One of my visitors was talking to me about a film they had seen recently .They were explaining at great length and in detail how this huge angry dragon was woken up from its sleep because some of its gold had been stolen. I was a told how in the film he is killed by one brave archer who finds the only vulnerable point in this dragon. I was told how the rest of the story carried on but I admit to not really listening beyond this point.(Sorry, my guest. I will do better next time.) I found myself wondering why I was being told a story about an angry dragon who is killed by one brave man. What do I stand for in my visitor’s mind? What did he feel had been stolen from him?
When he had left I carried on thinking about this story. Of course I know all about angry dragons. I know about our love for gold and our rage if any of it is stolen. (Part of my training as a listening dragon was to give away most of the gold I had hoarded over the years. That was not an easy task. It took me long years to be able to give my gold to someone who might need it. I still have a small hoard and I get angry if it is stolen. But I am able to give it away if there is somebody who can use it well.)
I remembered the stories in my den of how we dragons prized gold. It was our identity. Each piece had its own story.My great, great Grandfather had won this piece. My uncle had stolen that piece. The piece over there was given a reward for services rendered. This piece came from my great-grandmother. And so on. Our history was contained in our gold. It was our identity and woe to anyone who stole from us.They stole not only gold but our very soul.
This visitor came for a long time Slowly I began to understand the story behind his story. He had his own gold. For him it was his stories. His family was of noble birth. If they behaved in a certain way, they should not be challenged. They had won the right to their gold. If anyone challenged their stories there was a heavy price to pay. Death. This visitor became aware of his “golden nightmares” as he put it. All he could dream of was how poor he felt. He considered himself a failure compared to his ancestors. They had done heroic deeds. Rescued maidens-from dragons! Saved communities-from dragons! Killed dangerous beasts-like dragons! The list of dragon slayings was long. His difficulty was, we recognised, his terror of his dragonish parts. His capacity for greed. For destructiveness. For envy and hoarding. (Not to mention a distinct affection for Maidens!) His golden nightmares were his increasing awareness of his emptiness. He was beginning to question some of his inherited stories and values. And he both hated these stories and needed them.In me he saw a dragon who had everything he wanted. I was a dragon. I had gold. I could destroy any one who threatened me. I made no apology for my Being. He loved and hated me.