It Ain’t Just Dragons

Mom_thumbnail_20I love dragons. Always have, always will.Dragonshrek

The dragons I met in Fairy Tales, the dragons in myths, the wondrous one-toothed Ollie from “Kukla Fran and Ollie,” a TV show when I was very young. And Anne McCaffery’s Pern world of dragons, Terry Pratchett’s dragons, and Oscar Wildes’, and on and on. In truth, I was never that crazy about Saint George. And who says dragons only ate virgins? A vile calumny. Seems to me that they’d eat anybody. Show me a dragon and I’m yours. Hoorah for the new anthology about them!

But then, I must tell you that I love almost all mythical creatures. I amend that. Who is to say that they’re mythical?

DinodragI’ve seen fossils of giant swimming, walking and flying reptiles from prehistory. Now just imagine: if one or two survived in some lost, dark place, into the time of mankind, they’d have been seen, and wondered at, wouldn’t they have been? And so was born legend? Possible. And so are all the others, or so I think.

Just think of all the other wondrous creatures we were told about since childhood: Giants and mermaids and trolls, oh my! ClosetmonsterElves, fairies, gnomes, changelings and satyrs, unicorns and centaurs, selkies and vampires and zombies, ghosts and banshees, and the big dark thing that hunkers down until midnight that lives in all imaginative children’s closets.

In fact – she hinted not too subtly – my next book, coming in September, has a certain para-super-natural element. Super indeed. Say no more! At least, I won’t, not just yet.

So my question this week is simple.

If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?

68 thoughts on “It Ain’t Just Dragons”

  1. “I’ve seen fossils of giant swimming, walking and flying reptiles from prehistory. Now just imagine: if one or two survived in some lost, dark place, into the time of mankind, they’d have been seen, and wondered at, wouldn’t they have been?”
    I’ve heard it suggested that it wouldn’t even have to be a surviving dinosaur–it would just take people finding the giant fossil bones.
    And sort of along those lines…my not-quite-3-year-old isn’t really familiar with dragons, but she does know dinosaurs. There’s a box of toy ones in her classroom at daycare, and we have several of Jane Yolen’s wonderful HOW DOES A DINOSAUR… picture books. Anyway, about a week ago, I gave her a stuffed dragon. I was about to tell her what it was, but she took one look at it and pronounced it a “dinosaur superhero.” Works for me!
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d have to pick some kind of magical horse–a unicorn or winged horse. I was a horse-mad child, and my favorite Narnian creatures were the talking horses from THE HORSE AND HIS BOY and the unicorn from THE LAST BATTLE.

    Reply
  2. “I’ve seen fossils of giant swimming, walking and flying reptiles from prehistory. Now just imagine: if one or two survived in some lost, dark place, into the time of mankind, they’d have been seen, and wondered at, wouldn’t they have been?”
    I’ve heard it suggested that it wouldn’t even have to be a surviving dinosaur–it would just take people finding the giant fossil bones.
    And sort of along those lines…my not-quite-3-year-old isn’t really familiar with dragons, but she does know dinosaurs. There’s a box of toy ones in her classroom at daycare, and we have several of Jane Yolen’s wonderful HOW DOES A DINOSAUR… picture books. Anyway, about a week ago, I gave her a stuffed dragon. I was about to tell her what it was, but she took one look at it and pronounced it a “dinosaur superhero.” Works for me!
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d have to pick some kind of magical horse–a unicorn or winged horse. I was a horse-mad child, and my favorite Narnian creatures were the talking horses from THE HORSE AND HIS BOY and the unicorn from THE LAST BATTLE.

