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story sketch: diapering dragons [update: 08-30-2011]

This sketch is from [personal profile] aldersprig's suburban fantasy setting, dragons next door. Ten-year-old Juniper has offered to babysit the Smith's new baby, an adorable blue hatchling...who spits up acid and needs asbestos diapers.

A young girl holds a baby blue dragon wearing an asbestos diaper

cleaned-up sketch:
A young girl holds a baby blue dragon wearing an asbestos diaper

rough sketch:
A young girl holds a baby blue dragon wearing an asbestos diaper
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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.


How big are the adult dragons?
That's a question for Aldersprig, but baby was described as about the size of a medium dog, so I'm guessing significantly larger than that.
Hmm. The story-snippets say "big", but I don't have much of a sense of scale.
Me, neither :-) Um. Large or huge but not gargantuan. Maybe that long (30+feet), but only because rather sinuous. Sort of a xbreed between western and eastern dragons. (like Trex, they probably grow into the legs, too)
Hmm. Well, they appear to be small enough that if one licks a human, they can do so at least somewhat delicately, rather than a dragon's tongue being bigger than a human. And drunken James (who could plausibly be close to full size?) passed out on the lawn is small enough that a broom handle is long enough to poke him in the ribs with (from a safe-from-accidental-clawing distance? Does that make his legs not more than, say, five feet long?), while talking to him at the same time, though a long flexible dragon neck could make the latter easy. I get the impression from that scene that carrying/rolling James home was not a feasible option, though that could be more about flaming or acidic hiccups than about size. And an offering of biscuits and gravy, presumably in reasonable human-home-cook quantities, is tempting, which suggests they don't eat multiple whole cows at a sitting ...

So, is that room big enough for the adults to fit into comfortably? Is the window high enough for them to see out of? Or is the window deliberately baby-scale (perhaps in a corner of an adult-scale room)? It looks like the little fellow could fit out of the open window if he tried, though I don't know that he's that agile yet.

Baby there is decidedly not sinuous yet, especially with those whomping huge back feet, but that, too, can be grown into. :)
Now that you mention it...I did draw a 'corner' line out of habit, which I probably shouldn't have :P My original idea was that it would be an irregularly shaped room with a high ceiling, and the window is meant to be tall and narrow. The space is probably just big enough for a cozy dragon nursery. (The thought of which is making me want to draw a parent dragon curled around the crib, with baby inside ^.^) Since the previous occupants were ogres, who are probably a bit smaller than dragons, I don't think the dwelling would necessarily have been custom-sized with dragons in mind, but I imagine there's a cavernous master 'bedroom' nearby...
The thought of which is making me want to draw a parent dragon curled around the crib, with baby inside ^.^

!!! Please?

did draw a 'corner' line out of habit

Oh, hey, that wasn't there in the first sketch, was it? And the angles of the window and the bookshelf don't really suggest that they're at right angles to each other, either, but they're both so nice and square I assumed the room was despite the clearly irregular flagstones and and wall construction.
heehee...I'll put it on the list for when I finish my model (assuming Aldersprig doesn't mind me borrowing her characters ;) )

Yeah...the corner wasn't really supposed to be there. I'll go back and fix it when I'm done with Shine On.
Yay, logical thought! (Thank you)

I'm going to have to actually figure out scale for my dragons now. *grin* Accidental worldbuilding!

I just watched a bit of a special on TRex juveniles, and how the leg-to-body ratio changed as they got older.
<big eyes> meeksp can't draw the parent and child portrait she suggested if she doesn't know what the adults look like.
Well, then, I guess you're just going to have to help me figure out what they look like! :-D

Hrmm. What if length vs. circumference is a function of age?
Do they grow their whole lives, or do they reach some maximum size and then stop? Do they grow in stages (as with the color change(s)), with major molts in between (like poor Jimmy is going through, or wrapping up), or is it more continuous? Is adolescent Jimmy close to full size?

Could Jimmy, or one of the adults, carry Juniper, her whole family, more? In his claws or on his back? And still fly? Are their wings (and the skeletal structure they're attached to) big enough for them to fly mundanely, or is there some magic/handwaving involved in that? If they fly mundanely, they're going to need a huge breastbone/keel for the flight muscles to attach to, and it would make sense to keep everything else as light as possible -- which could work with the length/circumference changes. Where do their wings sit/attach relative to their legs? It looks like Baby's wings are no further forward than his front legs, and could be well behind them, depending on how they fold -- and if he's going to fly mundanely, his wings are going to grow a whole lot relative to the rest of him.

On the ground, do they usually walk on two legs (t-rex?) or four? Can/will they do the other, or is it impossible/undignified (if sufficiently sinuous, walking on two legs could get awkward)? If four, how do they routinely carry things around? If they're outside/have space, do they prefer to walk or fly?

... I, umm, might think about things by asking questions, which does not work for everyone. Or I could try to ask more story-oriented questions. Juniper is imagining warrior-princess-and-dragon -- does she think the "and dragon" is a fellow warrior or a faithful steed? How do they travel? Do her storybooks/imaginings usefully reflect real dragons, or is she going to run into some "but all the stories say ..." issues?
I actually work really well from questions, actually! (laughs at self... actually)

I think they grow in stages.
I think Jimmy is at, say, the middle of 5 stages (baby, child, teen, young adult, old adult).

Jimmy can carry Juniper on his back, and her dolly in his claws (not sure on that one)
Jimmy's parents could carry both of Juniper's parents on either of their backs and still fly.

They fly either mundanely or mostly-mundanely.

Perhaps they can't fly until early adolescence?

Not sure about the two/four. Thinking four, and now I'm picturing a dragon carrying a baby in its jaw like a stork.

They enjoy flying, but locomote comfortably in cities by walking.

Juniper's and-dragon fell in Telepathic Horse Who Fights when I was imagining the story. They travel by flying, and her imaginings are realistic, sometimes more than the stories, which can get a bit more fanciful.

C/P'ing this to my journal, if you don't mind.
I drew baby as more-or-less egg-shaped, if his limbs are tucked in, and assumed that dragons get bigger, longer, and more pointy(?) as they get older.
Hee, reasonable!! :-)
How alarmingly reasonable.

And now I wonder how baby snakes are arranged inside the egg. <pokes google> I am asking very well, but what I'm finding so far suggests "all curled up". I wonder how that doesn't lead to asymetrical development.