When The Reluctant Dragon was first introduced to me, I was a child. At that time the story was no more than a cartoon, and one I had not seen. While it’s still a cartoon you can find on such channels as youtube, I found that its origin was of literary note.
It is a short story written by Kenneth Grahame. Now, Mr Grahame also wrote another more well-known story, The Wind in the Willows. As it turns out The Wind in the Willows was also the book that A. A. Milne adapted to a theatre production. Funny how small the world can be at times.
Mr Grahame was born in Scotland in the year 1859 in Edinburgh Scotland.
When he was but a year old his mother passed and his father left him in the care of his Uncle and Aunt, moving him to the village of Cookham in Berkshire, England.
It was in the home there that he was enamoured of the outdoors and boating. This is generally thought to be his inspiration for his landscape in the book on Mr Toad and his adventures (which we will read from at a later date). Mr Toad and his friends come from his own son, and friends and family.
The Reluctant Dragon was actually published earlier along with a number of other short stories of which the collection was entitled, Dream Days. This was published in 1898.
In it, we find a different sort of character in a dragon. What a most affable character. I’m going to let you listen and see for yourself.