Guest Dragon Author, Cathy Sosnowski…


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Today, I am pleased to step out of the way and turn the Nest over to another spinner of Dragon yarns, Cathy Sosnowski and a soupçon from her book, Dragon Fire.

My name is Cathy Sosnowski, and I have been a writer and a storyteller all my life. It has only been over the past ten years I seriously began to put material together for publishing, for myself, my friends, and the children I teach.

Several years ago, as part of an English lesson for first graders, I began writing about an orphaned Christmas elf that got accidentally delivered to the home of a little girl on Christmas day. I enjoyed working out the details of riding the edge between fantasy and reality.Overtime, the one book became ten related stories, branching out into the realm of elves, dwarfs, fairies, pixies, and of course, dragons.

The excerpt I am sharing is from my first dragon story, DRAGON FIRE. There is a companion piece entitled JOURNEYS, which continues the tale, and a later story, HALF LIGHT, which includes more of the dragon story.

I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 37 years, love gardening,  photography, reading fantasy, British literature, historical fiction, movies, and new age music. In 2014, I self-published a book entitled KOI GIRLS, which was about 5 girls who overcome the anguish of being bullied by joining together, supporting each other, and developing their individuality.

I’m an avid Facebook-er, and enjoy meeting people from all over the world. I’ve been married to my husband for 27 years, and have one son who loves to write as well.

Hope you enjoy my work!

Cathy Sosnowski


Dragon Fire  


CHAPTER FOUR: Glowing Is Good

Franklin stopped dead in his tracks.

He turned and looked at Drummon with dread in his eyes.

“Did you break into the chamber?” Franklin asked, his voice was cold as steel.

“No, we weren’t sure what to do. We wanted to ask you first.” Rom said, wondering why the leader was suddenly so still.

“Creator be praise,” Franklin whispered under his breath. “Tell them to stop. Leave the ‘drive’ immediately.”

“What do you think it is?” breathed Rom in wonder and the beginnings of fear.

“I don’t know but I want to be very careful. Tell them… now!” Franklin ordered.

Rom trotted back toward the mine with Franklin’s message.

A crowd was gathering around the mouth of the mine as Franklin approached.

Igo came to the surface and made his way to Franklin.

“Never seen anything like it in all my years! The tunnel wall fell away a bit at the bottom and a golden light leaked out onto the floor where it was broken away.” Igo reported.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Franklin looked at Raiden and told her to make her way back to camp.

“Why?” she protested hotly.

“Now! Do as you are told!” he commanded.

Raiden shot her father an angry look and turned away from the mine, kicking rocks as she went.

Drummon’s heart was pounding. Was it possible? A treasure chamber! Could there be something guarding it? Could there, dear Creator! Could there be a dragon?

Miners were clambering up from the tunnels all gabbing with excitement. Dragons never crossed their minds. Franklin had never mentioned… the curse.

Dwarves were hard workers, their lives hammered out in the harsh reality of physical things. They did not waste their time trying to foresee the future or wondering about the past, unless it was a piece of information that could make their work safer or better. They did not rely much on labor saving devices, since labor was their first love.boulder-opal

Their lives were set squarely on the present and they solved problems as they went along. Dire omens, spooky curses were as nothing to them.

But for Franklin, his present was fast becoming a nightmare. He was covered in cold sweat as he crawled through the drives toward the spot where the light had been seen.

His mind was combing through things he had heard about dragons and the only thing he remembered for sure was “…if they were glowing, they wouldn’t be throwing, flames at you”. This silly piece of Dwarfling poetry made him laugh morbidly to himself thinking that THIS was all he had to rely on in such a life and savage death situation!

As he neared the end of the tunnel he saw it: a tiny pool of golden light coming from the crack at the base.

“No, no, no, no…” was all he could think now. He crawled closer, tried with all his might to see through the crack to know what was on the other side. He was too large to get into a good position and he greatly feared knocking any more of the wall down between him and, hopefully, a sleeping dragon.

When dragons were trapped in such a chamber, they generally fell into a type of hibernation or suspended animation until they were awakened. Then, once awakened, they were voraciously hungry and desperately thirsty and, well, you didn’t want to be directly in their path.

He crawled back carefully then called for Darian. Of all the dwarves present, Darian was the slenderest, even more so than Raiden. He would be able to maneuver better than anyone else.

Darian ran to the mine and shimmied through the tunnels with the speed of a weasel.

His eyes were filled with the light of adventure and pleasure at being able to be useful to his father, whom he loved.

Franklin swallowed hard seeing that light, understanding everything and knowing he was putting his beloved son in the face of unspeakable danger.

“I need you to move around and look through that crack and tell me what you see,” Franklin said with a waver in his voice.

“It’d be easier if we made the hole bigger, Father,” Darian said trying to be helpful.