    Reply
  3. “I’ve seen fossils of giant swimming, walking and flying reptiles from prehistory. Now just imagine: if one or two survived in some lost, dark place, into the time of mankind, they’d have been seen, and wondered at, wouldn’t they have been?”
    I’ve heard it suggested that it wouldn’t even have to be a surviving dinosaur–it would just take people finding the giant fossil bones.
    And sort of along those lines…my not-quite-3-year-old isn’t really familiar with dragons, but she does know dinosaurs. There’s a box of toy ones in her classroom at daycare, and we have several of Jane Yolen’s wonderful HOW DOES A DINOSAUR… picture books. Anyway, about a week ago, I gave her a stuffed dragon. I was about to tell her what it was, but she took one look at it and pronounced it a “dinosaur superhero.” Works for me!
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d have to pick some kind of magical horse–a unicorn or winged horse. I was a horse-mad child, and my favorite Narnian creatures were the talking horses from THE HORSE AND HIS BOY and the unicorn from THE LAST BATTLE.

    Reply
  4. “I’ve seen fossils of giant swimming, walking and flying reptiles from prehistory. Now just imagine: if one or two survived in some lost, dark place, into the time of mankind, they’d have been seen, and wondered at, wouldn’t they have been?”
    I’ve heard it suggested that it wouldn’t even have to be a surviving dinosaur–it would just take people finding the giant fossil bones.
    And sort of along those lines…my not-quite-3-year-old isn’t really familiar with dragons, but she does know dinosaurs. There’s a box of toy ones in her classroom at daycare, and we have several of Jane Yolen’s wonderful HOW DOES A DINOSAUR… picture books. Anyway, about a week ago, I gave her a stuffed dragon. I was about to tell her what it was, but she took one look at it and pronounced it a “dinosaur superhero.” Works for me!
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d have to pick some kind of magical horse–a unicorn or winged horse. I was a horse-mad child, and my favorite Narnian creatures were the talking horses from THE HORSE AND HIS BOY and the unicorn from THE LAST BATTLE.

    Reply
  5. From Sherrie:
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    You know what immediately popped into my mind? Hagrid, from the Harry Potter books. I adore Hagrid. As J.K. Rowling says, “we all want a Hagrid in our lives.” He’s not exactly a monster, but he does qualify as “another such.”
    I haven’t read much fantasy or paranormal, so I’m unfamiliar with most dragons and other creatures that many of you may know and love. I’ll have to draw from classic mythology and say I’d adore meeting (and riding) Pegasus. I’ve had horses most of my life and just love them. I think it would be thrilling to ride Pegasus through the clouds.
    But dragons … oooohhhh, love dragons, especially flying dragons. I wonder what the fascination is with these creatures? They sure do have a huge following! Love the cover for DRAGON LOVERS.

    Reply
  6. From Sherrie:
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    You know what immediately popped into my mind? Hagrid, from the Harry Potter books. I adore Hagrid. As J.K. Rowling says, “we all want a Hagrid in our lives.” He’s not exactly a monster, but he does qualify as “another such.”
    I haven’t read much fantasy or paranormal, so I’m unfamiliar with most dragons and other creatures that many of you may know and love. I’ll have to draw from classic mythology and say I’d adore meeting (and riding) Pegasus. I’ve had horses most of my life and just love them. I think it would be thrilling to ride Pegasus through the clouds.
    But dragons … oooohhhh, love dragons, especially flying dragons. I wonder what the fascination is with these creatures? They sure do have a huge following! Love the cover for DRAGON LOVERS.

    Reply
  7. From Sherrie:
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    You know what immediately popped into my mind? Hagrid, from the Harry Potter books. I adore Hagrid. As J.K. Rowling says, “we all want a Hagrid in our lives.” He’s not exactly a monster, but he does qualify as “another such.”
    I haven’t read much fantasy or paranormal, so I’m unfamiliar with most dragons and other creatures that many of you may know and love. I’ll have to draw from classic mythology and say I’d adore meeting (and riding) Pegasus. I’ve had horses most of my life and just love them. I think it would be thrilling to ride Pegasus through the clouds.
    But dragons … oooohhhh, love dragons, especially flying dragons. I wonder what the fascination is with these creatures? They sure do have a huge following! Love the cover for DRAGON LOVERS.

