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With leaves carpeting yards, the last harvest due in before the killing frost, not to mention pre-winter to-do lists a mile long, the end of October is a time when Dragons lend paw, tail, and wing in earnest. Today we celebrate draconic altruism and general civic mindedness: it’s Chipping In Day.

Autumn Dragon – Lars Grant West

Much as they thrive on just “being” in the world, Dragons are most definitely not all-play-and-no-work creatures. They are acutely cognizant of their sometime-precarious place in the modern world and the truth in the particularly onerous gnome, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” (TANSTAAFL), when applied to their kind.

Earth works of every sort are particularly fun for Dragons as well as being tailor made for their size and abilities. (Personally, I could have used a little help yesterday when I was shoveling a couple tons of gravel across my drive, but the Dragons were off at the Fire Fest.)…  Dragons are also natural horticulturists; their affinity for the soil makes them enormously helpful in the vast agrarian regions of the world, notably the Great Plains of the Americas and the grain belts of the Ukraine and Asia. Their innate knowledge of plants, their eldritch link to the rhythms of season and weather, not to mention the nutrient-rich properties of Dragon manure, make them ideal farmer’s aides. They can help with post-hurricane clean up and keeping the frost from citrus orchards – both of growing importance in these uncertain days of global climate change.

If your Dragon is assisting humanity at large, do be sure that she’s properly compensated for her time and effort. TANSTAAFL applies to humans as well as Dragons, though humans are more likely to forget the fact.

Whether you’re piling leaves with the swish of a Dragon’s tail or getting a lift to put the storms on the second-story windows, remember this: The more work is fun for Dragons, the more Dragons make work fun for us.

Go out and have fun with your Dragons. And don’t forget to say “Thank you!”

NOTE: Month of the Dragon is winding down. Remember: everyone who leaves a Comment here at Dragon’s Nest this October gets their name put in the hat for a signed copy of either Dragons for Beginners or The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook. Winners to be announced November 1, 2012.

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