Dragons! (Part 2)

Dragons have been on my mind lately. I wrote my first Dragon short story and I will submit it to an anthology. (Fingers, and dragon wings, crossed for good luck with the story.) So here’s part 2 of my Monsters Meditation on Dragons.

Dragons are on the MONSTER MENU Today!

I’m very fond of Dragon-hunting in the Asian and Islamic Art Collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dragons are EVERYWHERE! They are dishes, vases, scrolls, bowls, furniture, swords, helmets and more. There’s even a wonderful dragon-handled bronze jug in the recently renovated Islamic Art collection. It is absolutely beautiful and was made sometime in the late 15th/early 16th century in what is now Afghanistan. It’s a treasure.

For a long time, I’ve been a fan of Chinese dragons. Many years ago my mother made two wall hangings for me. The design for one of them is a dragon adapted from a Chinese rug pattern. I love it.

There are dragons on some of my blue & white dishes (the others have fish or flowers). And one of the very few custom-tailored items of clothing I own is a boned-bodice (corset top) made of green, Chinese silk with gold dragons. It’s not the kind of thing you wear all the time, but it’s wonderful for dressing up for big occasions.

Yes. I like dragons.

In Chinese iconography dragons represent the emperor and imperial power. Imperial buildings are filled with dragon decorations. Chinese dragons are fearsome and powerful. They control rainfall and turn up in all sorts of stories.

There’s one I find particularly appealing for its psychological insights. It’s about a Lord who loved dragons. He thought about them all the time and surrounded himself with dragon images. His obsessive love of dragons drew an actual dragon’s attention and when the dragon visited him he died of fright. With one dragon wall hanging, a few dragon plates and one beautiful top — I think I’m safe from a real dragon visit.


  1. I have fewer dragons around me than I used to. I will say though the tattoo I would like to eventually add to my collection is a dragon whose tail starts on my left hand traveling up my arm and finishing on my back. It is a big one that will take many sessions. It is good to dream.

  2. I love dragons too. Of all the mythical beasts, dragons seem to be most human – terrible, dangerous, and smart. Perhaps we fashioned them in our own image. 🙂

    @ Jon… I’m sure your dragon tattoo will be quite beautiful but…-shudder-… needles are not my thing, at all.

    • Candy

      Our own image — on steroids with scales!
      What’s not to love… unless they are breathing fire. That part is, well, scary.

  3. It’s funny how many different cultures have tales of dragons. It’s odd in view of what dragons are supposed to do, hoard gold, eat virgins etc, just how popular they are. But what wonderful representations we can still get in ancient and modern pottery and art. My bro has a great collection of pottery dragons and since lastChristmas, a dressing gown covered in Chinese dragons.
    Just in case a collection does catch their attention I’ll stick with just the one
    y ddraig goch, The Red Dragon of Wales.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Candy

      One of the best things about dragons is this cross cultural aspect. One of the theories, perhaps for a dragons part 3, is that fossilized dragon skeletons were found by all sorts of ancient peoples and were transformed into mythical beasts.

      I love this idea! What a great way to explain that truly strange and gigantic — monstrous — skeleton imbedded in a mountain side or deep in a cave that was once, eons before, a river bed.

  4. I was really blown away by the number of stories my creative writing students wrote which featured dragons in some way. For a lot of them, the creation of a dragon for their story seemed to be a way to find a voice. There’s nothing like a fire-breathing dragon to help find one’s way!

    • Candy

      For me the dragon is about flying and a sense of freedom.
      But those fire-breathers are wonderfully fierce so I can see where a creative voice would be born in that kind of flames.