Nothing else quite says out-of-this-world like a dragon. Maybe that is why so many fantasy authors choose to incorporate them into their themes. Dragons, like wolves (W is for Wolf on April 28th) , tend to get a bad rap. Tales like “Shrek” and “How to Train Your Dragon” shed new light on dragons proving just because we don’t understand an animal; it doesn’t need to be feared or loathed.How to Train Your Dragon is set in a mythical Viking kingdom in a land far far away. The story’s hero, Hiccup, was born to be a ruthless dragon slayer. His compassionate side struggles with the notion. His village fears and loathes dragons and has for so long they no longer remember why. Over the course of the story Hiccup heroically proves to his village that the dragons don’t need to be exterminated. They can be friends and allies. Man and nature can coexist together, peaceably. This is the major moral theme I take away from the story though there are many, many others.
How many animals today do we as a people fear and loath unnecessarily? Snakes? Spiders? Bees? Wolves? Are these animals really out to get us? No. They aren’t. Given the chance they will evade us. We are much more of a threat to them, than they are to us. They have all been labeled in such way as to create feelings of fear and loathing. Unnecessarily. I applaud “How to Train Your Dragon” author Cressida Cowell for challenging this stereotypical way of thinking. Similar streams of thinking flow through the pages of my stories. Compassion is river. The source is within. Don’t fear the dragons.