These legendary creatures are typically pictured as having serpent-like or reptilian traits. Dragons are featured in the myths of cultures spanning the globe. Today, I will concentrate on the mythological dragons of Scotland.
From Cirein Croin, a sea serpent believed to be the largest creature ever, to the long, thick tailed wingless Beithar who haunted the quarries and mountains around Glen Coe, to the infamous Loch Ness Monster, dragons have been a part of Scottish folklore. Some say dragons are a mix of the serpent, the feline, and the predatory bird, the great predators of prehistoric times.
But, dragons are a myth, right? Once man started to walk upright, he combined the various myths into one terrifying beast. The dragon was born.
One tale of bravery and love mentions the Rowan Tree. In the tale of Froach and the Rowan Tree, Froach swims to an island to gather berries from a magic Rowan Tree to save the life of his lover’s mother. He slips past the dragon guarding the tree then swims home only to discover he needs the entire branch. Back he goes, but the dragon awakes. Wounded, Froach swims toward home. His lover throws him a sword so he can kill the dragon and get to shore. Some say Froach dies, but the romantic in me believes the few who say he and his lover lived happily ever after.
I have included the Rowan Tree in my story line in Dragon’s Curse, a novella released by Whispers Publishing. A Mountain Ash, in the family Rosaceae, the Rowan Tree is native throughout the cool, temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It finds a welcome home in the Scottish Highlands. With red foliage and large clumps of red berries each autumn, the Rowan is one of the most familiar wild trees of the British Isles.
For more information concerning dragons and dragon lore, check your local library, book store, or these websites: