Here is a paper I wrote two years ago for an English class at Angelina College. It is one of those papers that contain the same info, but is written for two different audiences.
A dragon is a creature of legend. It is a very large fire-breathing reptile. Its shape is somewhat that of a crocodile except that it has huge claws and wings. Dragons are found in the folklore and mythology of many different cultures and the symbolism is very different depending on the geographic location where the legend originates.
Stories of Europe and countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea show dragons to be very mean, fierce and only found living in remote areas of the known Earth.
English legends tell of Saint George killing a dragon to rescue a princess. Greek mythology has the god Apollo killing a dragon named Python. In Christian art the dragon represents sin, with early paintings depicting dragons being crushed under the feet of the Saints, symbolizing the triumph of Christianity over paganism. The Book of Revelation describes Satan as a flaming red dragon.
In the East the dragon is symbolic of a very different set of values. The dragons of Asia use their wisdom and strength in helpful ways. The Chinese believe dragons protect people from evil spirits and is a symbol of power. The year of the dragon, occurring every twelve years in Asia causes birth rates to rise because couples want their children born under the influence of the dragon’s courage. The dragon is often associated with water, either bringing rains to grow crops or appearing in the form of a waterspout. In Korea dragons represent knowledge, discipline and self-control. They are thought to live at the bottom of a special lake, and upon receiving a special pearl they are able to fly anywhere in the world bringing friendship, aid and peace. In Taoism the dragon is worshipped as a god.
The symbol of the dragon is found in many places in popular culture. It is found on clothing, and people plaster dragon decals on their automobiles. With this information an educated guess can be made to the intention of the display. Is it an emblem of destruction and chaos or a sign of peace and prosperity?
The Dragon and the Boy
On a fine spring day Kim-Sol was beside a clear spring fed mountain lake. He was
Practicing his black belt form. He had achieved much in the study of martial arts. He was filled with a sense of personal accomplishment, but his good feelings were overshadowed by important events being brought about by the men who led his country.
There was a great fuss going on with the neighboring country to the north. The two countries did not know each other well, they did not trust each other, and each looked for signs of weakness in the other. Friendship seemed a bleak possibility.
Kim-Sol stared at the still surface of the lake. Suddenly, the center of the lake began erupting in great spouts of water. A large dragon emerged from the depths, a pearl clutched in the claws of his five toed foot. He spread his great wings and flew to the shore by Kim-sol’s side. Kim-Sol felt no fear, dragons were good creatures despite the scaly snakelike looks, and the appearance of one was a good sign.
The dragon spoke in a calm wise voice, “Kim-Sol, young black belt, you have achieved much in your young life. I have also achieved much, and to crown my accomplishment I have been given a pearl. The pearl grants me the power to fly about the world, and bring peace. Come let us go bring knowledge to those who lack it.”
Kim-sol was very excited to be of help. “Yes sir,” he answered in a brave confidant voice.
The dragon took Kim-Sol up, and together they flew to the city. The people there were in awe of the dragon. Many had forgotten about the virtues he symbolized. Their flight brought them to the big gleaming building where old men in business suits made decisions that caused young families to cry. They entered the great debate chamber where these men did what they called important work and addressed all gathered there.
The dragon spoke in a commanding voice, “Much has gone wrong, things have to be changed and men must strive to achieve what they can be for the good of everyone. I bring this young black belt, Kim-Sol with me as a symbol of what one can achieve when they quest for knowledge and seek a path of self-discovery. Kim-Sol will now tell you the code he lives by.”
Kim-sol puffed out his chest. He knew what the dragon wanted him to say. In a clear and steady voice he recited the oath he used as a guide in his training and his life, “Knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart, strength in the body, to make good friends!”
Thunderous applause greeted his short speech. The men in the gleaming building called other men that sat in a similar gleaming building to the north of their location and told of the dragon and the boy. Those men also saw the wisdom of the boy’s oath.
The world had changed, but the things that changed it were not new. They were the things we easily forget. Important things to keep us strong, smart, honest and friendly.