Sunday, 21 August 2011

legendary creatures or there be dragons here

I was reading about the discovery of a new dinosaur fossil that will take its scientific nomenclature from the legends of tormenting dragons that primative finds possibly inspired in the first place. The mythological beast, the Cyclopes, was also probably inspired by discoveries of the skulls of mammoths by ancient Europeans who did not know how to interpret an elephant relative’s remains. I was reminded of my own find while climbing the arid sands of the Great Wandering Dune of Pyla. I thought it was the bleached skull of a little dragon, but upon discovering more, I later realized it was probably the vertebrae of some real animal instead. I still like my little dragon skull, and behind it there is a white holey stone called an Adder stone (oder ein Hühnergott), a rock worn down by time and tide, and which was a talisman or charm for ancient people. 
I always kind of felt sorry for the dragon that Saint George slew. One sees the saint vanquishing the beast depicted quite a lot on the arms of villages, counties and countries (so one gets the opportunity to reflect on such things all the time), but I think that this popular mascot was just a bully. The dragon was probably a gentle and misunderstood beast, maybe a scapegoat--and the last of its kind. Though I am sure a lot of national heralds were displeased to find their patron delisted, I thought it was kind of appropriate that Pope John Paul II, however respecting traditions, desanctified St. George for being as mythical as the monster he killed.