Today is St.George's Day, the patron saint of England since the 14th century. So being English I thought I'd write about him and how he slayed that dragon! That's his flag on the right and the flag of England - not of Great Britain or the UK or Scotland, Wales or N.Ireland. It's just for us English (though other parts of the world have also adopted it).
The St.George And The Dragon Story
St.George, though no a saint at that time, was in Libya - which is a bit of a coincidence at this particular time!
He was a friendly sort of bloke and got chatting to a hermit who explained how the country was very troubled. No less than a dragon was causing the population a lot of upset. And it's easy to understand why.
The dragon had a very voracious appetite for young maidens and demanded that one was brought to him every single day. The problem was they were running out of maidens and the only one left was the King's daughter. She would, therefore, have to be handed over to the dragon the next day unless, that is, a Knight could slay the dragon before this happened.
St.George remembered he was a Knight and was also chuffed to learn that the King of Egypt would give the hand (and hopefully the rest) of his daughter to anyone who could kill the monster.
St.George thought he'd have a bash at slaying the dragon, so that night stayed at the hermit's hut to prepare himself.
The next day, fully ready, St.George headed for where the dragon lived. On the way he caught up with the procession taking the beautiful Princess to her meet her end. He said kindly words to the Princess, admired her silken gown, and told her to return to her castle. Yes, he would save her from the dragon.
St.George rode alone to the valley where the dragon was based.
The dragon was none too pleased when he saw St.George and not a beautiful Princess. He rushed out roaring like thunder, his 50 feet long tail flaying behind him. St.George stood his ground and struck the dragon with his lance, hoping to strike a fatal blow, but no such luck. The lance broke on the thick scaly skin and, whoops, St.George fell from his horse.
Luckily he fell under an enchanted orange tree and was soon revitalised and up on his feet once more. With his sword at the ready he struck the dragon under the wing where his skin was soft - and the dragon was killed.
And all was well again with Libya.
Wouldn't it be nice to think that the problem with the Libyan dragon, Gaddafi, could be solved as easily?
P.S. The real St.George is believed to have been born in Eastern Turkey is 270 AD. He signed up with the Roman army when he was about seventeen years old and by all accounts became a brave soldier, but a Christian one. When the Christians started to be persecuted he pleaded with the Emperor to save their lives. He himself was then tortured but refused to give up his faith and was finally beheaded in Palestine on the 23rd of April in the year 303.