    Reply
  8. From Sherrie:
    “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    You know what immediately popped into my mind? Hagrid, from the Harry Potter books. I adore Hagrid. As J.K. Rowling says, “we all want a Hagrid in our lives.” He’s not exactly a monster, but he does qualify as “another such.”
    I haven’t read much fantasy or paranormal, so I’m unfamiliar with most dragons and other creatures that many of you may know and love. I’ll have to draw from classic mythology and say I’d adore meeting (and riding) Pegasus. I’ve had horses most of my life and just love them. I think it would be thrilling to ride Pegasus through the clouds.
    But dragons … oooohhhh, love dragons, especially flying dragons. I wonder what the fascination is with these creatures? They sure do have a huge following! Love the cover for DRAGON LOVERS.

    Reply
  9. I think I’d want to meet an angel or a “guardian” for the obvious reasons, but the demon will not be invited over for tea.
    I think it’s fascinating, anthropologically speaking, that “imaginary creatures” have such a strong foothold in so many different cultures.

    Reply
  10. I think I’d want to meet an angel or a “guardian” for the obvious reasons, but the demon will not be invited over for tea.
    I think it’s fascinating, anthropologically speaking, that “imaginary creatures” have such a strong foothold in so many different cultures.

    Reply
  11. I think I’d want to meet an angel or a “guardian” for the obvious reasons, but the demon will not be invited over for tea.
    I think it’s fascinating, anthropologically speaking, that “imaginary creatures” have such a strong foothold in so many different cultures.

    Reply
  12. I think I’d want to meet an angel or a “guardian” for the obvious reasons, but the demon will not be invited over for tea.
    I think it’s fascinating, anthropologically speaking, that “imaginary creatures” have such a strong foothold in so many different cultures.

    Reply
  13. Wench Edith asked…”If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?’
    Wonderful question, Edith! (And, please, do tell, if you can the name of your September baby.)
    If I could meet any “creature”, I would want to meet a Traveler. (like young Wesley did in ST:TNG) I want to see the world as it was. Feel the spray on my face as the the Red Sea parted, meet the midns that built the great columns of Rome, experience the horror and the hard won vitories of Waterloo and Gettysburg. That would be the ultimate adventure.
    Nina

    Reply
  14. Wench Edith asked…”If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?’
    Wonderful question, Edith! (And, please, do tell, if you can the name of your September baby.)
    If I could meet any “creature”, I would want to meet a Traveler. (like young Wesley did in ST:TNG) I want to see the world as it was. Feel the spray on my face as the the Red Sea parted, meet the midns that built the great columns of Rome, experience the horror and the hard won vitories of Waterloo and Gettysburg. That would be the ultimate adventure.
    Nina

    Reply
  15. Wench Edith asked…”If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?’
    Wonderful question, Edith! (And, please, do tell, if you can the name of your September baby.)
    If I could meet any “creature”, I would want to meet a Traveler. (like young Wesley did in ST:TNG) I want to see the world as it was. Feel the spray on my face as the the Red Sea parted, meet the midns that built the great columns of Rome, experience the horror and the hard won vitories of Waterloo and Gettysburg. That would be the ultimate adventure.
    Nina

    Reply
  16. Wench Edith asked…”If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?’
    Wonderful question, Edith! (And, please, do tell, if you can the name of your September baby.)
    If I could meet any “creature”, I would want to meet a Traveler. (like young Wesley did in ST:TNG) I want to see the world as it was. Feel the spray on my face as the the Red Sea parted, meet the midns that built the great columns of Rome, experience the horror and the hard won vitories of Waterloo and Gettysburg. That would be the ultimate adventure.
    Nina

    Reply
  17. A gargoyle, Edith. Don’t think I’d want one as a friend exactly, but they have always fascinated me because people took so much trouble to carve their images into what are basically water spouts.
    Jo

