Blowing Smoke: How to Appreciate a Dragon

Some will say dragons are mythological creatures men created to explain different natural phenomenon in a pre-scientific world. Others will tell you dragons were how man once made sense of dinosaur fossils. However, any book lover will tell you dragons are a very real and integral part of literature that have fascinated us for centuries and deserve our appreciation, which is why January 16 is Appreciate a Dragon Day.

How do we appreciate a dragon, you might ask? Let’s take a look at some of our favorite dragon tales to find out.

  • Give your dragon a treat! What sort of treat would a dragon like (besides maidens, of course)? Well, according to The Last of the Dragons, by Edith Nesbit, petrol is what does a dragon good. However, Kazul from Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing With Dragons likes cherries jubilee and Ursula Vernon’s Danny Dragonbreath prefers potato salad, even if it is a bit hostile, steals his fork and bites a bully. To each dragon his own, I guess.
  • Don’t touch their things! Whether it’s the great worm Smaug from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or the dead dragon in C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one thing is clear: dragons don’t like it when you touch their things.
  • Think good thoughts! Many dragons in literature, like the ones in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, or those in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle are telepathic. So, thinking good thoughts about dragons is always a good idea.
  • Of course, you could always just draw their picture. Unless you’re using a magic sketchbook that brings your sketches to life like Miss Drake in Laurence Yep & Joanne Ryder’s A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans. That could get a bit tricky, especially if you’re not good at magical spelling bees.

No matter what you do to appreciate a dragon this year, you can find tons of books about them at your local Half Price Books or at HPB.com, and if you are looking for more suggestions, check out our Adventures Worth Telling blog and look through our epic quests quirky tag. Me? I’m going to take Sherrilyn Kenyon’s advice in Dragonswan to heart and “Be kind to dragons, for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup.”

So, how would you appreciate a dragon?

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