Tisdale - April 15, 1999
By: Timothy W. Shire
Hollywood likes to take apparently nasty characters and turn them into lovable misunderstood beings such as Pete's Dragon and the Sean Conery one hunted by the character played by Dennis Quad, but let me assure you "Thar Be Dragons". For definition's sake, let us establish that dragons are incarnate ma

Puff the magic Dragon

  "puff" a verb and "dragon" -to drag on

Lives by the sea

  marijuana is close to the recreational narcotic "C" cocaine

And frolics in the autumn mist

  fun, games and pleasure

In a land called honalie

  "honalie" a hip term for achieving a drug induced high

Little Jacky Paper

  street drugs were at the time almost always handled wrapped in paper

Loved that rascal Puff


And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff

  String and sealing wax were both essential tools for refining heroine

Together they would on boats with billowed sails

  The achievement of a chemical high with the use of drugs gives the user a feeling of immense power and freedom

Jacky kept a lookout perched on Puff's gigantic tail


Noble Kings and princes would bow when ere they came

  Drugs are can affect everyone rich, poor, common or upper class

And pirate ships would lower their flag when Puff roared out his name

  The drug trade was recognised as the main business of organised crime

Dragons live for ever but not so little boys

  There are dangers in taking drugs many realise this and find other amusements

Dragons wings and painted things make way for other toys


One gray night it happened Jacky paper came no more

  Over dosing is a serious risk every drug user has to face

And Puff that mighty Dragon ceased his fearless roar

  the result of over dosing is often fatal

His head was bent in sorrow green scales fell like rain

  Cherry Lane is a street in San Francisco that was the centre of the 60s drug cultural activity

And Puff no longer went to play along the Cherry Lane


Without his life long friend Puff could not be brave

  Perhaps this refers to the idea that there is promise or hope in abstaining from drugs

So he simply slipped into his cave

lignant evil monsters.

Northern European culture and Asian cultures have all established in their folklore Dragons and they are as alive and dangerous today as ever before. A dragon is beyond reason, beyond negotiations and must be dealt with extreme prejudice and each of us in our time must stand up to our own and our collective dragons and like St. George, we must slay them.

The concept of evil as a corporeal being has also been with us throughout time and been given names like Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Devil; these beings are not mortal but only visit their presence upon us and though we can fight and oppose him we can never defeat him but only keep him at bay. This is not the case with Dragons. For dragons are indeed mortal manifestations of evil intent sometimes the creation of individuals, but more often, the embodiment of a collective terror developed for the benefit of a few.

Each of us has known these dragons as they are masters of infinite disguise appearing to us all in a variety of forms and posing a threat to us physically or to those for whom we are responsible or love. In the 1960s a song writer of the time was able to identify a dragon that seemed to be overwhelmingly powerful and wrote about it. Amazingly the song was taken literally and became a children's song, but it was about a dangerous and defeat able evil. The original version of the song was much more explicit, but Peter Paul and Mary cleaned it up and recorded this version and it got enormous air play without most people realising that the lyrics had quite a different intent.

But dragons can take such fearsome forms and seem to work so well with the human frailties of greed, avarice and lust. Politicians seem almost as a condition of employment, to find alliances with a dragon of some kind.

But what are we to do? The hardest thing for us all is to be able to spot and identify a dragon. But it is also for us to steel ourselves so that we are not enticed into the finding excuses for dragon behaviour and complicity for a compromise with a dragon is capitulation. This is why purity of heart and steadfast idealism is so much a part of ancient myths. In the old stories the dragon slayer must find virtue within himself and must be filled with sometimes foolish courage to oppose the vastly overpowering dangers of the dragon. But these stories are an accurate description of what is needed for those who will stand up to evil and flail away knowing full well how hopeless is their plight, but their noble awareness that they are right, makes them stay the course and of course, leads to victory.

It is the realisation by dragons and their allies that those of virtue will see the over powering and extensive nature of their ability to destroy those who oppose them. They count on fear and massive capabilities to vanquish the pitifully ill-equipped hero. We have in our time seen dragon slayers, tenacious little guys who have stood up to the dragon and it is remarkable to note that those with a pure heart can achieve so much.

Tommy Douglas was a dragon slayer, John Diefenbaker wanted to be, Joe Borowski was, so was Elijah Harper, I think Ralph Nader is a dragon slayer and probably Michael Moore. Tom Jackson has slain his quota of Dragons and Stanley Knowles was the Don Quixote of all slayers. Barb Biers has saddled her horse as she is ready to do battle and Roy Romanow is wearing a black hat and has allied himself with a fire breather that is skulking about. What about you, are you going to be an observer who just ducks and keeps out of the fight or are you willing to take a stand against a dragon. Remember the toughest part is just figuring out if its a dragon or not. But once you know what it is, then with right on your side you must, absolutely must, attack the beast with everything at your disposal.