    Reply
  18. A gargoyle, Edith. Don’t think I’d want one as a friend exactly, but they have always fascinated me because people took so much trouble to carve their images into what are basically water spouts.
    Jo

    Reply
  19. A gargoyle, Edith. Don’t think I’d want one as a friend exactly, but they have always fascinated me because people took so much trouble to carve their images into what are basically water spouts.
    Jo

    Reply
  20. A gargoyle, Edith. Don’t think I’d want one as a friend exactly, but they have always fascinated me because people took so much trouble to carve their images into what are basically water spouts.
    Jo

    Reply
  21. Having written a book where the hero was a part-time unicorn (and hero wasn’t very happy about it!), I’d rather like to meet the real thing. And if he had wings and could fly like Pegasus–so much the better!
    Mary Jo, thinking a selkie would also be very cool

    Reply
  22. Having written a book where the hero was a part-time unicorn (and hero wasn’t very happy about it!), I’d rather like to meet the real thing. And if he had wings and could fly like Pegasus–so much the better!
    Mary Jo, thinking a selkie would also be very cool

    Reply
  23. Having written a book where the hero was a part-time unicorn (and hero wasn’t very happy about it!), I’d rather like to meet the real thing. And if he had wings and could fly like Pegasus–so much the better!
    Mary Jo, thinking a selkie would also be very cool

    Reply
  24. Having written a book where the hero was a part-time unicorn (and hero wasn’t very happy about it!), I’d rather like to meet the real thing. And if he had wings and could fly like Pegasus–so much the better!
    Mary Jo, thinking a selkie would also be very cool

    Reply
  25. While I love dragons, and, though no horsewoman, am attracted to unicorns, I think I would most like to meet an impish little leprechaun! Though I also agree with Jo that gargoyles are fascinating . . . it’s just like books — there are way too many choices!

    Reply
  26. While I love dragons, and, though no horsewoman, am attracted to unicorns, I think I would most like to meet an impish little leprechaun! Though I also agree with Jo that gargoyles are fascinating . . . it’s just like books — there are way too many choices!

    Reply
  27. While I love dragons, and, though no horsewoman, am attracted to unicorns, I think I would most like to meet an impish little leprechaun! Though I also agree with Jo that gargoyles are fascinating . . . it’s just like books — there are way too many choices!

    Reply
  28. While I love dragons, and, though no horsewoman, am attracted to unicorns, I think I would most like to meet an impish little leprechaun! Though I also agree with Jo that gargoyles are fascinating . . . it’s just like books — there are way too many choices!

    Reply
  29. I don’t know about the angel, Maggie. I imagine he would be a fearful sight; I figure there has to be some reason they start all those messages with “Be not afraid.”
    I’d think it would be wonderful to see a unicorn. I loved Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic, Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn is one of my most treasured reads, and Ann Ashford’s If I Found a Wistful Unicorn has been a favorite book through two generations of children in my family. And I can’t forget the unicorns in the Harry Potter series.

    Reply
  30. I don’t know about the angel, Maggie. I imagine he would be a fearful sight; I figure there has to be some reason they start all those messages with “Be not afraid.”
    I’d think it would be wonderful to see a unicorn. I loved Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic, Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn is one of my most treasured reads, and Ann Ashford’s If I Found a Wistful Unicorn has been a favorite book through two generations of children in my family. And I can’t forget the unicorns in the Harry Potter series.

    Reply
  31. I don’t know about the angel, Maggie. I imagine he would be a fearful sight; I figure there has to be some reason they start all those messages with “Be not afraid.”
    I’d think it would be wonderful to see a unicorn. I loved Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic, Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn is one of my most treasured reads, and Ann Ashford’s If I Found a Wistful Unicorn has been a favorite book through two generations of children in my family. And I can’t forget the unicorns in the Harry Potter series.

    Reply
  32. I don’t know about the angel, Maggie. I imagine he would be a fearful sight; I figure there has to be some reason they start all those messages with “Be not afraid.”
    I’d think it would be wonderful to see a unicorn. I loved Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic, Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn is one of my most treasured reads, and Ann Ashford’s If I Found a Wistful Unicorn has been a favorite book through two generations of children in my family. And I can’t forget the unicorns in the Harry Potter series.