“Yes, I know,” Franklin said now with a tremor in his hands, “But I don’t know what’s there. If it is not safe…” he nearly choked on the word, “then… I don’t want to open it up,” sweat was forming on his brow and beginning to run into his eyes, stinging them, making them tear.

“All right, Father,” Darian said. He squirmed around and around until finally, he got his eye close enough to peer through the hole…

“It’s a big room, Father,” he said in a hushed voice. “It’s all aglow with a yellow light.”

He squirmed a little more and said, “Oh, Father!”

Franklin was almost ready to cry out, “Is there a dragon?”

“Father, the walls are covered with the most beautiful opals in the world! Huge perfect, black, fire opals!”

Franklin’s heart skipped a beat. If that were true, his plan would be complete! Daria would have all the opals she could ever want. She could sell them to the highest bidders! Their lives would be set!

Darian squirmed a little more, then gasped! Franklin’s breathing and heart stopped…

Darian sat bolt upright with stark fear on his face.

Franklin grabbed the lad, thinking he might lose consciousness.

“What is it?” Franklin whispered savagely and shook Darian slightly.

Darian looked like a baby with large confused eyes, looking at his beloved father as if he knew him not.

“Darian!” his father barked hoarsely like a command. “Tell me what you saw!”

“Dragon,” Darian whispered and sobbed. “Father,” his voice was soft and shaky, “ there… is …a sleeping dragon…”



CHAPTER FIVE: Do We Stay or So We Go?

Franklin dragged Darian out of the mine. When the miners and Drummon saw their faces, especially Darian who looked like he was about to collapse, their questions flew loud and fast.

“Enough!” screamed Franklin. “Back to camp!” Drummon rushed to his side and helped him carry Darian back. Raiden ran out crying with confusion seeing her brother in such an extreme state. “What happened!”

Drummon and Franklin got Darian to a cot and laid him down.

“Your brother has had an awful shock. Care for him!” And with that, he left the tent and went to answer the turmoil outside.

Raiden turned tearfully to Drummon and asked, “What is going on?”

“I don’t know yet,” he said in his most calming voice. “Care for your brother now and the rest will… take care of itself, you’ll see.”

Raiden found some comfort in his words. The lack of panic in his voice reassured her enough to concentrate on Darian. “Besides, I might be able to find out from him…” she thought to herself.

Franklin faced what he expected to be a mob outside. Surprisingly, they were silent and listening.

“Clansmen, I’ll get right to the point. There is a dragon…”

A gasp came from the crowd. Even for plain speaking dwarves, that was blunt!

“It is not awakened, but we cannot be sure it will remain asleep,” he paused. “Also,” they all turned wondering what else would matter, “the chamber is lined with huge, perfect opals.”

For almost anyone else, opals or no, it was clear it was time to leave. But this was a clan of mining dwarves. Perfect fire opals weighed heavy on the “maybe we should stay and figure something out” scale.

“The dragon glows, it is at rest as you know,” he said lamely with a wan smile.sleepingdragon

“There should be some sort of guard,” one burly miner said.

“Indeed, and should that soul be unfortunate to be close by when Draco awakens, he’ll have the honor of being the way Draco’s fast is broken.” Franklin said.

A murmur went through the crowd. Some decided to leave. They were young and had many other mines to work. Franklin bid them farewell with full understanding and thanks for their labor. He also allowed them to pick their share from the already sorted opals.

Others wondered what they might do to distract the dragon. Then they could retrieve the priceless, opal in the chamber, which they now considered their rightful property.

After long debates, they decided to move their camp farther away from the mine under the protection of trees and close to small caves. They posted sentries for the night and planned to think about the possibilities before they made their final decisions.

Franklin checked in on his son and found he had recovered and was filling his sister in on everything. He explained to them that the mine was off limits and that they would probably be breaking camp soon.

“But, Father!” Raiden interjected. “If the opals are as splendid as Darian says, shouldn’t we be thinking of ways to get rid of the dragon or at least distract it until we get the jewels? After all, it is OUR mine and we put a lot of work into it already!”

“Well… technically, if the beast was here first, it would be the rightful owner…” Darian began, ever one to see both sides of a situation.

“Are you crazy?” Raiden retorted. “What does a dragon need with opals anyway? It doesn’t even look at them! It’s asleep, for goodness sakes, Darian!”

“I’m just saying that it might not see it that way…” Darian tried to explain.

“Who cares what a comatose dragon thinks, anyway,” Raiden ranted.

“YOU might, if it woke up and decided you’d make a tasty breakfast, and I guarantee you he won’t care what YOU think about it either,” Franklin butted in. “Besides, there is still some talk about finding a way around this, but I am making it CLEAR that you two are to stay HERE, while WE make up our minds. I want you safe as possible until your mother comes and we’ll decide about you then.”

“I’m staying,” Raiden declared, her jade green eyes glinting hard with resolution.

“We’ll SEE,” her father rejoined sounding more authoritative than he felt. Raiden was as self- willed as her mother.

