As we reach the 23rd of April of this very special year of the Dragon 2012, it is with special devotion that we call upon the power of Georgius the dragon-slayer. Today more than ever his story is our story, the triumph of love over evil with an ending written in sweaty passion and cold steel.
Just as the legendary Georgius liberated a city from the imposition of an evil dragon, his strength and determination in the hearts of many can now liberate the planet from the grip of the entire draconian system. Yes, it is huge and strong and breathes fire, and it will crush you with a swat of its mighty tail and leave your broken carcass as a warning to others. But it is not invulnerable when its weak spots are known, and we now know it stands on feet of clay that can be demolished as Georgius is our witness. Any Feng Shui practioner will tell you that, contrary to popular belief, Chinese Dragon years are not good at all for dragons in general.
Many take the story of George and the dragon as a legend, a metaphor, a myth. The roamin’ catchalick crutch disparages it as fantasy from the Holy Land (and never mind the Nazarene). But to those bearing the arms of Saint George, it is the account of our freedom from the adversary. It is true, as it is true that the tree that sprouted from the blood of the creature still grows today, shielded from the eyes of evil by the shield of Saint Georgius and bearing the fruit of freedom, ready to harvest.
To those riding in his company, the dragon needs not be named, the modern parallells need not be drawn, the moral of the story needs no further elaboration. No matter how you cut it, the dragon is toast, and everything else is just… pulp fiction.
Sant Jordi and the Dragon, 2012 Pulp Remix
Valiant Georgius of Lydda, Commander of the Elite Guard of Roman emperor Diocletian and follower of the gospel of his homeboy from Nazareth, was travelling the fertile valleys of his native Palestine when he came across a beautiful babe chained to a stake in an open field, alongside a few scrawny sheep that grazed in placid ignorance of their impending fate.
When the princess heard the approaching steed and lifted her tear-streaked face, she thought her heart would stop as the imposing figure rode up, the morning sun framing his boyishly handsome features as he stopped to observe her with concern.
“Need some help getting those chains off?” he said, a bit more gruffly than he intended.
She tried to speak, but only choked and shook her head, looking away as the tears welled anew.
Georgius sat considering, took a look around and finally dismounted to stand by her side.
“Well, seeing as you’re not going anywhere, why don’t you tell me how you ended up like this? The boys back in Rome love a good damsel in distress story!” he said, settling down on the soft meadow grass with a disarming smile.
The knot in her chest melted in his reassuring proximity, and with a racing heart she let the words pour forth.
“Oh, woe is me! If you stay, it will eat you too! It is coming! Leave me and save yourself!” she wailed, clutching at his chain armor in despair.
“Whoa, easy now,” he said softly, casting a quick glance over both shoulders even as his hand found the grip of his sword in reflex action. “What exactly are we talking about here?”
With a long sigh, the maiden dropped her head.
“Here be dragons, a pestilent creature that poisons the air of our city unless we put food for it. At first, we gave it sheep and goats, but when they ran out it demanded more and so we had to offer… ourselves. One person selected by lottery, every three months, no distinctions made. Even the daughter of the king may be chosen. Such is my cruel fate, and my father has had no choice to accept this sacrifice for the common good.”
The warrior shook his wavy locks grimly.
“Human sacrifice is never acceptable, period,” he stated simply, standing to take his shield and helmet from the mount. “So, aside from being pestilent, what else do you know of this creature? Is it large? Does it fly or…”
His horse let forth a sudden snort, and he saw the princess staring over his shoulder in horror. He wheeled around and unsheathed his sword in a single movement.
“Sweet Jesus,” he breathed as the massive form of the dragon rose before them, blocking the sun in its scaly enormity and filling the air with a nauseating stench. “Don’t leave me now.”
In a swift movement, he mounted his steed, fit his helmet and held up his sword.
“In the name of the Kristos, let Justice drive this sword as her own!” he roared.
And with a mighty gallop, he charged the giant reptiloid, making it stop its approach and stare at the shining figure on a white mount riding towards it at full tilt. Having never witnessed such a sight, its reptilian brain remained nonplussed until it saw the glint of the sword closing in and suddenly the five-bell survival instinct kicked in.
With a deafening screech, the dragon pulled back just as Georgius galloped past, swinging his sword against its soft underbelly and leaving a deep gash in its wake. He turned around hard and held up his shield, expecting the head to attack, but what hit was the dragon’s tail, brought about in a vicious sweep that slammed rider and steed to the ground in a jarring impact.
Laying on his back, Georgius saw the dragon’s hideous head plummeting down, mouth agape, and he held up his shield as teeth like sharpened stone ripped across its surface and into the side of his fallen steed, which cried in death agony as the great maw closed upon it. In a single fluid movement, the warrior grabbed his sword and launched himself at the dragon’s head with such timing and force that the tip of his weapon entered behind the ear and led the cold steel straight through the creature’s vicious brain.
The death blow was so precise that it took the dragon a moment to realize it was killed. It had time to spit out the horse, turn to look at Georgius and see its entire life flash before its eyes before slumping to the ground with an earth-shaking rumble.
Georgius fell to his knees, and prayed for the souls of his brave horse and his fallen adversary. A great calm filled his heart, irradiating throughout his body, down his arms to his hands and sword. After a while, he stood to view the breathtaking size of the scaly body laid before him, shook his head in disbelief and looked up to the sky in gratitude…
I shall spare thee the rest of the story, where our dashing hero battles the advances of the princess babe and faces other mortal dangers… except to mention that the dragon was later chopped up by the townsfolk to make jerky and dragon powder, and that the city grew happily ever after in the trade of these prized items.
A toast to a slayer Sant Jordi 2012!