The Dragon's Abode

Many naturalists have wanted to observe the dragon in its natural habitat, but few have succeeded.  Still, if you want to try, the old legends give plenty of useful information and advice.  Where dragons hide, dragons being mysterious, fierce animals are always difficult to see. They are choosy about where they live.  Unless you are like St. George, you would not be likely to meet one in a desert - much too hot and dry for them.

Dragons like dampness, and always live where there is plenty of water. They like to guard springs and old, forgotten wells.  In the Middle Ages, they preferred to live far from towns and the bustle of humanity, deep in dark, damp caves, or in thick forests where they could watch for their prey. If you happen to be traveling through such dangerous places there may be a dragon about.

Western dragons are the dangerous ones, they eat and drink a lot, but they never sleep. They watch over their treasure day and night. Some of them do not even have eyelids.

The Greeks linked them with Athena, the goddess of wisdom, because wisdom is always watchful. This trait of wariness and alertness has saved many dragon lives.

If you find yourself under the nose of a dragon, first make sure which kind it is, but whatever the answer, you are in grave danger.  A look from a dragon's eye can paralyze you, unless you are carrying the proper charms or can recite the correct spells.  Better not to go near enough to see the whites of its eyes. Even at a respectable distance, even fast asleep, dragons are still dangerous.  Most of them can spit fire, which destroys everything around. Wear a good helmeted carry a fireproof shield if, you want to observe a fire breather. Even worse, a dragon's breath is poisonous, an invisible danger to the foolhardy naturalist. The terrible fumes it breathes out can kill instantly. If you find a dragon, be extremely careful, take the best weapons, never look one of the beasts in the eye, and hold your breath. 

Dragons usually live in natural caverns, which they adapt to their needs. The dragon's abode consists of two or more rooms,  but the room closest to the entrance always retains its original aspect, to allay the suspicions of curious human beings. Normally this entrance is concealed by plants and rocks and is just big enough to allow the creatures to go in and out. Over the years, the continual friction of the dragon's scaly body against the cave walls makes them smooth and polished.  The dragon chooses a cave that is big enough for him to turn round in if he is pursued, but not so big that it can conceal an enemy. The process of tending a home is always the same: the dragon emits ultrasound vibrations and the sensitive vibrissac or 'cats whiskers' around his mouth capture the echo, which enables him to locate the grottos in the vicinity.   He looks for two adjacent caves, and once he has identified the ones he wants,  he digs a passage the exact width of his body to connect the two caves. He enlarges and polishes the inner cave with great care, checks that there are no chinks or ways out, and plugs any holes. Then he makes or gets his slaves to make a small ventilation hole.  As he requires more space, the dragon digs out more rooms, until he has created a cave complex where he can live comfortable with enough room for his slaves and treasures.

This is the most common type of dwelling among Earth Dragons and Water Dragons, but Fire Dragons have different social structure and some very different habits and customs. Then he makes or gets his slaves to make a small ventilation hole.  As he requires more space, the dragon digs out more rooms, until he has created a cave complex where he can live comfortable with enough room for his slaves and treasures.  This is the most common type of dwelling among Earth Dragons and Water Dragons, but Fire Dragons have different social structure and some very different habits and customs.