PANGOLIN

 

When I made my dragon box, I used a picture of the humble pangolin as the model for the scales. And in many ways, the pangolin is today’s dragon. It is being actively hunted into oblivion. You and I, we’re never going to be able to witness this magnificent creature in our lives.

Okay, well, obviously a pangolin is not like a magnificent dragon at all. It is hardly fire-breathing. It doesn’t hoard treasure. It eats ants. But if the dragon is a symbol for the ancient feminine creative destructive forces, then maybe the pangolin is how those forces have been civilized into something cute, something adorable, something that digs a hole into the ground and rolls up into a hard ball to protect the soft underbelly, because that something has become so intensely vulnerable. And despite the pangolin’s defenses – the scales, the hiding, the elusiveness – our civilization is intent on completely eradicating this creature from the face of the earth, like the ancients were intent on eradicating the dragon. Of course, at the time, no-one said “we’re destroying this awe-inspiring feminine force”. The dragon was destroyed in the name of protection (I mentioned the fire-breathing, right?). The pangolin is being destroyed in the name of protection (the scales are used in medicine. Apparently. I’ve never seen Ietermagô Remedies at Dischem.)

National Geographic has a great article on them and where you might order them in a restaurant if that’s your fancy.