    Reply
  33. A griffin (lion/eagle mix). I was going to write, a basilisk, but I suppose meeting a basilisk would be problematic, glance of death and all. A griffin is just as ancient and exotic without being a horror. Regal, too.

    Reply
  34. A griffin (lion/eagle mix). I was going to write, a basilisk, but I suppose meeting a basilisk would be problematic, glance of death and all. A griffin is just as ancient and exotic without being a horror. Regal, too.

    Reply
  35. A griffin (lion/eagle mix). I was going to write, a basilisk, but I suppose meeting a basilisk would be problematic, glance of death and all. A griffin is just as ancient and exotic without being a horror. Regal, too.

    Reply
  36. A griffin (lion/eagle mix). I was going to write, a basilisk, but I suppose meeting a basilisk would be problematic, glance of death and all. A griffin is just as ancient and exotic without being a horror. Regal, too.

    Reply
  37. I can’t belive Fairys and ghosts have such a small fan base so far. put me firmly down in their camp. I’d hate to meet an evil one (of either) but both would intriduce me to a totally new way of experiencing the world. Most mythical creatures make you say ‘wow, what the heck is that?’ and then the novelty is gone. Oh, it’s apegasus – don’t you have one?
    Fairies and ghosts come with their own cultures and experiences – lives lived outside mine, tales to tell I haven’t heard – And they’d be useful for Finding Things Out.
    Ps – my cousin’s new girlfriend came for a get to know you dinner. Guess who one of her most favorite authors is? G’wan, guess! I told him to hang on to this gal, she’s a keeper.

    Reply
  38. I can’t belive Fairys and ghosts have such a small fan base so far. put me firmly down in their camp. I’d hate to meet an evil one (of either) but both would intriduce me to a totally new way of experiencing the world. Most mythical creatures make you say ‘wow, what the heck is that?’ and then the novelty is gone. Oh, it’s apegasus – don’t you have one?
    Fairies and ghosts come with their own cultures and experiences – lives lived outside mine, tales to tell I haven’t heard – And they’d be useful for Finding Things Out.
    Ps – my cousin’s new girlfriend came for a get to know you dinner. Guess who one of her most favorite authors is? G’wan, guess! I told him to hang on to this gal, she’s a keeper.

    Reply
  39. I can’t belive Fairys and ghosts have such a small fan base so far. put me firmly down in their camp. I’d hate to meet an evil one (of either) but both would intriduce me to a totally new way of experiencing the world. Most mythical creatures make you say ‘wow, what the heck is that?’ and then the novelty is gone. Oh, it’s apegasus – don’t you have one?
    Fairies and ghosts come with their own cultures and experiences – lives lived outside mine, tales to tell I haven’t heard – And they’d be useful for Finding Things Out.
    Ps – my cousin’s new girlfriend came for a get to know you dinner. Guess who one of her most favorite authors is? G’wan, guess! I told him to hang on to this gal, she’s a keeper.

    Reply
  40. I can’t belive Fairys and ghosts have such a small fan base so far. put me firmly down in their camp. I’d hate to meet an evil one (of either) but both would intriduce me to a totally new way of experiencing the world. Most mythical creatures make you say ‘wow, what the heck is that?’ and then the novelty is gone. Oh, it’s apegasus – don’t you have one?
    Fairies and ghosts come with their own cultures and experiences – lives lived outside mine, tales to tell I haven’t heard – And they’d be useful for Finding Things Out.
    Ps – my cousin’s new girlfriend came for a get to know you dinner. Guess who one of her most favorite authors is? G’wan, guess! I told him to hang on to this gal, she’s a keeper.

