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Things That Go Bump in the Night–Unrelated Creatures Whose Names Start with D

A couple of D monsters to start off your day: the Irish Dearg Due and , what else, Dragons.

The Dearg Due is an Irish vampire. Dearg-Due means “red-blood sucker” in Irish (pronounced DAH-ruhg DU-ah / DAH-ruh-guh DU-ah). In true Irish fashion, her story is one of betrayal and vengeance.

 Dearg-Due: An Irish Vampire Source:
Dearg-Due: An Irish Vampire Source:

The original Dearg Due was a beautiful lass who fell in love with a handsome peasant boy. Unfortunately, her father arranged for her to marry a rich, but evil nobleman. Her new husband locked her away, keeping her beauty for himself. Either he beat her to death or,in despair, she killed herself. The husband buried her in a shallow grave and quickly found a new wife. One year after her death, the lass rose from the grave as the beautiful but deadly Dearg-Due. She took vengeance first on her father and then on her husband and then on the new wife and then on anyone else who got in her way. People living in the area got into the habit of putting stones on her grave on the anniversary of her death to keep her from rising again—but sometimes they forget.


No D- day on the April Blog Challenge is complete without at least one dragon!

Dragon 1

The word dragon comes from the Greek word draconta which means “to watch” and in legend dragons watch over their hordes of ill-gotten treasures.  The Bible mentions dragons and their ability to spout flames was a metaphor for the yawning mouth of Hell.

Zmey Gorynych, the Russian three-headed dragon
Zmey Gorynych, the Russian three-headed dragon

In antiquity, dragons were represented as legless worms or as lizard-like critters with stubby legs. Chinese Dragons are symbols of good luck. Vietnamese dragons bring rain. Asian dragons are yang elements and represent the monarchy—power and majesty.

In the Middle Ages, European dragons sprouted bat-like wings (probably another way to equate them with Satan and the forces of evil.) Back in the day, if you were an upwardly-mobile knight, killing a dragon could be an excellent career move. Unfought dragons were excellent excuses for building an army—a ploy still used today. Nothing gets the populace riled up like a dragon (the original WMD) lurking in –oh, lets say—southeast Asia or the Middle East.

Saint George Killing the Dragon, 1434/35, byMartorell
Saint George Killing the Dragon, 1434/35, byMartorell

I think it would be possible to do an entire A-Z challenge on dragons alone—but for today and for this humble post, I just want to pay homage.


Tomorrow: E for Echidna—the half-woman/ half-snake of Greek mythology


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