I decided to open up my weird little world a bit and I am going to be writing a couple of different weekly columns Monster Monday and joining in for Folklore Thursday. I believe that my love of horror really stemmed from my love of monsters, mythology, folklore and fairytale. They are all scary in their own ways and are usually the first “horror” stories that we are told.
Most of us love dragons. The wing creatures that take flight with large leathery wings that can scorch the earth or hide deep underneath the mountains on hills of gold. But did you know that India had a dragon that fought elephants? The Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote about the Indian dragons in The 8th Book of the History of Nature chapter XI.
Pliny stated that the elephants and the dragon’s were continually at war with each other. The dragon would hide in the foliage of trees along the route the elephant would take to get food or water. It would drop down on the elephant and wrap itself around the packaderm’s legs and attack their vulnerable eyes and trunk. In Pliny’s manuscript there was no mention of the dragon breathing fire or being venomous however; Hugo de Folieto added to Pliny’s description of the Dragon’s of India. Folieto added indeed the the dragons are indeed venomous and attack ships that are sailing in the Indian Ocean.
Today we may think elephant fighting dragons are ridiculous. However, during this time it would have been common for the local mythology to be included in histories of areas of the world that hadn’t been explored by the author.