The dragon, the monkey and the owl

6 Sep 2021

I’m not one for much creative writing, but I’ll try. I thought to use these creatures as metaphors for thinking, since they are so evocative. 


Throughout my life into late middle age, I have suffered from anxiety, sometimes most grievously, even to the point of wanting to end things, just to end the relentless fear. But, because of this, I have had a most pressing motivation to learn. I’ve also had many years to learn, and many great teachers to learn from. I have taken the ideas and exercises and put them to the test. And I use the things that work. 


I empathise with anybody caught in the grip of racing and terrifying fear, and fear created almost entirely by the mind. And especially in the dark, alone in the early morning, in bed, as that is also a vulnerable time for me. So it is, the dragon comes breathing fire, massive and powerful, and I run, heart pounding, breath rapid, thought out of control (it’s a waking nightmare). The dragon is not sympathetic, but he is almighty. Beware, he takes no prisoners. What can you do when he comes? This is always most challenging, the best thing is not be around when he comes, or rather, not to summon him into a vulnerable mind. So, after many years of working on myself, I have been able to disconnect, to some extent, from the thinking that the dragon uses as his sixths sense radar. 


The monkey is the dragon’s alter ego, where the dragon strikes terror, the monkey is up to his tricks, inquisitive and nimble and he often doesn’t concentrate well if you try to make him do the wrong things for too long. He’s like a hyperactive, intelligent eight-year-old, high on too much sugar and he’s been up late playing computer games again. So, he’s not too impressed by being made to study Maths on a Friday afternoon, and he acts up, again! But in the right circumstances, looking for adventure and with his friends he’s great fun, and he’s actually really fantastic at making and composing things and loves new ideas. He is the emblem for creativity, but if he’s not creative he can look for negative attention and so wreak havoc. 


The owl is mysterious, and rarely seen, so if you ever catch a sight of her gliding through the trees at night, then you are indeed privileged. She is wise. And, of course, she can see where most would be fumbling about, lost and bewildered. She represents a part of the mind, which is hard to define, a kind of faith, and some deep knowing, a distillation from all the pain and suffering but mixed with experience of joy also. The owl does not fly in the stormy sky, but she may come after the storm has passed.  


Respect the dragon, keep the monkey gainfully occupied and wait for the owl. 




A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at to submit your own blog post!


Login or Sign Up to Comment and Read Comments