By Uncle Thor
[Snip] Dragons fascinate people. They figure in many folk tales and in quite a few modern fantasy tales. The mythic Dragon of Norse lore is a very specific fellow, be he Fafnir or the drache of Beowulf. The Northern dragon is a hot-tempered, long creature whose breath is deadly. He may spew fire or acid. He may be a slithering snake or a flying reptile. The things that remain constant are his hoard of wealth, his raging defense of it, and his temper.
The dragon tends to live in a deep, dark place such as a cave or the depths of an abandoned fortress. Here he has amassed a treasure trove of precious stones and objects made of precious metals. The dragon guards his hoard diligently. He rarely leaves it ,and when he does, he does not stray far lest a robber come upon it. The irony is that the treasure is of little practical use to the dragon. He cannot spend it or use it for his own enjoyment. Indeed, his plight is like a quote from the apochryphal Gnostic Gospel of Thomas: “He is like a dog in a manger. He cannot eat, and forbids others to eat, as well.”
Just as the precious things have no use to a dragon, so fodder has no use to a dog. The dragon and the dog guard what is essentially useless to them and they forbid others to benefit from it. There is even an extreme form of this behavior in humans. It is a pathological condition known as compulsive hoarding.