November 27, 2003

The Dragon Tale

Mark Foster, who lives and works at the Montara Lighthouse Hostel (photo) near Half Moon Bay, CA, has been writing a story of the time Miranda Dragon lived in the Yellow Mountains of China (photos). Mark met Miranda Dragon after she journeyed across the Pacific Ocean. She told him how when she tired, pairs of whales carried her through the waves on their backs, past the huge waves of Mavericks, and brought her to the wild little beach below Montara light house.

When I saw Harrison Owen, he knew the story of Miranda's Mother, the Great Dragon, which follows.


Once upon a time, back when the world was new and all, the Dragon lived in the deep. Known to the Israelites as T'hom and the Babylonians as Tiamat, the Dragon was mother of all, a dark force whose dominion spread from shore to shore. In passion, her awesome power shaped and sculpted the land; a cliff of granite destroyed, a dazzling white beach created. Islands and lagoons, sand bars and channels emerged in response to her restless movement. But with her smile, the seas rippled in delight. Dancing sunbeams made diamonds in the waves, and gentle swells, resonating to her pleasure, caressed the shores of a thousand lands, sending warm tides surging through quiet wetlands, the swampy nursery of all living things.
Then one day, by means now lost in the mists of time, the Dragon was lured from the sea, and banished to a cave. For reasons which seemed good at the time, it was decided by the Powers-that-Were, to put an end to the restless destruction and creation of the Dragon. Too many towns had found their waterfronts endangered, and islanders had grown tired of losing treasured beaches to the Dragon's playful sport. It was bad for business and bad for the tourists. So something had to be done, and off to the cave she went.
As things turned out, the sea is still roiled by the children of the Dragon, but the Dragon passes sunless days confined to the Stygian gloom. The ripples no longer mirror her smile, the swells do not resonate to her pleasure. Should despair and anger drive the Dragon to leave her gloomy abode, the way is blocked by a guard at the gate. St. George by name, this fabled knight stands watch with sharpened sword and stout spear, keeping the Dragon under control.
Once, it is said, the Dragon broke loose while St. George was off on a coffee break. In the twinkling of an eye, the gates were passed and the violent passion, compressed in the cave, poured out across the land. The destruction was truly awesome. Whole villages disappeared in sheets of flame, and castles were tumbled into their motes. For days the Dragon raged until St. George, and a hastily assembled band of junior knights, corralled the beast.
From that day until this, the Dragon has been contained. It is said that the earth trembles with her rage, but very few know the place, and fewer still dare visit. Those who do stand far off, protected by the might of St. George, whispering tales of the day the Dragon broke free.
Quite recently, however, a strange, heretical thought has appeared in the land. What if the Dragon were not the terrible beast so horrendously described in song and fable? Angry for sure, but wouldn't you be angry had you been locked in a cave for millennia? Perhaps the Dragon is only lonely? What would it mean to make friends with the Dragon?

by Harrison Owen

Posted by ann at November 27, 2003 02:36 PM | TrackBack