Dragon Tails — Dragons as Gods (or worse)
When I left you in the last chapter, we were discussing the adoption of certain small family groups of various species of hominids by certain dragons who wished to study them, interact with them, guide them, and even lead their development and evolution.
Even with the concern of the council of elders and the subsequent discussions of the right and wrong or the pros and cons of such involvement (meddling if you will), the actions of individual dragons continued throughout early hominid evolution and dispersal to all continents.
At this point in human evolution there was developing what I would call "culture." Culture is the social norms and behaviors found in human groups. It includes passed on knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, custom and any other habits and capabilities acquired by humans living with other humans as a member of society (to also include language, religion, food, etc.).
As human society began evolving and becoming more sophisticated around the world, the interactions of dragons changed leading to many human legends that exist even today. Let's look at some of these interactions and legends.
Quetzalcoatl, also known as Kulkukan, is the feathered serpent of the Mayan and Aztec people -— iterally, a serpent (coatl in Nahuatl) with quetzal feathers (quetzal are beautifully colored birds of the trogan family found in Meso-America).
The earliest archeological records of the worship of Quetzalcoatl as a god appear about 400-600 BC. He was worshiped as the god of wind and of knowledge (and various other things). His worship continued through the 1500's and 1600's when the Spanish under Cortez blasted through the area of the Mayan and Aztec peoples. (Although I'm pretty sure that some of the more remote folk still retain some affinity for him along with the saints of the Catholic Church.)
Quetzal (we'll call him that because you really can't pronounce his real name in Dragon) drifted into Meso-America sometime around 9000-10,000 BC. He was a young dragon who found the climate to be quite comfortable (warmth and humidity do appeal to dragons, even though we're warm blooded, unlike other surviving modern reptiles). He was young enough to still be in an experimental growth stage where he was changing shapes a lot to test his abilities and to find his identity. Happenstance was that when he first made contact with the early Mayan hunter-gatherers he was in the form of a large serpent with colorful feathers (although he would also change into a jaguar, human or other shape as he desired).
Needless to say, the locals were rather surprised when they first came upon him. In fact, they were rather inclined to use their weapons upon the large serpent (potential food, and potential danger). Using his dragon abilities to change, he made himself impervious to their weapons and then rose above them --— rather unsettling experience for the Mayans — — see their weapons just bounce off of him, and to then see him essentially levitate. Being rather sensible, they turned tail and ran, headed back to their village for re-enforcements. Changing into a large bird, Quetzal just floated along behind to see where they were going.
The Mayan village was rudimentary at best (more a camp), as they were roving hunter-gatherers. Quetzal settled into the branches of a nearby tree to observe. Initially there was a lot of commotion (to be expected when happening upon a huge feathered serpent that is impervious to weapons and levitates). A larger party was organized and set out to retrace the steps of the original hunting party. While they were gone, Quetzal made himself small and flitted down into the village. He listened to the conversations going on around him -— — even more importantly, he tapped into the ley lines and telepathically listened in on the thoughts surrounding him, picking up the rudiments of the language and the Mayans concerns (primary topic being a large, flying feathered serpent).
Quetzal, being a typical inquisitive (i.e. nosey) dragon, decided to follow groups of men as they wandered from the village on hunting forays, observing their techniques and habits. He also followed the women as they wandered, gathering food-stuffs from the jungle and preparing the meals upon their return to camp. He also observed other bands in their territory, noticing occasional friendly contact.
As any dragon would do while watching the band for several months, he would frequently blip off to hunt or relax elsewhere (and else when), returning when he wanted. Over time he acquired a reasonable knowledge of their language and customs and eventually decided to insert himself into their community (I did mention nosey, did I not).
Unlike some earlier-mentioned male dragons who had taken over early hominid groups, Quetzal decided to try a different approach. He set up a primitive camp in an area in between three different bands.
His camp was actually sort of a lab situation. He set up a couple of rudimentary plots where he planted some wild versions of a couple grains, some melons and beans, and some chili peppers --— — f which he had seen the Mayan women gathering in the jungle and open areas around their camps. Never having done anything like this before, he blipped into other areas around the world to see what folks were up to in those areas, checking in with dragons in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and elsewhere in North America. During his travels he noticed various farming practices being developed and so tried some rudimentary irrigation (running water from a nearby stream to his crops).
As expected, his little campsite and garden plot was eventually found by wandering hunters who were quite surprised to see him (in his human — — — -— — — ending the plants. As he was by himself, the hunters were not too concerned and approached, questioning him about the plants in their obviously artificial setting.
Inviting the group to his hut (an open-sided shade structure), he offered them food and water while he explained what he was attempting to do with the garden. After a few hours of sitting around talking and joking, his new friends left him with a few skeptical grins and resumed their hunt.
Quetzal was visited several times by small groups of hunters over the next several months. Frankly, they were rather amazed at the growth and production of his little garden, but still did not take it seriously and returned to their hunting and then their respective camps.
Eventually, the women heard the men talking about the strange man and his garden plot. The women were curious enough about what Quetzal was doing that eventually the men took some of their women to visit.
The women were much more impressed with the garden than the men, immediately seeing the potential. They were quick to ask questions about how he got the plants to grow; what was the purpose of the ditches; how did he keep the birds and other animals out of the plants; etcetera. When they left, they were discussing amongst themselves whether or not they should try something similar, discussing the pros and cons (like not having to move as much to new gathering areas and some of the ramifications of being more sedentary and potentially having a more stable food source than daily gathering).
The women thought the potential was enough that they should discuss the idea with their men as they realized that if they planted then at least some of the women would need to stay put and tend the garden while it grew and was ready to be harvested.
This engendered a long discussion, over several days (and then weeks) as the men and women pondered over how they might effectively initiate such a system, yet still hunt and gather while waiting for the plants to grow, and whether to head to a new area where there would be abundant resources for hunting and gathering while they waited for a crop to mature.
While all of this was occurring, Quetzal kept himself busy. He would routinely blip himself to another time were he could freely hunt and relax, then return to his little garden plot with almost no time elapsed to care for his plants.
Eventually, feeling that his neighbors were comfortable enough with him, he took it upon himself to visit their villages.
Already on a friendly basis with the occupants of the three surrounding camps, Quetzal easily inserted himself into the life of the camps by hunting with the men and socializing with the women. Having enhanced his physique (hey, a young dragon isn't going to transform himself into another species with a dumpy body) and looking like a prime male Mayan (as well as showing himself to be a good hunter and provider), Quetzal soon found himself receiving numerous expressions of interest from various unattached young women. What's a young dragon to do --— — — it — — — — he got it, accepting several different invitations. Eventually, he acquired 3 wives, one from each of the camps.
Dragon Tails — Dragons as Gods (or worse)