This thought gave Franklin a jab in his heart. So many showdowns with Daria. So many nights arguing with her in vain, the same stubborn set of the eyebrows and mouth. Daria had won more of those matches than he would ever want to count. And yet… even as she stormed out, usually victorious, he could not help the smile that teased his lips and the admiration of her strength.

Raiden saw the change in her father’s expression. She knew he was thinking of her mother now. Before long, she would be forgotten and her mother would get all the attention. This was fine with Raiden because then she would be free to plot!

Late that night, Raiden crept into her brother’s tent and woke him from a sound sleep.

“What’s wrong!” he said with alarm, his voice breaking, thick with sleep.

“Shhhh!” she whispered hastily. “I only want to wake YOU and not everybody in camp!”

“Why am I so lucky?” he grouched rubbing his hands over his face to chase the mental cobwebs away.

“Because you’re going to take me to the dragon!” she whispered excitedly, her eyes aglow with mischief and adventure.



CHAPTER SIX: Because It’s There        

Darian argued with Raiden using every logical and sensible reason he or any other sane dwarf would think of for staying put. Raiden watched him with a delighted smile on her lips, as if he were a cute, baby dwarfling babbling nonsense.

She waited patiently until he finished and then handed him his boots and said, “Let’s get going before the morning crew gets started!”

“Raiden! Haven’t you heard a word I said?” Darian demanded.

Raiden stopped dead in her tracks, put her hands on her hips, stared him directly in his eyes and said, “So you are going to let me go all by myself?”

It was Darian’s turn to stop dead in his tracks. “Are you serious?” he asked in disbelief.

“I’m going whether you come or not. I just want a peek at what we’re dealing with. I’m afraid Father will pull out and leave all that fabulous opal to rot in a hole because he won’t take the time to figure out a way around one, shabby, mangy, sleeping lizard!” she shot back at him.

“What do you care? Why is it such a big deal to you?” Darian asked. “Father already has a great haul of opal. Why do we need more?” Darian demanded.

“Because it’s THERE! Because it’s OUR MINE!  Because we’ve worked TOO HARD! Because WE DESERVE IT! Take your pick!” she replied hands waving emphatically as she spoke.

“Raiden…” Darian began.

“Good night!” she said as she turned to leave, honey blonde hair whipping around as she headed for the tent flap, taking the light with her.

“Raiden, wait,” he whispered loudly, grabbing his shoes and trying to put them on as he chased after her disappearing figure, following the bobbling lantern light.

Raiden dimmed her lantern as she got closer to the mine peeking behind her, smiling broadly because she could hear Darian’s crunching steps trying to catch up with her. Her heart pounded with excitement, and was not sure whether it was about seeing a dragon or seeing the legendary opal treasure room.

When he finally caught up, winded and angry, she preempted his tirade by asking, “Which “drive” is it?”

“Raiden,” he panted breathlessly.

“WHICH IS IT?” she demanded.

Darian, with true regret, pointed.

Raiden wasted no time and scurried down the tunnel with Darian at her heels anguishing that trouble was waiting for them headlong and they were RUNNING TO IT!opal-mine-coober-pedy

Then Darian heard Raiden gasp! “Darian, I see it, the golden light! It’s here!”

“Shhh! Raiden, for Creator’s sake, keep it down!”

All he could hear was Raiden’s suppressed giggle as she scooted to the floor and tried to see into the crack at the base from which the liquid light poured.

“I’m going to make this hole a little bigger so I can get a better view,” she whispered.

Dread poured over Darian and his knees shook so badly he had to get down on them so he would not fall.

“Don’t… Raiden, please… don’t” he kept whispering to himself since it was hopeless to tell her.

“Darian,” she breathed in a long exhalation not knowing quite what to say at the sight before her. The circular room whose walls were lined with smooth, perfect fire opal was lit by a golden glow from the far side of the room. Next to the wall was a great mound of golden scales, its long neck curved elegantly, it had a rather dainty head, huge, closed, and almond- shaped eyes, with several horns forming a natural crown on the top of its head. Gigantic paws tipped with curved vicious looking claws lay motionless and relaxed.

“It’s true,” she wheezed in stunned wonder. She watched the extremely slow breathing of the dragon verifying that it indeed lived.

“Let’s go now Raiden, please, before something awful happens,” Darian managed to squeeze out of his throat constricted by fear.

“Give me a moment,” Raiden snapped as she tried to commit to memory every aspect of the treasure cave. “Now at least I know what we’re up against,” she declared as she got up.

“Thank you, thank you,” Darian whispered with all his heart.

Raiden pushed past him and was headed toward the surface with as much certainty as she had entered the cave.

Darian laughed weakly to himself. Raiden was always COMPLETELY sure about whatever she was sure about. Doubt was not a word in her vocabulary.

As he turned to follow her, he felt an odd sort of tingling on the top of his head. His hand moved unconsciously to the spot as if to brush away the sensation.

