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The last official sighting of a dragon in China.

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From the North China Herald and the Supreme Court and Consular Gazette, 11 May 1889:

At Sié-fu a village about 30 li from Nanch'ang, the capital of Kiangsi, a white dragon was seen on 12th April. Dragons like water, and it had rained since about the middle of March straight on, ending on that day in a most tremendous hailstorm, which smashed in the roofs of a good many of the country people's huts about their ears. Suddenly a powerful fishy smell became perceptible, and people coming in from the fields reported the presence of a huge creature, extending about two mow, (about a third of an acre) disporting itself by wriggling and squirming in a pool of water. The next day a few people ventured out to see it; it was quite white, with scales two feet in size, with horned head, claws, and a long tail, just as represented in pictures. On 18th March fine weather returned, and the dragon was gone. Foreigners do not talk about dragons, but we Chinese do. Few, indeed, have seen them, but this instance seems too well-authenticated to allow us to doubt of the power of this supernatural being to make himself occasionally visible to man.

Current Location:
reference desk
Current Mood:
irascible
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On September 13th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC), tingirl commented:
Fantastic! What other research was going on when you spotted this gem?
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On September 13th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC), ffutures commented:
Now that's something you don't see every day...
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On September 13th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Yeah, really! Most of the scales people see aren't more than six inches long at best.
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On September 14th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC), catsparx commented:
Dude, yours is the most interesting blog of them all!
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On September 14th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Thanks!
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On September 14th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC), cocoajava commented:
Nifty timing. I'm working on a magazine issue devoted to fantasy and dragons right now. This is fascinating.
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On September 14th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Cool! All this stuff will make its way into my next novel, too.
On September 14th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC), cocoajava replied:
*throws out someone's random novel to make a gap on the bookshelf, in anticipation*
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On September 14th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
:-) Thanks. Elevator pitch: imagine if John Le Carre wrote steampunk.
On September 14th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC), cocoajava replied:
I would read it. His style could carry steampunk very, very gracefully.
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On September 14th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
My only real hesitation is that the overwhelming flavors of Le Carre's Big Three novels are melancholy, sadness, and regret, while core of modern steampunk seems to be largely goshwow (in various forms). Not sure how those will mix.

Certainly gonna try, though.
On September 15th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC), cocoajava replied:
I dunno. The virtual city/state of New Babbage in Second Life manages to absolutely REEK of melancholy, sadness and regret in their roleplay story arcs. And it still feels like steampunk to me.

Just gotta mix in a tablespoon of Lovecraft, unrequited love of your clockwork maid, and a BIG bottle of absinthe. Viola.
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