    As the knight rode up the hill, he watched the skies for the loathsome dragon. It had burned a farm in the area a few days before. The horse suddenly reared, and the knight finally looked down at the road ahead. There, in the middle of the path, was the dragon.

    The tales of dragons in the Western World depict the creature as ferocious and evil. Yet very few people have heard an undistorted dragon tale, so how do we know the true character of the giant animals? Has anyone ever looked at the dragon’s side of the story? It is like when two children are fighting, and one says that the toy belongs to her, but the other says that he was playing with it first. A knight may have stolen treasure from the dragon, and the dragon might have retaliated by taking the king’s daughter. Perhaps the dragon might have been trying to teach the princess a lesson, and the knight misconstrued the whole thing. 

    Dragons look like a mixture of a snake, a lizard, and a bat. Their snouts are normally depicted as short and v-shaped. Some dragons have horns on the top of their head, and on each side there are two oval eyes that glow red when a dragon is about to breath fire. Dragon flames wreak havoc nearly everywhere, as do the wings. Most dragons have strong, powerful wings that can carry them great distances. 

    People dread and dislike dragons because of their terrible appearance and greedy personalities. Fairies, however, are thought of with great happiness. People consider fairy-folk to be merry, kind little twinklings of light who take care of nature and princesses who need help. Yet, as men change histories, so too can they change the perception of the character of the good folk.

    Dragons are depicted as sly and cunning, tricking people in order to eat them. The sprites and pixies have played numerous pranks on humans, laughing all the while. Where does the dragon obtain its gold? It steals the precious metal, of course. Fairies have stolen too, and the worst kind of thieving. They take babies from their mothers and replace the bonny human infants with the grotesque fairy ones.

    A dragon’s hoard is filled with riches, and it never gives its gold up. Do any of the sidhe hide their treasure, refusing to share with mortals? Yes, the Leprechaun conceals his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so that man can never reach it. The dragon’s curse falls upon riches on which the dragon has lain, yet with the strength of mind the evil can be conquered. An evil fairy’s curse is more evil and cunning, however, and rarely can be solved without the aid of another. Dragons’ breath will destroy anything in its path, and sidhe magic is the terror of peace. 

    I know two dragons. One keeps watch over the stuffed animal kingdom, and the other freezes giant spiders for a child I am acquainted with. Both creatures offer excellent advice, and they allow me to fly with them. Puff the Magic Dragon played with Jackie Taylor without burning the child, and the dragon I mentioned earlier bonded with the knight over their hard lives. It turns out that the dragon didn’t burn the farm down. The ogre next door accidentally started the fire. Much of history is distorted in this way, so you have to look at all sides of the story to get the whole truth. Many people don’t take the time to research the subject, however, and therefore paint very different pictures of the sidhe and the dragons compared to their true form.

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