With the release of The Hobbit later this year and the return of Gandalf, dwarves, elves, Elrond and other fantastical creatures, movie goers will be introduced to Smaug. Quite simply Smaug is the best name anybody could ever name a dragon.
Tolkien’s fiendish creature Smaug is a smug, arrogant and clever dragon who guards a vast treasure, terrorises the local population and is exceptionally greedy. Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the dwarves aim to relieve Smaug of his treasure and end his destructive raids on the population.
I have my own dragon. My dragon is the opposite of Smaug. Where the fictional dragon is greedy and vain, my mosaic dragon is helpful by guarding the entrance to my terraced food forest. Whereas Smaug breathes fire and destruction, my tiled dragon emits happiness.
According to the Chinese calendar it is the Year of the Water Dragon. My dragon is a water dragon – magnificent after a downpour when his scales glisten, reflecting the light around him.
My mosaic dragon emerged from sadness, as much art tends to do. He symbolises loss and change but also hope and strength. One day, when I leave the dragon, I hope people will treasure him as much as I do and leave him guarding the food forest. It is a job for the noble dragons of the world and not the greedy Smaug’s.