You’ve heard about snow dragons, ice dragons, or frost dragons. Maybe you’ve heard about fire dragons or rain dragons. If not, then you definitely have heard about Chinese dragons, western dragons, sea serpents, cockatrices, wyverns, or maybe even worms. But there is one dragon I am sure you’ve never heard about before: the Prairie Dragon.
They look a lot like prairie dogs from a distance, but upon closer examination, much closer examination, you will see tightly folded wings along the back. When their wings are expanded to a full three feet, tiny, fur-covered horns appear at the top of their heads, starting just behind the eyes. Their tails are the size of any prairie dog, except when they stretch their wings; then their tails expand to a length of four feet. Their fur is like that of a prairie dog yet it retains a spiky, scaly texture to it instead of one that is smooth and soft. In fact, close examination of the end of the tail reveals shiny gold and green-tinged scales beneath the fur; similar scales are scattered on the underside of their otherwise silky wings. A diamond shaped scale, often red, but occasionally blue, is located in between the eyes, halfway between the top of the head and the nose. They also have small beards under their chin.[Go to top]
They live in the prairies, underground. Their home is a series of underground tunnels with a minimum of two doors for entry and exit. Their underground tunnel homes are located mostly in the prairie countryside, but they also can be found in the fields and yards of towns and cities.[Go to top]
There are three common places to look if you wish to spy a prairie dragon: the ground on hot days, small underground tunnel entrances, and crosswalks in towns and cities.
On really hot days, you can see heat drifting up from the ground. If you look really close, you’ll see that within that haze there is a prairie dragon or two flying around.
If you try blocking the entrances to prairie dog tunnel homes, a new entrance will suddenly appear. At this new entrance, you will see what you will mistake to be an angry prairie dog. Look a little closer and you will notice the little beard under the chin and wings starting to unfurl slightly from the back; that is a prairie dragon.
The most common sightings of prairie dragons are at crosswalks. At the crosswalks, you will see at least two of what you will mistake to be prairie dogs. One stays on the sidewalk at the crosswalk while the other walks, or jumps, onto the crosswalk. He stops in the middle of the road and faces the driver to thank him for remembering to stop at the crosswalk for pedestrians of all kinds. During this time, the prairie dogs waiting at the corner cross the road. Once they have reached the other side, the first prairie dog, which really is a prairie dragon, finishes crossing the road. However, if the prairie dragon nearly gets run over by a car at a crosswalk, he will chatter as loudly as possible, hands on hips, at cars and bicycles at each and every crosswalk he encounters that day before attempting to place a foot in the crosswalk. Once he reaches the middle of the road, he will explain the importance of remembering the usage of crosswalks and rules of basic road safety courtesy to the driver while the prairie dogs cross safely.[Go to top]
Long, long ago, a group of arctic dragons migrated south. Many settled in the Rocky Mountains, where caves are abundant, as are snow and warm weather. Others settled further south where snow couldn’t be found. One group of arctic dragons took a slightly different path from the new southern settlers and the Rocky Mountain settlers. They caught a chinook and glided on its warm current. They didn’t try to fly against the wind. The wind carried them further and further away from the other groups of arctic dragons, to a land smooth and flat.
When these arctic dragons’ wings grew tired of carrying them, they forced their way down to the ground They walked and walked, looking at the bright blue sky. They marveled at the flatness of the land and the flatness of the sky. Most peculiar. This was the same sky they knew, but somehow here it seemed to be a flat land of its own, separated from the land they now walked upon.
Suddenly, they stopped. Something was wrong. All the creatures of the land, even the birds, had disappeared without a sound. Something was up. They looked up to the flat, blue sky. They saw the problem. They had to hide and hide quickly.
With their powerful eyes, they saw there were no caves nearby for them to hide in. The nearest ones were hundreds of miles away and then they would have to travel towards the problem. Not a very good prospect. They did, however, notice several holes in the ground. They peered closer and noticed these holes led to an underground home. They made themselves small and crept inside.
They met up with the owners of these underground tunnels. The owners were afraid at first; they huddled together away from the newcomers. These arctic dragons explained how they came and what they saw approaching. The prairie dogs knew what was coming and agreed to allow the arctic dragons to stay while the tornado passed.
And, so, it was during this time of peril that the prairie dogs and the arctic dragons exchanged stories and got to know each other better. The tornado passed, as did time. These prairie dogs and arctic dragons came to stay together and created a new breed: the Prairie Dragon.[Go to top]
Dragons usually lay eggs. Dragons lay either one or hundreds of eggs. It can be a few days to a few hundred years before the dragonlings hatch from the eggs. It all depends on which type of dragon.
Prairie dogs have a gestation period of about one month. This can happen only once a year. They give birth to about 5 pups in a litter.
Prairie dragons are a mix between prairie dog and dragon. Reproduction is not as straight forward as either the dragon or the prairie dog. It leaves the mother with the gnawing feeling that she is never done anything.
Prairie dragons gestate once every 10 years for 6 months. They look more and more like prairie dogs as the gestation period progresses. They even look like they give birth. Actually, prairie dragons do consider it more of a birthing process more than anything else. They birth no more than two eggs.
