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Baubles, Bangles, and St. Audrey’s Fair: October 15-17.

Back in the 7th century – in the thick of the draconic Dark Times – there was an East Anglian princess names Ethelreda, a k a Audrey. The secular life did not please her (or her three sisters, for that matter), so she looked to the Church, and  took a vow of virginity. Though not poverty: Audrey was know for her fondess of trinkets and baubles and lace finery. But we will retun to that later.

As a princess in the 600s, the promise to remain virginal did not prevent her from being married off – twice. This was the way of the times, when the affections (and bodies) of royal daughters were used as chips at the political casino. Though her first husband respected Audrey’s vow to his (early) dying day, her second was not so understanding. Her new spouse, the King of Northumbria, soon tired of living together as brother and sister, and pressed the local bishop to release his wife from her vows. When he would not, the king, pressed his affections on Audrey, anyway. She fled to Ely, there to enjoy the protection of the Church, establish an abbey, and was, in time, canonized.

But let’s return to Audrey’s love of finery. Every year, in celebration of St. Audrey, the people of Ely would hold a fair which, in time, became one of the premier fetes in Medieval England. In honor of Audrey’s love of baubles, bangles, and gemstones, many of the wares for sale were inexpensive trinkets, the sort of thing which abounds at many ‘craft’ fairs today.

Among Dragon keepers, this has become a marvelous time to go treasure draconic troves, to celebrate their Dragons’ love of sparklies, and gift their charges’ with a shiny trinket that will please but not break the bank.  Though the fictional likes of Smaug and Fafnir have made Dragons synonymous with rapacious greed among the ignorant, the fact is, Dragons can be very understanding about the human financial condition. True, a soft bed of gold is delightful and metals are used in their nests to conduct heat and keep clutches at optimum temperature. Yet, they have come to appreciate the thought as much as the object. If chosen and given with affection, the faux sparklies found at this weekend at Audrey’s fairs (or any other autumnal crafty gathering) are appreciated as much as if you’d lifted the Crown Jewels from the tower.

Go out, have fun, and gift with an open heart.

What is your Dragon’s favorite sparkly?