Storytime with Shantelle – Not Without My Dragon

It’s strange how dragons seem to be the new phenomenon now days. We have How to train your dragon‘, ‘Eragon‘, ‘Artemis Fowl and even ‘Game of Thrones’ got in on the act although that involved missing hands and multiple cide cases (fraticide, patricide, sororicide-sister kills sister, tempting, and the truly horrible, matricide- mum gets it) Upon asking my two primary aged sons why dragons are so zeitgeist at the mo it seems they are just freakin’ cool!! The ultimate killing machine, deadly, unstoppable, lethal and yet, with a gentle side. My boys assure me that if I bought them a pet dragon (I plan to) their sheer versatility would amaze me. Not only can they toast, roast, fry, fly but they are sweet and lovable as well. When they bring in the neighbour’s pitbull and drop what ‘s left of him at your door, you must pat and encourage him. As you watch your house become a wall of flame and your native garden a blazing inferno, think of the joy a new pet brings.

You may scoff at my perilous claims but I can assure you numerous authors uphold my belief. In Steve Light’s ‘Have you seen my Dragon?‘, he allows his giant reptile to roam New York city, catching buses, eating hot dogs, squeezing his scaly self onto the park slide. This dragon visited a magazine stall purely for the joy of reading. Even my own kids don’t do that. The book’s artwork reminds me of the old pen and ink drawings done by old school cartoonists with their withering newspaper satire.

This dragon is a metro dragon and definitely worth a read. 

index

Dragons follow etiquette as well. In Valeri Gorbachev’sHow to be friends with a Dragon‘, there are strict rules to follow in regards to dragon companions. You can’t merely crash in on a basilisk and put your feet on the coffee table, demand lunch and then leave the toilet seat up on your way out. A dragon must be sweetly complimented; wooed almost. The main character Simon, is a little boy who understands the gentle approach. He speaks softly, offers flowers and duly admires dragon ancestors and culinary delights. The social rules are adhered too.

This dragon is a soulful tarrogon

friendly dragon

Of course, royalty is synonymous with dragons. Kings, queens, moats, drawbridges; the brave and true knight. My kids love this game and supportive mum that I am, I let them tip over the sofa (castle), flood the lounge (moat), stick cardboard scales on the dog (dragon), and dress my husband in tights with huge bells attached to his nikes (court jester and probable dead body after bloody mauling). The character of King Jack in Peter Bentley’s and Helen Oxenbury’s ‘King Jack and the Dragon’ is as intrepid and bold as I am. He fights dragons and beasts and even when his fearless friends go to fight in greener pastures (mum drags them home for a bath) he is resolute. However, nightfall comes and our king becomes a bit nervous and shaky. Shadows lengthen and owls hoot from rustling leaves.  A dragon lurks in the nether. As all good kings do, Jack goes home to a warm bath and a cosy bed.

His dragon is banished to the shadows.

king jack

Of course, in order to keep dragons from passing into mythical lore and to allow them a front and centre position in our lives, we must sing and even bake to honour them. Dressing them up is allowed as well:

  • throw an old dress over one and add a bit of lippy. No more lonely nights for you.
  • let your dragon put on some serious weight and it’s a bean bag for your kids.
  • train your dragon to attack on command then encourage your kids to misbehave.

If these golden suggestions don’t tempt you, sing at the top of your lungs.

Puff the Magic Dragon

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Little Jackie paper loved that rascal puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whene’r they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Dragons live forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant strings make way for other toys.
One sad night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Finally, if all else fails, cook – Dragon Egg’s
Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

  2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat until meringue is thick and glossy. Add vanilla and cornflour. Beat briefly to combine.

  3. Gently fold through coconut. When almost combined, add food colouring. Finish folding through coconut (don’t over mix – colour should stay a bit streaky)

  4. Spoon level tablespoonfuls of mixture in egg shapes onto trays. Allow room for spreading. Press a jelly bean into the centre of each meringue, making sure the jelly bean is covered with meringue.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until starting to colour. Remove from oven. Stand on trays for 10 minutes or until firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Remember, you’ve only got your dragon for a small time (150-200 years) so enjoy them. What’s left of your neighbourhood will bloom like summer rose.

If you have a favourite dragon’s tale to share with us please comment below.


Shantelle

Author: Shantelle

Hi, I used to be the Youth Services Librarian for Coobellup Library. My role included running Story time, Creative Kids sessions and Lego Club. I really enjoyed my time working for Cockburn Libraries. Shantelle

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Storytime with Shantelle – Not Without My Dragon

by Shantelle time to read: 6 min
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