Dragons, Talking Animals, and the Paranormal

Where do our interests come from? Do we pick them up during childhood, or do we carry them with us, from one life to the next?

Sculpture by Josch13 CC0 via Pixabay
Source: Josch13, CC0 at Pixabay

As a child, I was obsessed with dragons (and still am!). I spent time in art class by drawing whatever type of dragon came to my mind. I thought up dragons that were mixed with other animals, dragons with rockets on their back legs, and dragons that lived in volcanoes and were always on fire. I dreamed myself into the Dragonriders of Pern universe, imagined myself as a green dragonrider. As a teenager, I purchased The Book of the Dragon by Ciruelo, full of gorgeous artwork by the artist along with information on the types of dragons, their culture, traditions and legends. I do believe that dragons existed, perhaps still do in another realm.

When I wasn’t fantasizing about flying the skies on a dragon of my own, I was dreaming about animals instead. I loved the Redwall novel (and series), where anthropomorphic mice defend their abbey against Cluny the Scourge – a rat – and his rat and stoat minions. The idea of animals being capable of speech and other human characteristics fascinated me, and I loved reenacting similar scenarios with my own stuffed animals and figurines. My favorite was Silverbolt, a transformer from Beast Wars – a show I never actually watched – that was part eagle and part wolf. I also had Elephorca, a transformer that was part elephant and part orca.

Maybe my overactive imagination – fed by fantasy books and imaginary worlds – opened my mind to monsters, myths, and the paranormal.

Books via jarmoluk CC0 via Pixabay
Source: jarmoluk, CC0 via Pixabay

When I was younger, we used to visit our grandparents’ house and sleep over in the upstairs attic bedroom. The room is long enough to fit three beds and a cot, as well as a very old television and our cousin’s N64 game system. When we weren’t playing rounds of Goldeneye or Mario Tennis cramped around the small screen, we were goofing around outside or running our own “general store”. We would place items on the countertop next to the stairs from around the room and attic, and try to sell them to the “shoppers”. I always tried to sell too many books, so I wasn’t the shopper very often!

My favorite part of the upstairs room was the library beneath the counter; a small, built-in bookshelf contains loads of old books, from atlases to old story books and other various genres. I loved to borrow books and return them on my next visit, like a personal library. My grandmother insisted that I just keep the books, but I rarely did. There were some books that I just couldn’t pass up, though; MacMillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia, the brown binding falling apart, details the genuses and species of endless animals. I often tried to sketch my favorite animals in their illustrated poses.

Two books that I stumbled upon became the crowned jewels of the collection: Mysteries of the Unexplained and Into the Unknown. They are part of the same set and have matching blue tortoiseshell book covers. Both titles contain strange tales and myths of both the physical and nonphysical realms. I was enthralled by the sections about sea monsters like Nessie, and engrossed by the creepier accounts of the paranormal, from sightings of the Jersey Devil to the creation of “Philip” the ghost (or perhaps tulpa) in an experiment by the Toronto Society for Psychical Research. Something about the world of the paranormal drew me in; the idea that spirits existed beyond our physical sight, that the universe was so much bigger than I had imagined sparked something inside of me.

Milky Way by Unsplash CC0 via Pixabay
Source: Unsplash, CC0 via Pixabay

To this day that interest, that obsession, remains rooted inside of me. I find comfort in my belief that there is more to life beyond the physical, find interesting the tales of ghost hauntings and strange creature sightings reported around the world. I don’t know who I would be without my jar of beliefs that I have collected throughout the years. Did I stumble across them, like the books in my grandmother’s attic, or were they given to me, like my childhood toys and action figures? Did a picture I saw in elementary school foster my love of dragons, or did it come from somewhere within myself?

Where do you think our interests come from? Do you also wish you spoke to dragons? Let’s talk about it in the comment section!

