Myths / Mythologies / Legends
Domestic and Dwarf Dragon
Archive file# m103199d
donated by James Vandale
Domestic and Dwarf Dragon
Some years ago I happened to visit the german town Heidelberg. At the market I
found a booth with all sorts of ceramic animals - and dragons. There were small
dragons and also big dragons with a wick in their nostrils, which could be used
as a sort of lamp. Looking for a birthday present for my brother, a great
collector of frogs, I purchased a "Heidelberger Tüpfelfrosch" instead of a
dragon (the frog is still in my own collection). Back at home I realized that
the frog was wrapped into a sheet of paper telling the story of the dragons:
European dragons are commonly regarded as brute and wayward beasts. Not so in
Heidelberg. There dragons were part of everyday life. Their eggs were commonly
found in the river Neckar. People collected them, hatched and raised the
dragons. The young dragons became loyal keepers and protectors of the house.
Additionally they helped to light the hearth - remember, there were no matches
at that time! Of course every blacksmith owned a dragon.
People living near the river Neckar, and especially fishermen preferred the
water-loving female dragons. Only male dragons were able to fly. They were
preferred by farmers and wine-growers. Old legends even tell about dragon-riders
- who knows? Female dragons were very intelligent. There are reports, that some
of them were capable of the human language. They were beloved by wise women,
alchimists and sorcerers, and scholars, who often had philosophical discourses
with their dragons.
People inhabiting only small rooms kept dwarf dragons. In this species both
sexes had wings. Their eggs were commonly found on the sunny hillsides in the
vicinity of Heidelberg.
Christianity brought an end to these good old habits - the keeping of a domestic
dragon. Clergymen interpreted dragons as an offspring of hell and prohibited any
contact with these animals. Disobediance was rigorously punished.
© MCMXCVIII by J. Georg Friebe
Custos Musei Naturalis Historiae Vorarlbergensis, Dornbirn (Austria)
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