Then, softly, a thrill passed down his spine and inside his mind. He heard a voice, dry as dust, cracking with disuse, whisper with breathy difficulty, “Da…ri…an…”tumblr_inline_mz040dgdmk1qfh584

He was frozen with… horror… and slowly turned toward the wall leaking golden light more profusely than before.

Again, the tingling, the thrill, the voice, “Da…ri…an, what … do you dooo… here?”

“Who … speaks?” Darian almost squeaked. His mouth was as dry and dusty as the voice.

“Na…wa…ra….” breathed the voice in his mind and as it entered it filled his mind with golden light, even with his eyes closed, and resounded all through him, filled his soul with strength and power, yet he could tell that it was depleted, not complete…

“What do you do here, Darian?” the voice repeated as it seemed to probe every corner of his conscious and unconscious self, like a robber searching a home broken into for something specific, something of great worth.

Before he could devise a plan, Darian simply said, “My sister wanted to see you.”

“That is true,” answered the voice, now taking on a feminine quality, soft, but still probing.

“My treasure room as well, I see,” it continued.

“Yes, that too,” Darian answered, sadly but truthfully.

“You do not lie to me, this is new,” mused the voice.

“I don’t want to,” Darian replied, truthfully again.

“Yesss, I see that too,” answered the voice with a hint of surprise.

Oddly enough, Darian not only HEARD the dragon’s surprise, he felt it too!

“Darian, what are you?” Nawara asked softly again but somewhat perplexed.

Before he knew it, Darian’s answer came to him as a flash of deep understanding and he said, “Someone who would like to be your friend.”

Startled, the dragon paused a few moments, pondering this new sensation. She had heard long ago how dragons had been beguiled into friendships with humans, elves, or worse yet dwarves, only to be cruelly deceived or killed. But she also knew of those few and fortunate dragons who had bonded, bonded heart, mind, spirit, to a special soul, a Rider.

She had forgotten the rising ire that had awakened her from her long, deep, dreamless sleep. Here in her hidden treasure room that no other creature could claim, for she had made it herself, she lived in self-imposed isolation, too disheartened to walk amid the world of thinking, grasping, killing creatures without becoming one of them.

“Let me see you,” Nawara said, curiosity painting each word.

Darian turned and walked toward the puddle of light. He knelt and peered through the larger hole Raiden had made.

Nawara was looking at him, her pale, orange eyes scanning what she could see. A cloud of yellow hair, huge brown eyes, but not enough…

“More,” she whispered her curiosity growing.

Darian knocked down more of the wall. Suddenly, he, too, wanted a better view.

The crumbling wall fell at Darian’s feet. The dust swirled around and around in the golden light.

Then, as it cleared, Darian could see Nawara’s full size and breathtaking beauty. While the scales that covered her were a golden yellow, he could see that they were also iridescent, and changed slightly as she breathed in and out.golden-dragon-raquo-best

Nawara could see Darian was … a dwarf, a species known to be the enemy of dragons because, oddly enough, they shared the same fatal lust for gems, jewels, and precious metals.

She sighed with disappointment and disgust, closing her eyes and shaking her head but then… she felt a tingling on the top of her head and down her long spine. A voice in her mind said, “So, you are that disappointed in me?”

Her eyes flew open in shock. She looked at Darian who now stood in the doorway between them, hands on his hips… laughing!

Never had any being, besides another dragon, enter her mind as Darian just had!

“I see you are surprised,” he continued without moving his lips which were smiling.

“How…? How are you doing this?” Nawara sputtered.

“I haven’t the slightest clue!” he replied laughing again.

The fresh joy in Darian’s heart flowed into Nawara and she felt young and free again! How long had her heart been closed and dark, scarred with old hurts, so much so, she had wanted nothing more than to sleep her life away!

“May I approach you?” he asked with respect and care.

Nawara felt wary, not ready to go that far, too dazzled by this sudden turn of events.

“No… at least… not yet. I have not recovered fully from my dormancy. Do leave now Darian, but please, come back at sunset tomorrow… Will you?”

Darian thought he had heard a tremor in her voice and was touched by her question.

“Aye, I will,” Darian answered sending waves of assurance along with his words.

Nawara felt the thrill of his assertion and was quite overcome by emotion.

“And Darian,” she returned in a soft whisper, “don’t tell anyone yet, not even Raiden, that I am awake.”

Darian had misgivings about this then answered, “Very well, not yet.”

Nawara felt a wave of trust rush through her. She closed her eyes to savor it and nodded, resting her head, thoroughly exhausted by the encounter.

Darian turned and quietly left the drive, thoroughly exhilarated by the experience and full of wonder and awe.



Moving Tales…


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The Dragons here at the Nest have decided it’s time to jump into the 21st century – at long last – and include among this week’s tales those told in images as well as words.

