Maude and the Wyvern of Mordiford (AKA Mr. Pickles)

Maude was a little girl who often played in the woods of Mordiford in the English county of Herefordshire.  One day while in the woods, she found a weird little reptilian creature that was roughly the size and color of a cucumber. Given the little freak’s hue and stature, she dubbed him “Pickles.”  Judging from her parents’ over-reaction to the little grass snake she brought home a few weeks before, she decided it was better to keep Pickles a secret.  She placed Pickles in an empty cider-barrel in a forest clearing and brought him milk everyday. Mr.Pickles grew rapidly and within a matter of days was able to exit the cider barrel of his own volition and within a matter of months was several times larger than his playmate.

Maude and Pickles frolicked everyday and were the best of friends.  When it was time for Maude to go home Pickles would patiently wait in the clearing for Maude to return, except when he was hungry.  During those times he would go out look for food.  Pickle’s taste for milk led him seek out to cows.  However, it ain’t pretty when a giant reptilian carnivore with serrated teeth attempts to suckle a cow.  As a result Pickles discovered the joys of carnivory.  Of course, the local farmers weren’t exactly happy about this development. A few farmers made the mistake of trying to deal with their new dragon problem and Pickles found that people is good eat’n too.  Now, Pickles would engage in typical dragonic activity, terrorizing the countryside.

Eventually, the towns people decided to seek out somebody who was competent with a weapon.  They went to Garstone, a disgraced knight who they had imprisoned for activities that I’m not comfortable describing here.  Anyway, they told Garstone that he would be pardoned if he would agree to take down Pickles.

Garstone eventually tracked Pickles to his clearing and they engaged in an hourslong fierce battle, with each taking chunks out of the other. Finally, calling upon the Almighty and the last reserves of his strength, Garstone managed to inflict a fatal wound to the neck of Pickles.  At this point Maude showed up and began pelting a very confused and exhausted Garstone with rocks. Maude ran over to her dying pet and comforted it as it died, while a shocked Garstone could only gawk. After Pickles went to dragon-heaven, the enraged tot attacked the exhausted dragonslayer with a savagery that was surpassed that of her fierce playmate. Luckily for Garstone, Maude’s blows were wholly ineffective.  Garstone limped back to town, with Maude following flogging him with a tree branch while spouting every curse she could come up with using her limited vocabulary. Eventually Maude tuckered out and a weakened Garstone made it back in to the town to a hero’s welcome. Maude vowed revenge but between her short attention-span and her discovery of a puppy, Pickles II, all was soon forgotten.

The Jormungander

As the prophesized slayer of Thor, the Jormungander is definitely a top contender for the biggest ass-kicker among dragons. The Jormungander, along with two other freakish monster siblings, was the result of the unfortunate pairing of the god Loki and the giantess Angrbooa. Odin approached situation in the same manner a rural grandma would deal with unwanted kittens and put the three in a sack and tossed them in a river (actually it was the ocean).  In this environment the Jormungander grew until it was long enough to encircle the earth.  The Jormungander is said to be completely wrapped around the planet gripping its own tail.  When it finally lets go, it will be the beginning of Ragnarok.  At Ragnarok, the Jormungander will spew enough poison to contaminate the earth’s entire atmosphere. Thor will confront and slay the Jormungander but then will die from the beast’s venom.

The Tarasque

Today we have another French dragon: the Tarasque.  The Tarasque is often portrayed as an extremely powerful dragon with a turtle shell and a lion- or cat-like head.  It was said to have terrorized the countryside(eating people) until it was confronted by St. Martha.  St. Martha witnessed to the Tarasque and apparently it converted to Christianity.  She then led it to a nearby town to show the people that there was no longer anything to fear.  The townspeople came pouring out of their houses to meet them.  However, to the Tarasque’s disappointment, they weren’t coming to welcome their new reptilian brother in Christ with hugs and handshakes; they came with torches and pitchforks and began to go Rodney King on the now-hapless critter. They wailed on the Tarasque for a while and then it rolled over and died.  Given the seemingly invulnerable nature of the Tarasque, it said that did not succumb to the physical assault on it but rather it may have died from guilt or from the shear amount of hatred that was directed at it.