Dewi the Dragon by Christie Davies.
Y Lolfa, 2006.
“Ah, yes, the invention of the bus-eating dragon,” said Professor Russell unperturbed. “You see, in nature, imaginary animals spring into existence spontaneously, but only when a number of people think about them intensely at the same time. That is why there are dragons in Wales and China but not in Chad or Tasmania.”57
Touted as “a book for children and adults of all ages, who enjoy a good laugh, a good adventure story and the imaginary real,” Dewi the Dragon is a slim volume of four related stories featuring young Mair Jenkins from Pentrediwaith¹ near Swansea, a Professor of Imaginary Biology called Bill Russell, Dr Mabel Wong who runs a sanctuary in Cardiff for imaginary animals, and of course the said imaginary animal.
Yet much as I enjoyed this reread of a book gifted to me in 2006 for its broad approachability, its humour, its storytelling and its fantasy, it was nevertheless tinged for me with sadness: one of the characters on whom it was based – the one who’d presented me with this copy – unfortunately died suddenly, just a matter of a few weeks after I’d received it.
But it’s with a degree of pleasure that revisiting this work of fiction has brought back to mind the ebullient nature of a former correspondent, reminding me of his stupendous erudition, sparkling wit and magpie nature even as I follow the adventures of Mair and her pet dragon.Continue reading “Imaginary biologists”