So, from the delightfully ridiculous to the draconically sublime, I present a handful of Dragon-centric stories. We start by traveling back to whimsical days in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota when Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle the Moose entertained us with Fractured Fairy Tales. And thanks to the wonders of Youtube, we don’t even have to bother Mr. Peabody for the use of his Wayback (aka WABAC) Machine.

The Thirteen Helmets: 


From the other side of the world – and the creativity of T Arts Detroit – there is the ancient myth of the Four Dragons and the Jade Emperor.


In “Reversal of Heart,” we exchange ancient sensibilities for modern ones. Carolyn Chrisman has created a touching tale of karma and being not always as one seems.

And, finally, a favorite of mine that goes right to the heart of Dragons, people, and what it means to be wild: Sintel – Girl With Dragon Story.


I hope you enjoy them all.

Tomorrow, a special treat: Guest Dragon tale-spinner, Cathy Sosnowski shares a taste of her book, Dragon Fire.

Catch a Dragon by the Tale….


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As we head into the last full week in October, MotD activities turn toward the literary. It is Tell-A-Dragon-Tale Week, a time to celebrate our friends – the fierce and the gentle, rampaging and wise – in word, verse, even film. (Thank you, Artists of the Internet!)

Today, since I fear I’ve given our Asian Dragons short shrift this month, I am starting with a tale from ancient Japan, The Bamboo Cutter’s Daughter. The original story is too long and involved for this space, but I did want to share my retelling of the section which is dragon-centric. Enjoy.


Once upon a time, there was an old Bamboo Cutter and his wife. They were good, kind people who, though not rich, were blessed with everything they could want except a child. One day the old man was on his way home when he saw a stalk of bamboo glowing in the evening shade. He sliced open the stalk and there, inside, stood a radiant little girl, as small as a fairy and twice as lovely. tumblr_ng3xcvtpc01qmtyk0o4_r1_500He scooped her up and took her home; and he and his wife adopted the child as their very own.

The years went by and the girl grew into the sweetest, most beautiful young woman in all the Japans. And when it was time for her to be given a name, her parents called her the Bamboo Princess, because she was found in the bamboo and was more beautiful than any princess.

Word of the Bamboo Princess spread across from one end of the land to the other, and, as is the way of these things, five princes came pouring out of the woodwork to seek her hand in marriage. Now, there was just one problem. The Bamboo Princess didn’t want to get married to anyone. She wanted to be left alone to live the simple life in the woods with her parents. So she came up with a brilliant plan: give each of the princes an impossible task, and when they failed, she would have a good reason to turn them away.

The first prince she asked to go to India and bring her the stone bowl of the great Buddha. He failed.

The second prince was to bring her a branch from the jeweled tree on the floating mountain of Horai. He failed.

The third was to fetch a robe made from the skins of the legendary fire rat; the fourth, to bring her the magical shell which swallows hide in their nests. They, too, failed.

Which brings us to the last prince and the part about the Dragon: The fifth prince, Prince Lofty by name, was tasked with getting the great jewel that hung around the neck of Ryun-jin, the Dragon King.

Now, Prince Lofty may have been rich and royal, but he was also a great boaster and a terrible coward. Oh, he promised to get the Dragon’s jewel, but he had no intention of doing such a dangerous deed himself. So he called his servants and soldiers. “I want you to go and get me the jewel from the Dragon King,” he said. “Here is gold for your trouble, and for your widows and children, should you not return. Now go, and don’t come back without my jewel!”

Well, this was too good an offer to turn down. The servants and soldiers pocketed the prince’s gold and took off, but not to confront the Dragon. Some of them didn’t even believe in the Dragon’s gem and those who did believe, well, they weren’t foolish enough to anger Ryun-jin by stealing it. If the Prince wanted the jewel he could get it himself; and if he failed, well, it was no skin off their noses.

Of course, Prince Lofty, being a prince, was used to having his orders followed. He never thought for a moment that they wouldn’t complete his quest and win him the hand of the Bamboo Princess. So sure was he that he would marry her, he spent his time building a wondrous palace for his bride-to-be, with a hundred rooms, great towers, and gardens on every side. His land had never known such a beautiful palace. All the wood was lacquered, carved, or inlaid with gold and precious stones. The walls were hung with silks painted by the finest artists.

Now, while all this building was being done, the prince couldn’t help wondering why his men hadn’t returned with the Dragon’s jewel. He waited a whole year for them to come back and not a single one showed his face again. Prince Lofty got angrier and angrier as it finally dawned on him: they took his money and ran! It wasn’t even the loss of money he minded, but the fact that he would have to go after the jewel himself.196731_1355884618022_full

He called together the few servants who were left and told them to get a ship ready. He was going to find the Dragon King! But the servants were frightened and begged him not to go. “The Dragon will destroy us all!” they cried.

“Cowards!” scolded Prince Lofty. “Cowards, watch me. I’ll teach you how to be brave. Do you think I am afraid of a Dragon?”