    Reply
  41. And Jane, I’ve never met a ghost, but I sure have encounted a few. That sufficed for me.
    I guess my dream is to meet an angel (love that radiance) and an elf. (Hello Legolas)

    Reply
  42. And Jane, I’ve never met a ghost, but I sure have encounted a few. That sufficed for me.
    I guess my dream is to meet an angel (love that radiance) and an elf. (Hello Legolas)

    Reply
  43. And Jane, I’ve never met a ghost, but I sure have encounted a few. That sufficed for me.
    I guess my dream is to meet an angel (love that radiance) and an elf. (Hello Legolas)

    Reply
  44. And Jane, I’ve never met a ghost, but I sure have encounted a few. That sufficed for me.
    I guess my dream is to meet an angel (love that radiance) and an elf. (Hello Legolas)

    Reply
  45. “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d love to meet Talat, from McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but he’s a real horse, so maybe he doesn’t count. Actually, I’d be over the moon if I were to meet any of her (good) characters – Aerin, who is not quite mortal; Con, the vampire; Sunshine, who works magic and is a baker; Narl, an unusual fairy; the Beast; Corlath…
    Do X-Men characters count? Some of them are quite fascinating. O.R. Melling has written a few faeries I wouldn’t mind meeting as well.

    Reply
  46. “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d love to meet Talat, from McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but he’s a real horse, so maybe he doesn’t count. Actually, I’d be over the moon if I were to meet any of her (good) characters – Aerin, who is not quite mortal; Con, the vampire; Sunshine, who works magic and is a baker; Narl, an unusual fairy; the Beast; Corlath…
    Do X-Men characters count? Some of them are quite fascinating. O.R. Melling has written a few faeries I wouldn’t mind meeting as well.

    Reply
  47. “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d love to meet Talat, from McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but he’s a real horse, so maybe he doesn’t count. Actually, I’d be over the moon if I were to meet any of her (good) characters – Aerin, who is not quite mortal; Con, the vampire; Sunshine, who works magic and is a baker; Narl, an unusual fairy; the Beast; Corlath…
    Do X-Men characters count? Some of them are quite fascinating. O.R. Melling has written a few faeries I wouldn’t mind meeting as well.

    Reply
  48. “If you could meet up with just one of these creatures or another such that you’ve heard about: which one would you like it to be? And why?”
    I’d love to meet Talat, from McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but he’s a real horse, so maybe he doesn’t count. Actually, I’d be over the moon if I were to meet any of her (good) characters – Aerin, who is not quite mortal; Con, the vampire; Sunshine, who works magic and is a baker; Narl, an unusual fairy; the Beast; Corlath…
    Do X-Men characters count? Some of them are quite fascinating. O.R. Melling has written a few faeries I wouldn’t mind meeting as well.

    Reply
  49. I know, right?? How many people appreciate Alcott these days? And even better – she prefers the posthumous work!!! (How fitting for this topic, no?)

    Reply
  50. I know, right?? How many people appreciate Alcott these days? And even better – she prefers the posthumous work!!! (How fitting for this topic, no?)

    Reply
  51. I know, right?? How many people appreciate Alcott these days? And even better – she prefers the posthumous work!!! (How fitting for this topic, no?)

    Reply
  52. I know, right?? How many people appreciate Alcott these days? And even better – she prefers the posthumous work!!! (How fitting for this topic, no?)

    Reply
  53. Elaine, if you like djinn, have you read the young adult Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud?
    I guarantee you’ll never forget Bartimaeus. A most clever use of footnotes!

    Reply
  54. Elaine, if you like djinn, have you read the young adult Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud?
    I guarantee you’ll never forget Bartimaeus. A most clever use of footnotes!

    Reply
  55. Elaine, if you like djinn, have you read the young adult Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud?
    I guarantee you’ll never forget Bartimaeus. A most clever use of footnotes!

    Reply
  56. Elaine, if you like djinn, have you read the young adult Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud?
    I guarantee you’ll never forget Bartimaeus. A most clever use of footnotes!

    Reply

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