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Posts Tagged ‘funny fantasy’

Lately I’ve been hanging out with people who like to fish. They can spend hours talking about what bait they use to catch what. So it made me wonder, if dragons were “fishing” to catch humans, what would they use for bait? I’ve consulted a few of the dragons from my short stories for suggestions. *

Carnisha, Queen of the Crawmaw Mountains, said that she spreads out shiny objects, such as coins or gems. This will always attract treasure hunters.

Lythiskar, from Lollitaine, agreed, but he also said humans can’t resist the smell of food. Many dragons like the smell of popcorn, but Lythiskar said that bacon had never failed him.

Cazarluun, the specter of Venge Keep, suggested that sometimes one wishes to attract the most intelligent humans for a quest or challenge. Therefore one should acquire a mythic artifact that only the wisest will seek.

An urban dragon, Rockayn, pointed out that many humans can read, so she posts signs. She’s had great success with “Free Beer,” although in recent years “Free Wi-Fi” seems to work just as well. In certain neighborhoods, “Lap Dancing” can also be quite successful.

Tetheus, from Shoredance Island, offered the opposite approach. Just put out the word that people should NOT go somewhere, and you won’t be able to keep them away.

* Most of these dragons are featured in short stories from my forthcoming collection, Aunt Ursula’s Atlas.

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Here’s another classic picture book with dragons. It was published in 1980, by the author of Love You Forever and other great picture books. His illustration partner for this book was Michael Martchenko.

The Paper Bag Princess features Princess Elizabeth and her fiance, the prim and proper Prince Ronald. Alas, a terrible dragon appears and destroys Elizabeth’s castle. It snatches Ronald, and flies away! The destitute princess sets off to rescue her fiance, with no weapons and wearing nothing but a paper bag (the dragon burned all her gowns when it attacked the castle). Elizabeth succeeds by using her wits, but Ronald is shocked at her undignified appearance. The engagement is over.

These days, we’re accustomed to female characters who defend their own interests, but in 1980 this was a startling reversal of the tropes. It won lots of accolades, especially from feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women. Because attitudes have changed over time, the story has lost some of its punch. Still, you could do a lot worse than The Paper Bag Princess for your child’s bedtime reading.

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I was really excited when one of the kids in my math group mentioned this video game. It’s based on the How to Train Your Dragon movies and web episodes. Fans can play as a Viking with their very own dragon. They go on quests and such, and it sounds like tons of fun. Check it out here.

Unfortunately for me, my system won’t run it. Download and installation went fine, but there was an endless loadup for individual sessions. I had to give up. Which, I guess, is a lesson to me that specifications matter and I need more RAM or more bandwidth to make this work.

Even so, it does sound like a really fun game that’s appropriate for the under-twelve age group. If you remember the movies, you know the characters are fairly over-the-top. The dragons are very colorful and have a quirky, fun design to them.

If any of you have suitable systems to play The School of Dragons, I’d love to get some player reviews.

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You know what else? April is also National Parks Month! So here’s just one more limerick that includes the very first American national park.

Way down under Yellowstone Lake,
The dragons would have a clam bake.
The fire was so hot
That geysers were got;
Oh, those dragons of Yellowstone Lake!

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In case you haven’t figured it out, April is National Poetry Month. Hence, all the silly limericks I’ve been foisting on you. Here are a couple more.

A dragon from Skyclaw would fly
From the north to the south, and he’d fry
Some big tuna fishes
Because they’re delicious;
Then back to the north he would hie.

A dragon whose hoard was admired
Thought a housekeeper required.
While dusting the coin
A few she’d purloin;
So the housekeeper had to be fired.

 

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A dragon so gentle and kind
Saw a unicorn badly entwined,
His silvery mane
Caught up in a chain,
So she helped him get out of his bind.

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Coming up on January 16th, it’s Appreciate a Dragon Day! In the spirit of the commemoration, I here offer ten things we should appreciate about our dragons.

10) Dragons are great and faithful guardians, whether you’re protecting a sacred artifact or some foolish enemy has threatened your family. They hardly ever eat their owners.

9) The lair is always toasty warm, even in the hearth of winter.

8) Dragons are excellent bankers. However, clients who default on their loans will be eaten.

7) Other monsters will never dare to attack you. Even some godlings will think twice.

6) Dragons are very wise and give excellent advice no matter how often you ignore it. There’s no better tutor for a future dictator or master wizard.

5) They are long-lived and can carry out your revenge for generations.

4) Dragons are very effective for clearing forests to plant new crops, or making sure enemy strongholds are properly razed.

3) They can eat anything, from thieving goblins to political prisoners to swamp demons.

2) Dragons are practically indestructible and can do battle under the most extreme conditions. Land, air or sea? Glacier or desert? No problem!

1) Incomparable beauty and terror. Dragons are the ultimate symbol of power, whether worldly or spiritual.

There you have it — all the great things to appreciate about our wonderful dragon friends!

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Hommana hommana, I peer into my crystal ball
And learn the most mysterious thing of all:
What are dragons grateful for?

Ikartya of the Emerald Scales — Gratitude, what’s that?

Ysislaw, Emperor of Sillets — My hoard.

Fruq the Furious — My flames, which destroy my enemies.

Tetheus of Shoredance Island — Delicious sheep.

Gnawrath, Most Malign — That my family is far, far away.

Cazarluun the Wraith — That I killed Sir Whatsizname before he killed me.

Carnisha of Mount Cragmaw — That humans are so easily deceived.

P.S. — Ysislaw, Cazarluun, Tetheus and Carnisha are all characters from my stories! Ysislaw is from my second novel, Too Many Princes. Carnisha is in my story that appeared in The Dragon’s Hoard anthology last spring. Tetheus and Cazarluun are in short stories that are thus far unpublished. However, their statements here don’t necessarily represent their roles in the stories.

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Q: What do you call a dragon who falls behind the others?

A: Laggin’ dragon.

And, I’ll be taking part in SpoYo, the Spokane Youth Book Festival on October 10th. It says they connect young people with authors “to nurture love of books, promote literacy, and inspire students to see themselves as creators.” This is a new event for me, and I look forward to going.

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Q: What do you call a cart pulled by dragons?

A: A dragon wagon.

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