So they set sail, and for two or three days the sea was calm, the skies fair. All was well. And the prince stood on the deck, with his arms akimbo and bragged at the top of his lungs, “Ha! The Dragon hides below the waves. He doesn’t dare show his face, he’s so afraid of me!”

Of course anyone who knows anything about Dragons knows two things for sure: They have excellent hearing and they are not afraid of anyone, especially not a puny prince.

In his palace deep beneath the sea, the Dragon King heard Prince Lofty’s words and grew angry. With a lash of his tail he stirred the waters and with a mighty roar he ordered the thunder and lightning out of the heavens. The ship rocked and dipped from stem to stern. The great waves broke in foam over the deck and soaked the crew to the bone. The rain poured down in torrents. The lightning flashed and the thunder growled and roared. It was the fiercest storm the sailors had ever known.

Suddenly Brave Prince Lofty wasn’t so brave. He was sure the ship would be dashed to pieces. And if he did not drown, then he knew a bolt of lightning would come down and kill him.

Seasick and scared out of his wits, he begged the pilot and crew to save him. “Why did you ever bring me to this place?” he cried. “Did you wish to kill me? Is this how you care for the life of your prince? Get me out of this at once or I shall shoot every one of you with my great bow.”

The crew could hardly keep from laughing, for it was only at the Prince’s order they’d set sail at all. As for shooting them, they knew he could not lift an arrow, much less pull the bow.

The pilot, who understood Dragons far better than his master, answered: “My prince, it must be the dragon who sends this storm. He has heard you say that you will kill him and steal the jewel from his neck. You must promise that you will not hurt him, and then perhaps he will call back the storm and let us live.”

“Anything,” Prince Lofty said. “Just please, please, please, make the storm stop!” And there and then, he vowed to never touch the Dragon, not so much as a whisker or a hair on the tip of his tail.

Fortunately, the Dragon King took the prince at his word, and his anger faded away. After a while the storm died down, the lightning ceased, and the sea was as still as glass. Prince Lofty was too sick, however, to know what happened until the pilot brought the ship to land. There his men lifted the prince out of the ship and laid him under a tree.

When at last he felt firm ground under him, Prince Lofty wept aloud, and swore that now he had land beneath his feet, he would never leave it. Though he was on an island far from Japan, he would not return on a ship, not for a thousand princesses. “You never know with Dragons,” he said. “He might just change his mind.” And so he stayed on the island,mori_sosen_baikaenkou-zu ruling over monkeys and tree crabs, for the rest of his life.

And the beautiful palace which he built for the princess had no one to live in it but the bats and owls, and sometimes a stray mouse or two. And that pleased the Bamboo Princess very well, indeed.tumblr_inline_mr1cifaa1u1rx28em

Chipping In –


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It’s the third weekend in October. Here in New England, the leaves are piling high and begging to be raked.

Yesterday, our Dragons got to tag along as we went through our work-a-day routines. This weekend it is time for them to not only observe but lend a paw, too.

Of all our companion beings – including even some of our bipedal significant others – Dragons are aware of the expense their care accrues. When it comes to our bank accounts, they are high maintenance, for sure.


And they are keenly aware of the need to chip in and earn their keep.

This weekend, we celebrate that cooperative spirit as Dragons and their pople come together to mulch leaves, clean gutters, and put on the storms. (Dragons are especially helpful with those tricky upstairs windows.)20e283716a5d44010c3bc61c99084366

But those who work hard must also play hard. When all the chores are done, weather permitting,be sure to enjoy games and a proper feast. 3011142247581


Have a grand weekend, one and all.dragon_dance__sfm__by_argodaemon-d7fhhec

Dragons Round the Office….


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Today is Take Your Dragon to Work Day! And I hope everyone is out and about with their Dragons, spreading good Dragon will throughout our everyday worlds.

Large097 or small,comic storethere is nothing like an infusion of draconinc energy around the office. They are inspirational, fun, and very good at reheating that cold cup of coffee languishing on your desk.coffeedragon

One minor caveat: not everyone out there is Dragon savvy.dragon-talk

And, honestly, not all Dragons are work savvy. 37624108So be mindful of situational etiquette. If you work in a china shop, be sure tails are calm and wings at ease. Teachers, if your Dragon is up for giving rides during recess, be sure your students have permission slips signed and on file. (I’ve found most parents are delighted to have their kids interact with Dragons, and Dragons love kids.) playground

But enough said.

Everyone, go out. Have a marvelous day.

I’m off to work….computer


Shopping with your Dragon – Gaudy-Bauble Fun!


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Hearken back to the grit and grimy days of England in the 7th century. Towns were few and far between and wolves and Dragons still ruled the wilds with fang and claw. Fun Anglo-Saxon times.

