The mythsterhood loves exploring all forms of mythology: literature, art, games, even song. What brought us together was the love of a good myth. So in addition to our own dragon content, we wanted to pass on some modern myths to our listeners. In our Dragon Tails blog series, you’ll find reviews of stories collected from a variety of media.
To continue our Dragon’s Tails, I chose Year of the Teacup Dragon, written by Suzanne J. Willis, and published in audio format by Gallery of Curiosities on April 6th.
Year of the Teacup Dragon, written by Suzanne J. Willis
I first listened to this story at the beginning of April, when none of us Mythsters had any notion whatsoever of starting this crazy adventure, and I immediately knew this would be on my review list. Listening to it another time or two was no hardship whatsoever.
Honesty compels me to admit the opening line reeled me in from the first word. I was — after over two weeks of strict quarantine — going stir crazy and feeling very sorry for myself. I suspect my hubs was feeling very sorry for himself too, since I was far from my usual smiley, fluttery self.
However, The Year of the Teacup Dragon rooted me firmly in the world of a child, lost and trying to navigate life during World War 2 — something I remember vividly from the stories of my grandmother, who lived through it as a young girl herself.
The first thought that crossed my mind was “Fuck. What am I complaining about, anyway? I’m alive, healthy. I’ve got plenty of food, and no need to expect otherwise. And no bloody air raids threatening me or my loved ones. Well. Unless you count contaminated droplets of spit. I suppose they travel through the air.
But hey, shit could be worse. A lot.
And then I forgot all of that, and sat listening with a delighted (and possibly stupid-looking) smile to this gorgeous story. I’ve tried three times now, to listen again and at least come up with something intelligent to say about this story. But fuck, I give up. Each time, I zone out and fall into the narrative.
The image Willis paints is so gripping, this tiny vivid creature with scales the colour of violets in stark contrast to the grey and gritty world of blackouts, air raids, and scarred families. Both characters, the teacup dragon and the child, are so easy to fall in love with that it breaks my heart every time the story ends.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to give it another listen. I suggest you do the same.
Jaz, also known as the Wolf Mother, is a writer, poet, narrator, and vessel of chaos. She is eternally grateful for her mother’s refusal to curtail her children in their choices–whether that was literature, spirituality, studies, or appearance–and grew up devouring her older brother’s collection of fantasy novels. In hindsight, telling stories of her own seems inevitable, but it took her a while to accept this and find the courage to begin.