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How to Adopt a Dragon in 7 Easy Steps (with Pictures)

Since the discovery (or, rather, re-discovery) of dragons living among us, there…

Since the discovery (or, rather, re-discovery) of dragons living among us, there has been a rush of people looking for information on how to adopt a dragon. Needless to say, this is foolishness, much like the idea of training dragons. Just as with cats, one can never be sure who is training whom, and it is highly likely that someone will wind up with scratches. It is, however, unlikely to be the dragon (or cat).

While training is a fool’s errand, adoption is not, as long as one recognises that here, too, there are certain similarities with cats (and, interestingly for the students of human behaviour among us, introverts). One must proceed with care and only the best of intentions, and be gentle in one’s manner, even when offers of friendship are met with rejection (as a side note, dragons and introverts have a higher rate of success when approached with cake. Cats remain a mystery).

Bearing this in mind, then, you will find below a list of suggested steps to follow when seeking to adopt a dragon.

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Some more modern dragons have been known to embrace vegetarianism, but for the most past pumpkins are not the best option for attracting them.

How to Adopt a Dragon:

1. Establish exactly what sort of dragon you’re dealing with.

Is it a land dragon? These are easiest, unless you have a decent-sized fish pond in the garden. Sea dragons are even trickier than freshwater dragons, and I would strongly suggest not bringing one home with you, but rather setting up a more casual friendship where you visit them on the beach. The alternative is to maintain a steady supply of salt baths and live herring, which will likely prove expensive.

Land dragons have simpler requirements, needing merely a cosy spot to sleep and some nice sun to lie in, although they’re not ideal for apartment living, unless you manage to find a Lesser Green Teapot Dragon. They’re quite happy to live indoors for extended periods of time, but don’t clean your windows too often. They are somewhat short-sighted and may fly into them at speed.

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2. Ensure you have found a full-grown dragon, and not a hatchling.

Not only do you not want any nasty surprises when what you thought was a spaniel-sized Marshland Horned Dragon turns out to be a baby Greater Spined Morble (which grows to the size of a horse and is perfectly capable of eating one on a weekly basis), but you don’t want any upset adult dragons accusing you of stealing their offspring. Cities have burned for less.

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3. Approach in a confident manner and introduce yourself.

Never try and sneak up on a dragon – you don’t want to start things off by startling them. Centuries of being hunted for their teeth and hearts mean that you may frighten them into hiccoughs, causing throat burns. This is a bad way to start any relationship.

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4. Offer to share a cup of tea and some cake with the dragon.

You’re best to take a picnic with you, as many dragons are wary about approaching human habitation until they know you. They might suspect you of being a dragon hunter, or, worse, a journalist for the Sun.

Make sure you have a suitable cup for the dragon, too. If you have been sensible and chosen a small to medium sized dragon, oversized soup mugs should suffice. For any size of dragon, don’t be stingy with the cake. You’ll need to bring the whole thing. Dragons have voracious appetites, a thing which is important to remember when considering adoption.

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5. If the dragon is agreeable, arrange a day to have afternoon tea.

This will allow the dragon to examine your home, as well as for the two of you to become better acquainted. As much as you may wish to do so, try to refrain from squee-ing at the dragon and calling it cute. Dragons are, despite their affection for bad jokes and physical comedy, proud and noble creatures, and may not appreciate being called cute by a new friend.

Also avoid belly rubs unless invited. Not all dragons are fond of them, and if they have a very full belly of cake the results may be disastrous. Many a garden has been ruined by a nervously vomiting dragon. (Also ensure your dragon is not a Skittish Greencomb. Rather than breathing fire, they have evolved to eject their stomach contents at attackers, and have an exceptionally nervous disposition indeed. For most homes, this is an undesirable trait.)

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6. Invite the dragon to spend more time with you.

DO NOT MENTION ADOPTION. As mentioned, dragons can be exceedingly proud, and may take offence to the suggestion that you, an unscaled and wingless human, want to adopt them. However, with the provision of much cake and tea, a warm fire to sleep in front of in winter months, and good conversation, your dragon may decide that it’s worth his time to come around more often. This is where it’s vitally important that you have not misjudged your chosen dragon — a Crested Purple Broadback, for instance, will not fit through an average front door. You will need to have a properly converted barn for them to be comfortable, as well as a deep mud bath for their sleeping area. They are certainly a challenging dragon, but well worth it for their musical skills.

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7. Continue to treat your dragon with respect and love.