Detail from Vortigern, Merlin & the Dragons. St.Alban’s Chronicle

This was the age of deep superstition and early conflict between the budding Christian church and old-time Paganism. Of strict class structure and more rights for cattle than women. It was into this world that Princess Æthelthryth (Etheldreda to those more Roman and Anglo-Saxon) was born of a most saintly lineage – according to the Venerable Bede, she, her brother, and three sisters were all canonized. She was a comely aristocrat with a fondness for beads and trinkets and more interest in heaven than earth. In the way of Medieval women, she was also a pawn in politics and religion for much of her short life (636-679 CE). Still, she was blessed to be a woman of wealth and property and so had leverage most women lacked.

After numerous exploits including two marriages (tricky propositions when one vows to remain a virgin), minor miracles, Æthelthryth founded an abbey in 673 at the Isle of Ely, an historic district in Fenlands she’d received as a dower gift from her first husband, King Tondbercht. She remained there as Abbess until her death from an unsightly tumor on her neck she attributed to divine judgement on her youthful liking of necklaces, gewgaws, and baubles. 

What can this possibly have to do with Dragons, you ask? Was she personally familiar with our fierce friends? The strong anti-Dragon stance of the church would have made this highly unlikely. No, the connection comes posthumously, when, in honour of the saintly Æthelthryth – Audrey to those who knew her well – the people of Ely got together to celebrate her life with an annual fair. St. Audrey’s Fair. At these gatherings, in remembrance of Audrey’s jewelry obsession, simple, inexpensive trinkets were bought and sold. (The word ‘tawdry’ even comes from a bastardization of Audrey’s name.) Where better to pick up a little something for one’s Dragon without incurring a mountain of debt or the suspicions of the local constabulary?


St. Audrey Fairs are still held around the UK, and there is a growing effort among certain Dragon aficionados to spread the festivities to other corners of the world. Dates vary, from June 23 (Audrey’s Saints Day) to the more MotD-friendly time, October 16-17, Gaudy Bauble Day. Those who don’t have a proper St. Audrey’s Fair near by often substitute the experience with an afternoon of October tag-saling.

Hectic personal lives not to mention the advent of e-bay and other on-line vending venues have made actual ‘fairing’ more than a casual undertaking. Still, it’s autumn! The foliage is gorgeous and the air spiced with apples and woolly-bears. When better to go out with your Dragon and mingle with others of our kind among bins of dazzlers and sparklies.

It’s a great time to get a leg-up on your draconic Yule shopping ,too.

[repost from MotD, 2012]

10.15.2016 – Dragon Day Pole to Pole!


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What came first, the Dragon or the Dragon Egg?

Ouroboros - Zarathus

Ouroboros – Zarathus

As with many things Dragon, we may never know for sure. But, as the sun follows the moon, and Dragonlets grow large, in MotD, World Dragon Day follows World Egg Day.

Dragons are found from pole to pole, desert to jungle, mountains to tundra. They roam clouds and oceans, canopies and caves. They are nothing short of ubiquitous. Here at the Nest, we want to celebrate WDD in some of our favorite visuals of Dragons around the globe.











And we can’t forget all the feline dracophiles out there:




World Egg Day – Dragonlets-in-Waiting


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It’s World Egg Day! Ta-da, ta-da!

True, it’s a little early in the yearly Dragon cycle for nesting/laying (a winter happening among True Dragons), and even earlier for the hatching fires of spring. But an egg is an egg, and we here at WAFDE are not above giving more familiar, accessible holidays, no matter how secular, draconic twists.

So, while some pepople use today to whip up omelettes and soufles, to tout the nutrition and elegant simplicity of the noble avian egg, we choose today to celebrate clutches of dragons in waiting. And the devoted Queens who tend them.46

There are likely many Game of Thrones fans out there who think of Dragon eggs as small, transportable treasures. Rare gifts and emblems of power. game-thrones-dragonsIn the real world, Dragon eggs are indeed rare and treasured, but they are hardly small. And they should never be gifted to secure kingdoms or power.

They are the quintessential Dragon hoard. Dragons will defend them with fire and fang. And if the Dragon parents don’t get you, the law will. The destruction or poaching of Dragon eggs is a felony around the globe, incurring heavy fines and prison time. At least.dragon_egg_by_dannykojima-d4nj0w7

This does not mean that eggs don’t occasionally, through no fault of Queen or Sire, get lost or abandoned. This is a matter of growing concern in areas ravaged by war or decimated habitat. (Yes, climate change is real and the weyrs around the world know its tragic effects first hand!) What to do?

When walking through woods or along cliffs, keep your eyes open, especially in autumn or late winter/early spring. If you discover an egg—or a whole clutch—the first thing you must do is note the location. Not only does this guarantee you’ll find it again, but it serves as valuable information for conservationists. That done, keep your distance. [Contact your local WAFDE chapter immediately!] Watch, and wait for forty-eight hours. There are times when a Queen, particularly a young Queen alone through no fault of her own, will nest in the open. Her needs for sustenance will force her from the nest on occasion, but she will return. If, however, there is no sign of Mother—or Father—Dragon after two days, something untoward has definitely happened. You can assume the egg is bereft of parental care and proceed to take it into custody.

