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The Guivre – A serpent dragon said to plague the French countryside, notably rivers and streams and even deep wells. Its breath was believed to be toxic and the cause of disease.

The French Guivre

As if Medieval France did not have enough problems with wars for the French crown and the papacy running down heretics, the serpent dragon known as the Guivre slithered the forests and water ways. Aggressive and with toxic breath, the Guivre was a killer until a French farmer discovered a means of countering the swift strike of the Guivre.

After a hard day's labor, the farmer took off his clothes to indulge in a refreshing swim in a nearby river. When he emerged naked from the water, a Guivre slipped out of the foliage along the riverbank and confronted him with its dragon head and snake-like body.

The farmer seized up with fear, knowing that the death blow would soon come, but amazingly in his naked vulnerability, with all of his body exposed to the world, he was not attacked. Indeed, the Guivre became flustered and was said to even blush, if such a thing can be believed of a dragon. Unnerved by the naked French man, the Guivre fled.

Finally a means of defeating the Guivre and ridding the land of them had been stumbled upon. As they say, sometimes the solution to your problems is with reach of your hands, and methinks the story of the Guivre also explains the origin of the French nude beach.


Source:

"Dragons: A Natural History." 1995. Dr. Karl Shuker. Simon & Schuster , New York . Pages 16-18.


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