HISTORY OF WAFDE
For those of you unfamiliar with this venerable group, the short history of WAFDE is as follows:
It is said that, where Dragons are concerned, every telling - even accounts of morning croquet and kippers - must begin with a legend. It is the Dragonish way of things. Since they are personally acquainted with more legends than we, it is best to defer to them on this and recount the pivotal meeting between Dragon and human out of which WAFDE emerged and the world as we knew it changed. If some of you know this tale, bear with me. I offer it for the young ones, just starting out; for the inspired neophyte and the casually interested. And I offer it for myself and for my friends, Dragons and Dragon keepers, lest, in the madding swirl, we be ever tempted to forget those who blazed trails and paved the way for the rest of us. I offer it because it is true as Dragons.
It was a high summer day in the early years of the 20th century. Edward VII was on the throne and all was still right with the world. Drs. Amelia Penrhyn-Haile and Portia Featherstone, two amazing young women of vast curiosity and arcane inclination, were on a walking tour of Wales. Their particular interest was in ley lines and the Neolithic standing stones, mounds, and dolmen raised about them. To this end, they traveled from Glamorgan to Ynys Mons (Anglesey), exploring a theory of Amelia's about geophysical energy in relation to sacred sites - something we take for granted today, but which was cutting edge at the time.
WAFDE legend has it that Amelia and Portia were leaning up against a toppled capstan at Trefignath, looking out towards the mist-bound sea, and enjoying a rather tepid cup of flask-flavoured Earl Grey, when a great green Dragon poked her head around one of the standing stones. Surprised but not frightened, they offered her a biscuit and a marmite-and-cucumber sandwich, sat back and enjoyed the wonder of her company. The next day, Teal - for that was her name - showed them around her weyr and introduced them to the rest of her enchantment.
Trefignath and Teal
In those rare twenty-four hours, with a rip and a snort and a wondrous blaze of Dragonfire, the Dragon Renaissance took wing. What was to become WAFDE, the World Association for Dragons Everywhere, began germinating in Amelia's fertile imagination.*
Amelia and Portia bought a cottage adjacent to the weyr. There, with the aid of the National Trust and various philanthropic individuals, they created Britain's first Dragon sanctuary - and WAFDE HQ- overlooking the Irish Sea: High Wing Tor.
Today, WAFDE standard flies on every continent. With its 175 branches (and growing), it is the world's leading organization for Dragon conservation and education. To this end, one of the highlights of WAFDE's year is the Month of the Dragon festivities. Held every October, on WAFDE's Facebook site and over at MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest Blog, it is a virtual event that spreads draconic goodwill from one corner of Cyberia to another.
They also oversee the licensing of all sanctuaries and lay-bys, and have been instrumental in recent Dragon census efforts.
* For a more detailed account of Amelia Penrhyn-Haile's life and the founding of WAFDE see Welcome Home the Dragons: Amelia Penrhyn-Haile and the Dragon Renaissance by Ally Azdaja. Ladon Imprint. Wyvern-Basilisk Publishing..
SHORT PROSE & VARIEGATED FICTION
RARE BEINGS & MYTHIC MISCELLANY