…The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook, p. 206.

Tend your find with love and care. And be assured, though fire is needed for hatching, you won’t have to walk through it like a Tragaryen to enjoy your little Dragonlet.


Happy Egg Day!


Leaf-Peeking in Dragon Country


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Heading north today, up through the Green Mountains, into the heart of local Dragon Country.Gr Mts

It’s leaf-peeking time, and the colors are stunning.autumn_dragons_by_deskridge-d331an7

So today, I thought I’d share some decidedly autumnal Dragons.

They’re not always easy to discern among the foliage, but look hard and you will find them. 18574_1193976000And be careful not to scare them. As mentioned before, a little wayward dragonfire tickling fallen leaves – even if puffed in self-defense – and whole mountainside could go up in flames.blue_dragon_in_autumn_by_shawna_mac_by_shawnamac-d6pz7bi

And keep your eyes peeled for the littlest ones – the dragonlets hiding in the leaf litter….


Look high, look low. Enjoy the glory of Dragons in October!


Feathered Dragons of the New World…


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Good morning.

It is Columbus Day here in the States, or as we like to call it, New World Dragon Day. Here at the Nest we have a chinchilla emergency so I am sharing an NWDD post from years past.



As any school kid knows, Columbus was not the first European to reach the Western Hemisphere. That was Leif Ericson almost 500 years earlier. But the Norseman’s voyage took him to the northern climes, where cold-weather Dragons frolicked with narwhals and hunted the Grand Banks for seal and sword fish. Hence we celebrate Frost Dragons on October 9th – Leif Ericson Day.

But, in 1492, Columbus was the first European to land in the tropical and subtropical regions of the New World. So it is, on Columbus Day, we celebrate the reclusive, rainbow-hued Feathered Dragons who were suddenly having close encounters with pale Europeans and not liking it one bit.


Quetzalcoatl Dragon – Dizturbed

Of the True Dragons, our plumed friends are the scarcest and least known, so I offer some basic information from The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook:

“Feathered Dragons are the smallest of the True Dragons…. They flit in and out of the rain-forest canopies, wrapping their lithesome tails round boughs of kapok and purple heart. In environments full of the little-known and very unusual, they are the epitome of both, so much so that some doubt they still exist….

Feather Dragon - Martydeath

Feather Dragon – Martydeath

      Compared to other True Dragons, our feathered friends, while not minute, are definitely on the miniature side. This is a strict function of habitat. Living in and on the edges of the planet’s dense rain forests, these exquisite beings cannot sustain the great size and bulk of their cousins. Theirs is a realm in which lightness and flexibility mean survival.

      Mature Feathered Dragons rarely grow to more than 6 meters in length or weigh much over 300 pounds – about 10% of that being their colorful, plumed integument. They have lean, reptilian musculature stretched over a hollow-bone frame. Scales protect belly and lower legs; feathers are everywhere else. Dense bristle feathers run from head to nape, forming wide facial discs and ornate crests radiating round barely visible hornlets which never develop beyond the nub stage. Lustrous contour feathers blanket the rest of their bodies.

af513d7a218a095aacec01c51cd9f2f3     Despite the Dragons’ enormity, these outer plumes are comparable to those of the large avians in their environs – macaws, harpy eagles, horn bills, and eagle owls. On the rare occasions such feathers make their way to the forest floor, they are generally assumed to come from more mundane moltings. This misconception affords the Dragons welcome protection from hunters’ sanguine ways. A fine undercoat of semiplumes – and careful preening – make Feathered Dragons naturally waterproof, just what they need to shed the weight of incessant forest showers or when cooling off in crystal cenotes. Where their range bleeds into semi-arid plains – lands deforested by climate change and human greed – this same plumage provides them with insulation against the daytime heat and nightly cold.


Their shimmering wings span a good 3 to 3.5 meters, far and away the most impressive feathered array in the forests.[1] Using their broad plumed tail spades as rudders, they undulate – head to tail – through the skies, looking not unlike a sleek cetacean traversing an airy sea.”


These are the gems of the draconic pantheon we celebrate today. Descendants of the Sovereign Plumed Serpent, of Quetzalcoatl and Kukulcan, they struggle to hold their place in a world foolishly erasing their habitat before it and its denizens are understood.

Quetzalcoatl - Sunimo

Quetzalcoatl – Sunimo

If you travel to the Amazon or the forests around Iguazu and the Canaima Uplands – areas still wild enough for Feathered Dragons to enjoy – look up through the canopy for an unexpected flash of color. It might just be an elusive plumed Dragon on the wing.

And you shall be a fortunate dracophile, indeed.

Colored Feathered Dragon - Nouri San

Colored Feathered Dragon – Nouri San

[1] In all of the avian world, only the wandering albatross has a wingspan to even approach the Feathered Dragon’s reach.