The dowager queen was feeling her age. The colder nights settled as a weary ache in her old bones. With every step, a shiver of pain wracked her body.
Though she vehemently protested her chamberlain’s insistence a litter carry her through town, the queen secretly reveled in the opulence of the handcrafted leather conveyance and its dragonesque appearance.
On this day, the Feast of St. George, the queen rode with the litter curtains open, leaning out of the windows to wave at the gathered crowd.
It was poetic irony then that a dragon unceremoniously swooped in and snatched her up.
Dragonflies are older than alligators.
Alligators first appeared around 37 million years ago during the Oligocene epoch of the Paleogene Period. Dragonflies are related to the meganeura, a carnivorous insect from the Carboniferous period, and date back approximately 300-350 million years.
Modern alligators, averaging between 7-9 feet long, are about half the size of their ancient ancestors, but the wingspan of today’s dragonfly, ranging from less than one inch to more than 7.5 inches, is only about a quarter of that of its predecessor.