Maud and the Dragon, Herefordshire
The story of the Mordiford Dragon is part Disney, part Hammer House of Horror.
A young Mordiford girl called Maud found a tiny baby dragon while walking near her home a short distance east of Hereford . When she brought it home to show her parents they reacted with horror, and told her to get rid of it. But she hid it out of their sight and fed it up on milk. The once tiny creature grew enormously every month, until within a year it was a huge and terrifying beast no longer content to subsist on milk: it began to eat farm animals.
Not unnaturally the farmers objected to their loss of stock, and some grouped together to destroy it. The dragon ate them. The depredations continued apace, but sensitive to the help Maud had once given it the dragon never threatened her or her farmstead; moreover she could temporarily halt its attacks, soothing the giant lizard with motherly strokes.
Eventually a local nobleman, a member of the Garston family, volunteered to confront the creature, and (of course) with great bravery he fought the thing, deflecting fire with his shiny shield before running it through with his lance. Maud was distraught; the neighbourhood apparently less so.
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