Creatures of myth and legend represent the fruits of the imagination, and hearken back to ancient tales told at hearths that kept the wild, unknown fears of the night at bay. Some of those creatures were good, but most were dangerous and best avoided at all costs. They took the form of fierce, scaled beasts, devilish creatures, and other concoctions of frightened minds. Most seem to have been inspired by actual fears of snakes, big cats, and other potentially dangerous animals but a few of the most famous creatures seem to have little relation with known wildlife.
One such creature is the dragon. While serpents do come to mind when speaking of dragons, most depictions of these magical creatures look more like dinosaurs or massive, winged lizards. However, they are much bigger than any lizard, some look rather like a combination of a lizard and a snake, and, in more than a few legends, dragons are highly intelligent, conniving creatures with magical powers. Most are also equipped with their own, personal flamethrower, and, like an evil tyrant, demand tribute from the lands over which they rule.
However, despite tales of dragons and dragon-like beasts in cultures across the globe, those same tales spoke of dragons in the past tense. They were said to be creatures that used to exist but haven’t been seen in a long time. No one knew if they still occurred but they were suspected to persist in remote, wild mountains, vast deserts, and the “wastelands” where few people dared to roam. As such places were explored, no one ever came across a single dragon, and none have ever been found outside the realm of fantasy. That said, the allure of these magical, powerful beasts lingers to this day and we see them in novels, films, and as mesmerizing garden decor like Sword, the Arthurian Dragon Statue.
The gargoyle is another intriguing, magical creature. Like the dragon, this beast is equipped with an array of personal weapons. It has long, sharp claws, a set of fangs, and a fierce, muscled appearance meant to intimidate any who oppose it. Also like the dragon, no one has ever laid eyes on an actual gargoyle other than the ones made of stone that line the ramparts of Gothic cathedrals. Compared to dragons, fewer tales of gargoyles exist, and most would agree that the modern depiction of these strange beasts were invented during the Middle Ages to guard churches against evil spirits while also trying to remind church-goers of the perils that can come from giving way to sin.
Similar to the dragon, nowadays, we see gargoyles in a lot more places than old, French cathedrals. Wickedly fun statues like the Boden Gargoyle Sentinel Statue can be seen accompanying sculptures of angels and other garden statuary in many a backyard, and some gargoyle sculptures also work well as interior Gothic decor. They can also be seen sharing garden space with what might be the most perilous of fantasy-themed creatures, fairies.
Garden fairies like the beautiful Fiona, the Flower Fairy Sculpture are representative of the modern, commonly held, elegant view of these magical creatures. However, before the Victorian era, fairies were never regarded as graceful, cheerful creatures. The old tales that speak of the fairy folk invariably refer to them as either mischievous, easily crossed creatures that should be avoided at all costs, or absolutely dangerous, evil beings that want to harm people. Since far more people swear to have seen and had negative experiences with gnomes and fairies than with dragons or gargoyles, fairies might actually be the most frightening of these three famous legendary creatures.
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