10

On Dragons, By Dragons (Part 1)

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Donnie Dragon came home from school and found his father working on the garden.

Dad: How was school today?

Donnie: Okay.

Dad: Did you learn anything interesting?

Donnie: Sorta. We learned that humans don’t believe in dragons. Why don’t they believe in us?

Dad: I guess because we’re invisible.

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Donnie: But we weren’t always invisible. Great-grandpa said that he knew a human.

Dad: Dragons live a long time. Much longer than humans. My grandpa’s human friend has been dead for a very, very long time.

Donnie: But people wrote about dragons. Why don’t they believe that?

Dad: Humans are strange creatures. If they can’t find evidence that something existed, they don’t believe it did. They think their ancestors made up the stories to explain something they didn’t understand.

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Donnie: Is that why they believe in dinosaurs?

Dad: Yes; there are many bones left from dinosaurs. But our bones turn to ash when we die. It’s in their dirt, but they don’t know it.

Donnie: So, they don’t know that we were alive then or that we are still around?

Dad: That’s right.

Donnie: Why can’t they see us?

Dad: We had to become invisible, so they didn’t destroy us all.

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He began to tell the story of dragons and the humans to Donnie at bedtime.

A long, long time ago, dragons lived in almost everywhere in Europe and Asia. There were thousands of us. And many varieties. Some even lived on the ground. There were no humans at the beginning.

When the humans arrived, we were afraid that they were going to start bothering us. Sure enough, the ground dragons were hunted as food.

The survivors climbed the mountains where it was safer. They started marrying the flying dragons, and the land dragons disappeared.

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More and more humans appeared. They respected us and left us alone. But they were curious and soon wanted to learn more.

They started to climb the hills and mountains to look in our caves. They even took some of our children to study.

The fire-breathers were safer than the others, so we developed into one fire-breathing species. The humans continued to be interested in us.

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The interest was different in the East than it was in the West. Unfortunately, both ended badly for us.

In China and East Asia, we were highly respected. They understood our control of water and our strength. The Emperors used us as a symbol of power.

Dragons and humans lived peacefully together for a long time.

Dad looked over and saw that Donnie had fallen asleep. The rest of the story was for another night.

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To be continued.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

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8

Easter Dinos? Seriously?

The store has an interesting ad running over the public address system. I don’t remember the exact words, but it says something like, “Chocolate bunnies are nice but why not do something a little more special? Give an Easter basket full of toys this year.” They are trying to get people to buy those cellophane-wrapped baskets that are in the center aisle of most stores this time of year.

I think they’re sending us down a slippery slope. If you give your child a basket full of toys this year, will he want to pick out what toys he wants next year? Then he will want cash because he doesn’t play with toys anymore. Or your daughter will want a new sweater. Before you know it, we’ll have Christmas in December and also in the spring.

Of course, they think that Jesus was actually born in the spring…..

As a chocolate addict, I’m probably prejudiced. But chocolate has no age limit. I asked my teenagers if they were too old for Easter baskets this year. They said they didn’t need the baskets, but still wanted the chocolate. My mother made Easter baskets for us well after the Easter Bunny stopped coming by the house.

Of course, Easter candy has degenerated some too. It used to be that the stuff in the basket had at least a passing relation to the holiday. Chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans. I guess jelly beans are a bit of a stretch – are they supposed to represent eggs?

Now the candy section has Nerds and Smarties and Airheads and all sorts of generic candy. Maybe they’re going for a run against Halloween. Wouldn’t it be great if Easter became some sort of cross between Halloween and Christmas? Conspicuous consumption and gluttony. What could be more American?

Actually, when the kids were little, I put together Easter baskets and topped them with a stuffed animal. It worked out well. My son’s favorite animal was a rabbit. Back then, Easter was the only time you could find them. (Once he outgrew it, they were everywhere.) You had a choice of three animals: lambs, bunnies, and calves. Logical. All springtime animals.

Our display is expanded. You can get puppies, kittens, pigs, cows (adult), or pretty much any animal you might want.  My favorite are the stuffed dinosaurs. Are they included because they come from eggs so were probably born in the spring? Out of some sense that reptiles were not adequately represented in the Easter menagerie? Or is someone really confused and thinks there might have been a few hanging around Jerusalem a couple thousand years ago?

Speaking of animals, there’s still time to get your small pet their outfit for the Easter parade. They have furry ones if your dog or cat wants to be a chick or a bunny. They have butterfly wings. (It seems those were around at Halloween, but I could be confused.) There are also raincoats in the same display. I guess they wear it over the outfit if it rains on Easter.

There is an accessory with a picture of a cat on the hanger. It goes around the neck and looks like a clown collar made of tulle. At the points of the tulle are little bells. The cats I know (and have known) would be out of it before the bells would be of any use in announcing their presence.

Nothing for hedgehogs. Probably has something to do with the quills.

Our cats will be sleeping away most of Easter (like every other day), so I’m saving that money. I can spend it on molds to make Easter goodies (as the box says). These look like small cakes or cookies that then get decorated with fondant and icing. Which makes them more work than Christmas cookies.

There’s a cute cake pan. It says it’s for making a 3-D cake in the shape of a lamb. Aren’t all cakes 3-D? The problem with that type of cake is that you can’t slather frosting on them. You have to use a pastry tube to cover it with little rosettes of frosting. Various colors of frosting.

Thinking all this through is giving me a headache. I’m going to go eat some Cadbury eggs (the really, really sweet ones that look like they have a yolk inside) and fall into a sugar coma. I’m sure someone will wake me in time for church on Sunday.