This month’s featured museum exhibit is the Dragon’s Droppings and, before you ask, yes of course it’s real. Just look at it, a pile of red-and-gold coloured ‘dung’ stuck on a wooden plinth and neatly labelled
Found: Snowdonia Mountain Range
Date: 19th December 1993
Type: Possibly Snow Dragon
It’s an exhibit that gives individual children the confidence to start up a conversation, especially during a school visit when their classmates are listening in. ‘Is it real?’ ‘How do you know it comes from a dragon?’ ‘Who found it?’ We tell them about our friend, Andy the storyteller and great-grandson of a dragon tamer, who donated it to the museum. And that leads on to a discussion about whether dragons should be tamed or slain; about how dragons should behave; what dragons eat (do Princesses turn into that kind of dung?), how their digestive system works; how they deal with all that fire in their bellies ….
Before long the borders between fact and fantasy, between science and belief, between reality and imagination, have blurred. And that’s what makes a great museum visit.