Prairie dragon eggs are kept in the warmest part of the cave. They are wrapped in blankets of intermeshed leaves and twigs and cloth taken from humans when they are not looking. The eggs continue to grow for 7 years. Then the dragonlings hatch.[Go to top]
The hatching of prairie dragonlings is special. The cracks begin from the bottom of the eggs and squiggle upwards. Once there are 9 such lines on the eggs, another line cracking occurs around the top of the egg.
The prairie dragonling then lifts this top part with its head. With the head in the open air, the prairie dragonling looks around and usually lets out a short squeak. It then uses its nose to push off a piece of shell and throw it up in the air. It catches the shell piece in its little mouth. It bends over as far as it can without rolling the egg over and places the piece on the floor. Each piece is laid carefully on top of the previous one.
Most prairie dragonlings repeat this process until the egg is exactly half the height it was; the prairie dragonling then climbs out. A few prairie dragonlings are more meticulous and patient. They continue the process of shell removal until the only eggshell left is the shell directly underneath their feet and the shell on top of their head. All prairie dragonlings use their hands to remove the egg shell from the top of their heads and place that piece on top of the egg shell pile they made.
Prairie dragonlings are aware whether they were the only egg or if another egg was birthed the same day. In the latter case, the newly hatched prairie dragonling will sit and wait for the other one to hatch before approaching the mother. Sadly enough, if the other egg is not hatching, the prairie dragonling stays with it. If the mother tries to coax the prairie dragonling to eat, even by bringing the food right to the prairie dragonling, it will refuse. It will stay with its twin egg, wrap itself around it, and wait even if it means it will starve to death.
It is possible to have several prairie dragon eggs birthed in different years and hatching at the same time. The same level of loyalty is not as present in these prairie dragonlings. They do not wait for each other after hatching. They run straight to the mother and ask her for food.[Go to top]
Prairie dragons, like all other creatures, have habits. It is important to remember that prairie dragons are individuals and some have habits that other prairie dragons do not have. The habits outlined here are the ones that all prairie dragons share.[Go to top]
Dragons, mostly those dragons found in folklore and myths, are known for collecting shiny objects. In particular, they took gems and jewels.
Prairie dragons are not much different. They love shiny objects. To fill this urge, they may collect things like metallic shelves from the inside of human refrigerators, old faucets, and tins. These are collected from the human’s “I don’t really want this anymore” piles.
However, they frown upon taking human jewelry and other such gems. Instead, prairie dragons are known to bring home wonderful things like unpaired socks, paper, and sticks of different colours that humans call either pens or pencils, and the wires from their big metallic boxes. Please note that prairie dragons love to chew on those wires; it works the jaw muscles wonderfully.[Go to top]
There are 5 common myths about Prairie Dragons that need clarification.[Go to top]
Myth No. 1
Prairie Dragons, by their sheer ability not to be recognized as dragons, possess the innate ability to foresee the future better than any other dragon type out there.
Personally, I think that is ridiculous. No dragon can tell the future any better than any other dragon or any other creature for that matter. In fact, no creature can foresee the future. Ha! I even remember heard tell my grandmother that one day some Prairie Dragon would write about our kind for all the world to learn, even humans! Oh. Okay. So maybe that was a bad example.[Go to top]
Myth No. 2
Prairie dragons are the best traffic directors of the 20th century at various prairie town crosswalks, or, in the very least, really know how to inform human drivers of courteous road sharing skills, although the drivers often sit, listen, and giggle foolishly to themselves.
Oh. We are the best traffic directors and we constantly are reminding those drivers how to share the road. Okay. So that was a bad example, too.
Let me think. There has to be some sort of myth about prairie dragons that just needs to be set straight. Yes, I know.[Go to top]
Myth No. 3
Prairie dragons do not know how to breathe fire.
This is a real falsehood. If it weren’t for the prairie dragons’ fire breathing ability, the prairie dogs who wake up February 2 would have a hard time digging through all that snow at the entrances of their homes. It is the responsibility of prairie dragons to melt the snow away from underground tunnel entrances as well as ice formations within the underground tunnel homes. They also warm the tunnel homes of prairie dogs during the long, cold winter months. Without this help from the prairie dragons, the prairie dogs most likely would not venture outside until the snow melted on its own; then the humans would have absolutely no clue as to when spring might show up that year.[Go to top]
Myth No. 4
Prairie dragons do not know how to breathe ice.
Any sufficiently upset prairie dragon breathes ice and frost all about him. This stems back from being an arctic dragon wishing to freeze the world before certain creatures destroy them and the world.[Go to top]
Myth No. 5
Prairie dragons never grow any larger than any prairie dog.
It is true that prairie dragons are the same size as prairie dogs. That’s only natural since prairie dragons have evolved from the interbreeding of arctic dragons and prairie dogs. However, prairie dragons continue to possess many arctic dragon abilities. Arctic dragons grow considerably when they sleep. When they awaken, they often find their wings trapped in the cavern. In order to fly out of the suddenly smaller cavern, the arctic dragon shrinks until he is able to maneuver out of the cavern. Similarly, prairie dragons shrink and grow whenever necessary. Rare is the time that prairie dragons grow; they do not see the need to make themselves big now that they live in the underground prairie tunnel homes.[Go to top]
If you look us, please watch from a distance. Although we speak with as many creatures of the world as possible, we are rather shy. We prefer to approach others than to be approached; that stems from having evolved from prairie dogs. Please do not attempt to attack us either. We are peaceful creatures, but will attack if threatened.[Go to top]