There has been a concerted effort by the politically correct forces to defang and declaw every half descent savage beast on the planet. In popular culture and especially in children’s literature cute cartoon children have been learning how to train their equally cute looking cartoon dragons. Friendly filmed dragons with melodious brogues that sound just like Sean Connery have been unfrightening children around the globe. But dragons are not always child-friendly; some of them like to consume them instead.
Dragons in nursery rhymes, films and books have traditionally been there to scare the pants of kiddies. Dragons were not nice fellows; they were greedy gold loving gorgons. Fire breathing does not mean a taste for too much spicy food, it means scorching the bejesus out everything that gets in its way. Puff the magic dragon was the start of all this namby pamby peace loving poon tang. Prior to Puff them old dragons were mean sons of bitches.
The dragon at the end of Beowulf was a right bastard of a beast and no friend to small children wanting a dreamless sleep. Childhood is supposed to be a place of fears, as well as love and kindness, chocolate crackles and party pies. The sea monster dragon that Perseus must slay to save Andromeda is one hard nut to crack. Melusine is a shape shifting dragon, who is depicted as a beautiful woman but with the body of a dragon; which captures the whole sexual frisson between men and women. Smaug is a decidedly feisty dragon; and dwarf, human and hobbit beware. JK Rowling’s dragons are savage beasts and are portrayed sans sentience in the Harry Potter series. Dragons are not always child-friendly.
David Bowie knew we all needed some scary monsters in our lives. More recently, the red dragon in the film, based on the novel by Thomas Harris, is tattooed all over the body of a deformed serial killer and possesses his consciousness like a demon. This dragon was not kid friendly in any sense of the word and rightly belonged to a rich tradition of bad dragons. Children need to be terrified every now and then; it keeps then on their toes. Too many sickly saccharine dragons is like a diet laden with sugar and fast food; no substance to get your teeth into. Bring back the blood curdling monster and chilling creature from the deep; from deep within our cultural psyches where fight or flight fans our primitive responses. No more cutesy monsters and no more nice dragons, please; give the kids a real scare.