During the reign of Charlemagne, there lived in the region of Gascony a very
old and wise dragon called Jilocasin, who was a poet. Every so often, Jilocasin
would abandon his confortable and spacious dwelling and take a human form to
visit the King's court. There he was a well-known and respected troubadour, and
he made the most of these brief sejourns to sing his verses and listen to the
creations of the other poets. Then he would return to his home in Gascony,
where he could compose in peace and lead a peaceful life far from the world.
One day, he was travelling through the forest of Gascony disguised as a
troubadour, when he heard a desperate cry of help. Without losing a moment he
ran in the direction of the screams and came across a poor woman who was
trying to defend herself against some bandits. Jilocasin changed back into a
dragon and with two blows he finished off the ruffians. The woman had fainted
from her injuries, and the dragon lifted her onto his back and flew speedily
back to his dwelling.
Jilocasin's servants took care of the lady, whose clothes, although they were
torn and dirty, were those of a lady of high rank.
On undoing the bundle which the woman clasped to her breast, they found a
baby only few weeks old slumbering peacefully, oblivious to everything.
Thanks to the care and solicitude of the servants, the woman soon came to, and
Jilocasin took on his human shape to visit his protegée. The lady expressed
her gratitude and told him her story. She had been widowed within two years
of marriage, and her family had forced her to marry her cousin, an
unscruppulous man who was interested only in inheriting the title and wealth
of her deceased husband.
The wedding was celebrated in haste, before the mourning period prescribed by
law had been observed.
'But I wass pregnant by my first husband, something which my cousin did not
knows', explained the woman, weeping. 'When the baby was born, six month after
the forced wedding, my husband tried to seize the baby to prevent him
threatening his inheritance. Fearing for the life of my son, I ran away, but
the villain pursued me with his henchmen, and he almost succeeded in killing
Fortunately, you saved us, and now my life belongs to you.'
Touched by the grief and beauty of the woman, Jilocasin offered her support
and shelter in his house.
Time passed, and the dragon-troubadour and the lady became inseparable. The
beautiful fugitive was aware of Jilocasin's true identity, but she was so
taken by his kindness and amiability that it did not affect her love for him.
Meanwhile, the dragon found in her the understanding and friendship he always
sought. Jilocasin and the lady would go for a long walks together, and
sometimes the dragon would carry her on his back and they would visit far-off
lands. Together they rode, loved, and sang the verses which the dragon-poet
composed. They spent three happy years in this way. To complete her happiness,
the woman became pregnant. They were both looking forward to the birth of
their son, but the lady died in childbirth. Jilocasin was inconsolable. He had
lost an irreplaceable companion, the only woman who loved him as he was.
Faithful to her memory, the dragon cared for the two boys without making any
distinction between his adoptive son and his own son. He taught them the
highest principles and, after a while, present them at court to be armed
The two brothers, who chose to be called the Knights of the Dragon, were famous
for their nobility and honour, and they finally avenged their mother's memory
by capturing the castle which their villainous uncle had stolen from them.