Koran Thelig Discusses the Swamp Dragon with a Merchant
Ho-ho, so you want to know about the swamp dragon? Of course you do. Who doesn’t crave knowledge of this fearsome beast? To be safe in the swamp, you must understand the swamp.
All you need to know is this: avoid the swamp dragon at all costs! What, that is not quite what you intended? Well, don’t blame me if it eats you. A dead fool is never missed, I say.
Me? Ha-ha, born and bred for the heat. Of course I don’t fear it. But respect, that is another matter. See that skin hanging on my wall? That was a swamp dragon. Hmm. Doesn’t look much like a dragon, does it? Not that I’ve ever seen a real dragon. Observe the short legs, almost stubby on a body this size; the protruding mouth filled with sharp teeth; the long body with an equally long tail that pushes it through the water. Don’t be fooled by those short legs. I’ve seen one of these easily chase down a swimming alligator, or capsize a small boat. Ho-ho, nasty sight that was, but at least they died quickly.
Swamp dragons love the water. I wouldn’t advise you to fight one in its element. Not that you’ll have much choice when attacked. I suspect you’ll turn tail, if it gives you a chance.
What’s that? Move onto other questions? Don’t like talking of being eaten? Ho-ho, that’s part of the swamp my friend. You’ll just have to live with it. Good thing the swamp dragon is relatively rare.
Well, probably most adults are eight to twelve feet long. They can remain underwater for half an hour or more. Can you guess what they eat? Ha-ha, I’ll bet you can! Fresh, just killed, meat.
You flatter me sir. If you must know, I’ve personally brought in six of the beasts, including that fifteen-footer on the wall. Not that I keep count.
How do they reproduce, you ask? Ah, now there’s an interesting question. In the rainy season the female finds a spot above the waterline. There, she lays her eggs and waits for the male. Once the male has performed his duty, if you know what I mean, the female buries the eggs and guards them until they hatch. At this point, just leave her alone. That is, unless you can catch her away from the eggs, foraging for food. Then, dig out those eggs fast. Ho-ho, a delicacy that almost surpasses the young leech! Otherwise, the eggs will hatch in about six weeks, producing five to ten hungry little dragons. Sometimes they will even eat each other, and that can’t happen too often, let me tell you.
Do we keep any as pets? What? Ho-ho, my ears must have failed me. Sir, you have consumed far too much of that P’keri. Well, I think that’s all the useless information you’re getting out of me.