Just as with cats, dragons choose you, not the other way around. Allow them their freedom, don’t dress them in silly clothes unless they enjoy it, and make sure that they have a steady supply of their favourite foods. Depending on your dragon’s size and tendency, you may have to set up a wholesale account with the local butcher. It may also be advisable to invest in flameproof covers for the sofa if the dragon is to spend much time indoors.

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I hope this has been of some assistance to those of you seeking to enhance your life by developing a friendship with dragons (or ‘adopting’ them, as has become common parlance). Please remember to proceed with caution, so as not to alarm the dragon, and to avoid those charlatans passing off alligators as dragons, no matter how convincing the transplanted wings.


What’s your favourite bookish (or movie) dragon? And which dragon would you like to adopt? I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with my goofy drawings for reference, as it’s a well known fact that dragons can’t be photographed. Let me know in the comments!

But, if you’d like dragons in your inbox, you can sign up for the newsletter here – you’ll get a whole collection of dragon stories in your inbox! Or you can read about the best scones to serve dragons hereor even discover an easy pumpkin soup recipe, just in case you do encounter a vegetarian dragon …

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  1. Cynthia White says:

    Thank you for this very helpful advice. We get into trouble in the Midwest, because we get migrating dragons of various kinds, and it is tempting to try and lure them to stay. However, sad experience has taught me that they do better in their home nesting grounds in Texas and Florida. It is very difficult to recreate a suitable ocean environment in the middle of a Minnesota winter. I have heard that there are Lesser Green Teapot Dragons that migrated to the United States along with shipments of tea. I hope to attract one by leaving out offering of donuts and attractive teapots. And cleaning the windows is something I have heard people do, but something that Ihave never considered.

    I have also heard there are rare resident Ancient Brown Book Dragons, but I suspect the local librarians have already set out booksales, and home-baked pies. All I know is that some library basements are suspiciously warm.

    1. kimwatt says:

      Ah, yes. Migratory dragons are notoriously difficult, unless one has a large and well-stocked greenhouse. Even then, they’re prone to moping in the winter months. And dragon sighs are alarmingly flammable.

      I do believe your plan for enticing some Lesser Green Teapot Dragons us a good one, though. Be sure that your donut frostings and teapot colours don’t clash, though. They can be exceptionally picky.

      And how wonderful to hear that there are still Ancient Brown Book Dragons around! For a while there was a lot of concern that they had turned to stone in despair over the advent of television. It’s most encouraging to hear that they’ve adapted.

      1. Cynthia White says:

        Well, I believe that there are still Ancient Brown Book Dragons. The librarians sren’t talking.

        1. kimwatt says:

          They never do. A secret society of whispering dragon protectors, are librarians. We’ll never know the truth.

          1. Carolyn says:

            Speaking as an IT bod adopted into the secret guild of librarians because of my ability with the Dewey Spell, I can assure you that Ancient Brown Book Dragons are alive and well. There is, of course, a clan based in Hay-on-Wye but well-established secondhand bookshops often house a guardian.

          2. Kim Watt says:

            Ah ha! An insider! And I would be very disappointed if there wasn’t a Hay-on-Wye chapter, Wales is, of course, well known for its dragons…

  2. Jon says:

    Of course here in Yorkshire dragons are not unknown. In my particular corner of the county we know best the Yorkshire White (Draco eccithumpus), noted for eating parkin and hoarding small coins. It nests in disused barns on top of wuthering moorland, but migrates to Scarborough during Wakes week. The Yorkshire White is loyal but not talkative, and can be lured into human proximity by generous offerings of strong Yorkshire Tea, buttered teacakes, and the odd nip of Tetley’s bitter. Makes an excellent firelighter, and in extremis has been used by cricket clubs to dry out the wicket during a typical Yorkshire summer.

    1. kimwatt says:

      They sound like a singularly wonderful dragon to be one acquainted with. Tell me, though, have they settled that dispute with the Lancashire Reds yet? Because that’s just the sort of thing you don’t want to bring up by accident during an otherwise enjoyable afternoon tea. The scorch marks never come out of the table.

      1. Jon says:

        I am sorry to say the rift remains. The Red is of course a very different beast, subsisting as it does entirely on disgusting offal such as tripe, black puddings and Hollands pies. Strangely, people (and even dragons) from south of Sheffield have difficulty telling the two breeds apart.

        1. kimwatt says:

          It may be their closeness that’s the problem, I suppose. Dragons never like being in such close proximity to other clans. It’s most unfortunate.

Comment away! (Points awarded for comments involving cats, tea, or baked goods)

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