And now for dragons with Miranda Twist, our resident dragonoligst — which for those in the dark means that Miranda is an expert on dragons past, present, good /bad, outright evil or just plain confused, perhaps a little unsure of themselves, treading carefully in a world that doesn’t appreciate or understand dragons, in other words, she knows something about every possible kind of dragon that might be found lurking somewhere. Now that you all know what a dragonoligist is , let Miranda introduce you to a host of dragons, starting with Chinese dragons. Later in the year, all her wisdom will be contained in the book she’s madly researching, ‘ An unreliable History of Dragons, Past and Present.’ First a little bit about Miranda herself. Let’s ask her a few questions:
‘When did you first become interested in dragons?’
‘What a question! Like all passions, it began at first sight.’
‘First sight of a dragon?’
‘Well, it certainly looked like one. The way it sat there, curled up, eyes on me, the eyes of demon, and that tail – no bigger perhaps than a mouse, but there it was under my bed.’
‘Under your bed?’
‘Yes, holding in its claws a dust covered sock. It was the beginning of something BIG. I knew it. I was probably four or maybe almost five. And there it was, transfixing me with its stare, thoughtfully taking the sock to bits with its claws. Neither of us said a word. Complete silence. I turned my head, looked again. It had gone but the moment stayed with me. I didn’t know it, but I had become a dragonologist. I was hooked.’
‘Why have you chosen a Chinese dragon as our first dragon?’
‘Because Chinese dragons are wonderfully complicated. It really takes a life time to understand Chinese dragons…’
‘Let us start!’
Interview with a Chinese dragon
It is there , deep in the water , its dark coils just below the surface, it eyes on us, holding our stare. Its tail sweeps slowly, powerfully beneath the surface.
‘ Your name?’
It coils and uncoils.
‘The Black Dragon, Heilong.’
The Black Dragon is mysterious, unknowable, a water creature that likes new ideas but that can be curiously stubborn. Its claws skim the surface.
‘What are you thinking?’
‘Of the darkness deep in the water and its dark forces.’
‘What are you holding?’
‘A pearl. A pearl and a tortoise. Look at the underside of my paws, the paws of a tiger with the claws of an eagle.’
It throws the pearl and the tortoise into the air and catches them quickly, a stream of fire flows from the pearl.
‘Tell us a story!’
‘The story of the Dragon and the Demon.’