Dragons are popular subjects for books and films as evidenced by the popularity of the book series HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and the two recent animated films of that name that brought in over one billion US dollars in earnings so far. The history of the dragon goes back to 4000 B.C. A good guess is that the dragon's reptilian appearance with scales, a long tail, and long snout with fire-breathing capabilities evolved from viewing their smaller cousins such as snakes, lizards, and crocodiles plus discovery of the bones of long dead dinosaur reptilians. Who knows. For whatever reason dragons appear in myth and fairy tales in cultures worldwide often as hoarders of treasure. Most mythical dragons must be slayed by a hero to stop them from terrorizing the countryside. The hero subsequently receives the hand in marriage of the local princess, or at least a beautiful maiden, to reward his efforts in destroying the marauding dragon. Viking raiders used the symbol of the dragon on the prow of their longships. St. George, patron saint of the United Kingdom, is famous for slaying a fire-breathing dragon and rescuing a maiden. In Japan's oldest book, Yamata no Orochi, a dragon with many heads, was slain by the warrior Susanoo, who won the hand of the maiden he saved from the dragon that had already eaten her seven sisters. In ancient Mesopotamia, the dragon Zu stole the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil, the sky god. Ninuta, the sun god, had to kill Zu to retrieve them. The list of evil dragons of all colors living in all sorts of habitats, from snow fields to swampy marshes, to forests, to deserts goes on and on. In China, as opposed to most other lands, the dragon is venerated. Yu, the rain god in Chinese myth, was a golden dragon that controlled floods as well. The Dragon dance performed on the Chinese new year is a tradition to petition the "Dragon King" to provide rain to grow crops needed for the coming year and to scare away evil spirits.