In the year AD 1405 in the township of Bures near Sudbury in Suffolk, England, the populace was terrorized by a dragon. A local chronicle records that,

"Close to the town of Bures, near Sudbury, there has lately appeared, to the great hurt of the countryside, a dragon, vast in body, with a crested head, teeth like a saw, and a tail extending to an enormous length. Having slaughtered the shepherd of a flock, it devoured many sheep....In order to destroy him, all the country people around were summoned. But when the dragon saw that he was again to be assailed with arrows, he fled into a marsh or mere and there hid himself among the long reeds, and was no more seen."

This account is further substantiated by a different chronicle, which contains the following short note:

"Dragon emerged from the River Stour near Clappits. Proving impervious to arrows etc, it was driven off by the villagers in extreme agitation, disappearing into the mere near Wormingford."

A further source is a local legend written down many years later about a "fighting dragon" brought to Bures by a returning crusader which terrorized the populace before it "dived into the river and swam downstream towards Wormingford, never to be seen again."

Today the people of Bures are justly proud to have been the hosts of one of history's best documented dragons, which they have proudly named the "Bures Dragon." The people of Wormingford, however, argue that it should be called the "Wormingford Dragon" on the reasoning that since the dragon went to Wormingford and was never seen again, it must have been slain by the brave Worminfordians of yore, and therefore their town should have the honor of have its name attached to the famous dragon.

Amazingly enough, the Bures-Worminford Dragon is most often cited today by creationists as evidence that the creatures scientists call "dinosaurs" did not exist millions of years before mankind but were actually beasts known as "dragons" which lived alongside mankind in historically recent eras. They claim that the description of the Bures dragon in the first chronicle sounds just like one of two creatures scientists have labeled "Dilophosaurus" and "Cryolophosaurus."

Call me crazy, but I tend to favor a different theory that has been advanced to explain the Bures Dragon, which is that it was a crocodile which was known to have escaped from King Richard II's menagerie.

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