Another Day in the Country
© Another Day in the Country
It seems that I need some diversion these days, some respite from current events. Sometimes when I’m listening to the news, I feel like dragons are afoot in the land and we are all in danger — at least politically speaking.
What our world needs are a few brave knights, truth seekers in shining armor, looking out for the kingdom. Ideally, those brave metaphorical knights would be our duly elected officials striving to keep the world safe and peaceable.
However, I’m not at all sure that’s how it works in reality. It seems human nature craves power rather than cooperation.
So, what is a dutiful citizen of a great democracy to do? I can speak out to a limited degree, I can write to my senators and congressional representatives, with limited satisfaction I can read widely and keep myself informed; but frankly, the craziness is wearing me down.
So, instead of watching the constant news cycle, I’ve taken to breeding dragons.
At Christmas time, I received a little digital notebook as a gift. It’s the kind of notebook where you can read books, watch movies, and play games but it isn’t as sophisticated as your computer. This opened up a whole new world to me.
I took my notebook to California when I visited my family. My grandson was amused that his Baba was playing with technology. I, of course, ever mindful of finding ways to forge a connection with a 10-year-old, was eager to show him the games I’d downloaded.
One of the free games offered that I thought he’d like was about dragons.
He helped me figure out how it worked. It’s a game where you build a dragon park, hatch dragon eggs, and earn points to feed baby dragons. Eventually you have a, what would you call it, a “herd” of dragons. You can mix and match pairs of dragons to your heart’s content creating new breeds. Ironically, I found it rather fascinating.
Then I came home to Kansas. Would I keep playing with these dragons or would I wait until my grandson and I were together again?
I kept playing. It was just too interesting.
The object of the game is to entice “tourists” to your realm, earning gold coins with which you can embellish your world. With my curiosity about breeding dragons of different varieties, I soon had quite a tourist business going in my dragon park.
When I write to my grandson, I tell him about new breeds of dragons I’ve acquired, like a new “seasonal” dragon that I managed to create. I have no idea how he came about because I wasn’t keeping dragon-breeding records.
My sister laughs at me when she comes in the door and sees me absorbed with my notebook.
“Are you breeding dragons again?” she chides.
Sometimes I am. While I’m ignoring the political dragons on the news, I’ve managed to breed some rather beautiful mystical beasts. I’ve started drawing pictures of them to send in my letters to Dagfinnr.
Once I decided to keep more careful records of the combination of dragons that I was trying to breed, I found that I needed a spot to keep notes, so I made one of the many blank books that always lurk around an artist’s house into The Dragon Book.
I have my dragons categorized. I’ve drawn and painted them. I’ve written down their pedigree.
My latest breeding attempt is between that lovely Seasonal Dragon, which actually changes with the seasons, and another favorite, the Orchid Dragon. We’ll see what turns up in a day or two when the egg hatches.
In a few weeks, I’ll be back in California, assuming my role as nanny during spring break. I’m looking forward to showing my grandchild all the beautiful creatures I’ve collected in this digital world.
It’s another day in the country, and you may think I’m crazy breeding dragons. I’ve rationalized that now I have one more connection with my grandson. iI amuses me much more than the evening news, and for a few minutes each day, the King could actually ride naked through the streets and I would pay never-no-mind.