At Beavers tonight, C was making a St George's Day bookmark. I help out at Beavers, but generally stumble in ten minutes late because of the rush to get back from work, sort kids out and then get there. So, when we arrived, the discussion about St George's Day had already taken place. The boys were merrily scratching pictures of dragons, knights and shields on their Scratch Art bookmarks, from the wallet-loosening Yellow Moon. C said "Why are we all drawing dragons?" I was mildly amused by the fact that he was happily drawing a dragon because everyone else was, despite having no idea why he was being asked to do this. I said "You know the story of St George?" "Who?" I had assumed that C would just know the story, even though, thinking about it, I have never actually told him it.
One of the good things about being an obsessive and committed book buyer, is that, generally, you can find the story you want in your own house. One of my most cherished plans for when we move house is that I am going to categorise my book collections thematically. The kids books are already in broad categories, so I went to the Myths and Legends section (otherwise known as the left side of the third shelf down) and located Stories of Dragons by Gill Doherty and Linda Edwards. There, about half way through the book was a beautifully illustrated version of George and the Dragon. The kids were a little confused because the pictures clearly depicted a landscape which was Middle-Eastern rather than British, but we used that to talk about how myths travel, and that St George is the patron saint of several other countries, as well as England.
Although we've had the book for quite a while, it's not one to read in one go necessarily, but to dip into when the occasion demands. I felt it earned its place on the shelf this evening, by filling a gap in the cultural education of the youth of this house.