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Happy Birthday, kagur!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

fire-drake


Properly, [a] fiery dragon, or fiery meteor; applied to a man with a red nose.
—C. T. Onions' Oxford Shakespeare Glossary, 1911


Flora Day and St. Michael's Day


Many years ago, Helston was threated with destruction by a fiery dragon who appeared in the sky and hovered for some days over the place, bearing in his claws a red-hot ball. The terrified residents escaped to neighboring villages, leaving behind them, sad to say, the old and weak to perish. At last, however, the dragon passed over Helston and dropped the fiery ball upon the downs more than half a mile away, at a spot still pointed out. Thus the town was saved, and this deliverance is commemorated every year on the 8th of May by a festivity called Flora Day. … There was once a fearful contest for the possession of the town between St. Michael, the patron saint of its church, and the arch fiend.
—William Henderson's Folklore of the Northern Counties of England, 1879

So the dragon appeared, floated around for days holding a burning ball, then dropped it in a swamp and wandered off?

...

What was his motivation?

-The Gneech

Comments

sirfox
May. 8th, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
might have been ZOMG auroras from a massive friggin' solar flare about 20~25 years before that quote was dated? Auroras were seen all the way down to the tropics, i'm sure they were responsible for a few stories.

This flare here.
the_gneech
May. 8th, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
Interesting! Who knows, it could be.

-TG
laurie_robey
May. 8th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
That must have been one heck of a flare! Something like that today would be scary. All the people who rely on cell phones, all our electronic equipment, it's like something out of Escape from L.A.! ;)
the_gneech
May. 8th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
Except without the awesome bluesy harmonica theme music.

-The Gneech

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