Originally from here.
Everyone's got that unexpected something, if not few things, that will instantly transport them back to their childhoods. I hope for everyone that they have at least one happy thing; I'm very fortunate myself to have several. This particular "something" I've had a great fondness for since I was a young child, and something I couldn't get enough of at one point; very broadly, it was mythology, but much more specifically, it was mythical beasts.
I think it started with fantasy video games and Yoshitaka Amano's breathtaking art, and progressed from there to fantasy books. Finally, once I could find them at my school's library, I was reading every mythology book I could dig up. Poor, underappreciated books! In my mind, the amount of stamps on their slips never did them any justice! My favorites of these sorts of books were ones with a more zoological bent, the ones that had stories exclusively about particular beasts. One section to dragons, one section to unicorns, and so on... Looking at the above picture, I notice the (not unexpected) absence of my old favorite, the wyrm.
Not really a dragon properly, I think I like the wyrm so much because of the folktale "Prince Lindworm." The story itself, you could say, follows the "usual" fairytale script, but since I happen to love fairytales, this isn't a problem. Beyond that, the art that accompanied the story in the book I read it in made an impression - it looked like an old print, with a young maiden, thick with all the dresses she was wearing, standing opposite a wingless, limbless wyrm shedding his skin. I felt like I was peering in through a peephole into some secret place. The artwork was almost suggestive; the wyrm almost seemed, well, shy, and not at all like the monster you'd expect.
Could somebody help me with the above picture? I know what everything is, except Fig. 5, the little guy beneath the Roc. I can't think of it for the life of me!