Defying the Dragon, Why do it?

Here’s the deal.  One day, you’re happily ensconced in your bucolic life.  You milk the cows, sow the corn, harvest the corn, eat the corn, and the corn doesn’t try to shoot you.  You’re happy and everyone in the village gets on with each other.  Then, all of a sudden you see a dark shadow.  People start screaming and running for cover, all except for three men.  One man has picked up his pitchfork and hurls it with all his might at the flying death.  It bounces harmlessly off the scaly hide.  The dragon turns it’s head and lazily opens it’s mouth to charbroil the unlucky farmer.  Screaming defiance he stands there.  Seeing the pointlessnss of battling such a beast like with pitchforks, the other two men drag him to safety.  The question, however, remains.

What would drive someone so hopelessy outmatched to take such a death or glory stand?

You don’t have enough information, do you?  Sure you can speculate but how far off the truth will it be.

Let’s add a little more information.  One of the men is the most successful cattle farmer in the village, so successful that all the other farmers stopped raising cattle and now grow crops to feed the cattle.

Why his defiance?

The second man is one of those farmers who supply the cattle farmer.  He has maintained chickens and sheep as well as growing grain to feed the cattle.  He has no reliance on the cattle farmer and well, we all know Dragon’s prefer the taste of beef.  He does, however, have a daughter of marriageable age.  She has shown no interest in the local boys, and her purity is undeniable.  If there was a unicorn loose, she could catch it.  She is also all the family the farmer has, having lost the love of his life in childbirth.

His motivation? Very different isn’t it.

The third man is merely a stranger, a farmhand hired for the season to help prepare the village for winter? A travelling poet who hopes to achieve immortality by writing a great saga.

Why does he do it?

Now the real question.  Which man threw the pitchfork?

That’s an interesting answer, and one that you have to decide for yourself.

I want you to answer the question and leave it in the comments before tomorrow.  You’ll see why.

There is no wrong answer to this question.  There isn’t a right answer either.  There is only your answer.

Tell me in what it is in the comments.

2 Responses to Defying the Dragon, Why do it?
  1. HJ.Frost
    September 2, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    I vote for the poet. The Dragon assures the continued need for cattle, and thus the livelihood of the cattle farmer, even if there is an outbreak of vegetarianism in the village. The grain farmer has an interest in maintain both his own livelihood, supplying the cattle farmer and the continued supply of cattle, in lieu of his daughter. For the poet it is the stuff that legends are made of, his would be livelihood. Outsiders are often the ones taking the risks in any field because they have the least to lose/most to gain.

  2. Gareth
    September 2, 2010 | 7:09 pm

    I love your answer. And your reasoning is flawless. The poet is generally the least picked in this situation. Although, following your reasoning, I’m not sure why.

    I love your gallery – particularly the “above the lady chapel” oil.

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