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6 thoughts on “Dragons, Talking Animals, and the Paranormal

  1. Love this post! We are certainly kindred spirits. I, too, have always loved dragons. Who knows? Perhaps I was a Dragon Rider. Perhaps I found a dragon egg, left abandoned by it’s murdered mother, protected and fostered it and raised it as my own. Sometimes, I believe we have carried things into this life from another. I have ‘memories’ of other lives sometimes and it makes me wonder what happened to me in that life. I get this fragrance stuck in my nose and it smells like blood and it makes me want to write ferociously as if I’m a mental patient. It sparks an “almost memory.” Was I a vampire? Did I witness a bloody murder?

    I, too, have a thing for antique books. My grandmother had several also. She also kept all these old Sears & Roebuck catalogs from the early 1900’s and other catalogs from the late 1800’s that came from my Cousin Molly, who was a missionary.

    I have always envisioned and dreamed of talking animals in my mystical world I’ve seemed to always live in, ever since I can remember. Coming from a tragic upbringing, I had to escape the real world and make up my own. I regret nothing that happened in my life, because it filled my mind with beautiful, very much alive and magical vision and stories!!

    What do you think? Do you believe we’ve had past lives? I have this recurring dream where another version of me is trying to tell the me in my present life that I chose to come back to learn some specific lessons or maybe just one in particular. The other version of me is always telling the present me, “The most important question of your life, just remember, the answer is YES!”

    It would help to know what the question is, though. All my most important questions to date have been answered, with a resounding YES. 🙂 Not so much a yes from me, but a yes from God. Weird, right? Or maybe I’m just weird. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I subscribe to the belief that we do have past lives, and eventually future lives. I don’t know why we go through rebirth if not to learn, but I believe we do. There is also the theory of other dimensions existing at the same time to consider, but that is where it becomes heavy material.

      Earlier today my boyfriend was suggesting that the myth of dragons could be explained by earlier people finding the fossils of dinosaurs and thinking they were giant, flying creatures. I shook my head and said, Nope, dragons. I hold dragons dear to my heart and part of me does believe that they had to have existed once, physically, to be so widespread.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, just because some may believe dragons to be things of legend and myth doesn’t mean they may not otherwise be extinct. And then, perhaps the Loch Ness could be a dragon in hiding in order to preserve her future generations. Perhaps they all live in caves beneath the earth’s surface now. Hmmm… another story to be written… And, oh yes, I totally believe in alternate dimensions, as well. I believe in ghosts because I’ve experienced them. I believe in the possibility of alternate realities. There’s not much I don’t believe in. I try to not limit myself to beliefs. It encourages the mind to expand and who couldn’t use some more of that?! Whether dragons are still in existence or not, I do believe they roamed and flew around this planet.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe we are kindred spirits! I especially love the paranormal – I have not seen my own ghost, but I have had uncanny experiences, and believe that there is so much more than meets the eye. I follow the Ghost Adventures crew (I respect them, but it seems to be you either like them or don’t) and love reading their books about their experiences. It is frightening but just too interesting and exciting at the same time!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We totally are! I too, have a passion for the paranormal. I’ve always felt linked to other realms. I felt, heard and smelled my grandfather’s ghost or spirit shortly after his passing and a spooky thing happened to show me that spirits/ghosts can physically do things in the living world like move things. I’ve experienced my grandmother’s ghost a few times as well as a couple of other masculine spirits who were in this house! This is actually the house my grandparents lived in, raised my mom and uncle in and I visited in the summers, built in 1939. I’d seen one of the ghosts only peripherally and for a fraction of a second but it scared the CRAP out of me and filled me with excitement at the same time. I was washing dishes and dropped the glass, shattering it in the sink. He was actually the nice one. The other one, not so much, but I forced him to leave. Crazy story. I’d love to write this into a short story, since it’s not long enough for a book but people would probably think I was nuts for saying it was a true story.

        Oh, there’s totally more than meets the eye! Soooo much more and I don’t think we could fathom all the possibilities of what might really be lingering out there. Good and bad.

        Yes, it’s so frightening, I guess because our minds can’t fully wrap around the idea, yet exciting because we LOVE it, engaging with this other ‘world.’ It’s fascinating stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

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