At first, what was up high had not been named, and neither did the solid ground. There
was only Apsu the begetter: the fresh and sweet waters, and Timat: the salt waters.
They were a single body and soul. There was nothing else: Apsu and Tiamat, Tiamat and
Apsu. They created the gods: Lahmu, and Lahamu came first. Next came Anshar and Kishar. Their
son was the god Anu. And Anu brought forth the god Ea. Ea was wise, and was unriveled
by the other gods. The gods banded together in the sweet and salt waters as more gods
appeared. They were loud and raucous. This bothered Tiamat greatly. Her god-sons made
her moody with their constant clatter.
Apsu could not stop the Brother Gods, Tiamat could not speak to them: they were too overbearing. Apsu decided to destroy them so that he and Tiamat could finally have some peace. (author's note: this next quote comes DIRECTLY from the book with the most detailed description of this myth. The author of this narrative [Virginia Hamilton] hints that this is translated directly from the Enuma Elish. I had to mention this, because this quote is very important. It totally redeems her.) "What? Should we unmake what we have made?" Tiamat queried. Her mood was dark. "Their ways are awful, these gods, but let us act kindly!"
Apsu continued to plot agianst his sons, but the gods overheard. Ea created a spell to place in the deep waters of Apsu. His spell made Apsu fall asleep, and Ea killed him.
Ea made the waters that were Apsu's domain his. From there he, and his wife Damkina, brought forth Marduk: migtiest of the gods. Marduk had four eyes, and four ears: he saw everything. He was the best, the boldest, and bravest. The god Anu made the four winds, they in turn, made waves and foam in Tiamat's waters.
Tiamat did not like being disturbed. She was restless, and would not stop moving.
"We cannot sleep!" they said. "You let Apsu be killed and did not stay by his side. Now there are four winds. You were alone. We cannot rest. You did not love us!"
(author's note: what whiny wusses, these gods!) "Let us make monsters, then!" Tiamat bellowed. Tiamat fashioned poisionous dragons, ones so terrible that the onlooker of these creatures would die on the spot. She gave these dragons haloes, that they might look like gods.
She made Sphinxes, Manticores, Vipers, the great Lion, Centaurs, Demons, and the Dragon-Fly. Eleven of these creatures she made herself. And among these was Kingu. Kingu was the chief of monsters: a battalion meant to destroy the gods and avenge Apsu's death. They fought Anu, who retreated and called upon Marduk for help. Marduk agreed to slay Tiamat in exchange for becoming the supreme king of the Gods. The gods agreed, and Marduk set off to face Tiamat.
Marduk faced Tiamat, and killed her. He sliced her in half, and created the heavens. He used her other half to create the Earth. He then created men to serve the gods.
Now isn't that a tradgedy? It's soooo sad! She is undoubtedly my favorite historical dragon. I mean, her own children kill her soulmate, and expect her to be happy about it or something? I mean, that's terrible! They couldn't stop partying enough to let their parents sleep? And they blame her for not loving them! How awfull are these gods???? Mail me if you too want Tiamat's awfull reputation anulled!!! Oh, by the way, this version was pretty much very adapted from the book In the Beginning: Creation Tales From around the Globe, I think...
Melusine is my second favorite historical dragon, next to Tiamat. There are two versions of her story, both of which I have provided.
Once upon a time, the Count of Anjou journeyed far from his home. He was sad and lonely
because he had no Countess to worry for him at home, and keep watch over his vassals.
But to peoples' great surprise and joy, he suddenly returned home with a beautiful young
woman at his side. They married.
Melusine of Anjou was not only beautiful, she was everything a noble woman ought to be. She charmed the people with her exceptional manners, and caring for her four darling children. But, this perfect woman had an air of mystery about her. Nobody knew where she came from, nor anything about her parents.
For all her perfect mannerisms, Melusine was a terrible churchwoman. She hardly attended mass and when she did, always made an excuse to leave before the priest consecrated the eucarist. Rumors abounded, and the Count ordered four of his guards to prevent her from leaving at the next mass. As usual, she made an excuse to leave, but the guards restrained her. As the priest consecrated the host, she uttered three shrieks and turned into a dragon, leaping through the window, and dragging two of her children with her.
I love this story, because her children went on to be part of just about every royal family in Europe. It is rumoured that when one of her line dies, she hovers over Melusine's Tower in the Castle of Lusignan!
This version was told about two hundred years after the first, because the men whose families
were quite important did not take pride in being related to a dragon.
Melusine's father was a jerk. He ill treated her mother, and thus, she locked him up in a mound of earth in the north sea. The children did not take it upon themselves to punish him, and thus the Queen of Faeries punished Melusine. She was transformed into a dragon from the waist down every Saturday, and she had to take a magic bath to rid herself of this mutation The spell would be broken if she could find a husband who would agree to never see his wife on a Saturday.
Finding a husband was not a hard thing to do for a fair faerie such as Melusine. In no time at all, she had a nobleman at her feet proposing. We all know how men are. They make promises, and rarely in a blue moon honor them, when it comes to commitment. Well, after the marriage, rumors began to spread about the young lady. The nobleman wondered what his wife did all day when she locked herself in the tower all day. So, one saturday, he peeked into the knothole of her door. And horrors! From the wast down, she was a scaley dragon! The nobleman's cry of horror tipped Melusine off that she was found out, and she cried out as she transformed into the draconic form that she would be forced to keep for the rest of her life. She uttered three shrieks, and flew out the window.
Neato, eh? Yeah, I like taking a bath every Saturday, but that's only because dragonesses are extremly fond of water :)
Now, I just had to add this. It's not a dragon legend, per se, but a very lovely poem by Lewis
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
the fruminous Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So he rested by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One two! One two! And through and through
the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead and with its head
he went galumphing back.
"And thou hast slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.