- European (culture)
- Aquatic (attribute)
- Forest Dweller (attribute)
- Mountain Dweller (attribute)
- Deadly (behaviour)
- Dragons (common type)
These are Dragons from Armenia who lived on Mount Ararat and the mountain ranges of the Azhdahak and beneath the lakes, in the trees and in the clouds. Unlike most Dragons in mythology, the Vishaps had long flowing hair. The Vishap had poisonous blood causing nay combat with it extremely dangerous. It was said that anyone that cut the Demon with a weapon would have their weapon become extremely poisonous to all blows made with it. Vishaps had shape-shifting abilities. They created thunderstorms when they got angry and terrorised people. The god Vahagn was a great Vishap slayer.
The Vishaps feature in the story of a young peasant boy called Suren. One day he got into a ferocious argument with his parents when he saw his infant sister Koknas stealing the family's food. the parents called him a liar as Koknas was not old enough to be capable of such an act. Suren then ran away until he found a deserted village. He came to a house which seemed to be the only place where there was life. In the house was an elderly couple who were both blind. They welcomed the boy as they were astonished that he had came to this village and had evaded the 3 evil Vishaps. The couple explained that the Vishaps had stolen their eyes and had imprisoned all the other villagers so that they could eat them one by one. The boy asked why they had not been taken prisoner. The couple replied by stating that they milked the cows and attended the sheep that now belonged to the Vishaps. Suren then decided to look after the farm animals. One dya a lion came approached and said that it meant no harm and only came to give away its two cubs. Suren acdepted them as his pets and within a month both cubs had matured into two powerful lions which he named Zangi meaning ‘Blackie’ and Zarangi meaning ‘Goldie’
Life continued peacefully until one day whilst sitting under the shade of a tree a Vishap came to him. He leapt to his feet and his lions were ready to attack. The Vishap said she meant no harm and just wanted him to look for nats in her hair. Suren called off his lions and sat under the tree with the Dragon’s head resting on his lap. Seeing the hunger in her eyes, Suren knew this was a trap. He pretended to look for nats but secretly he actually tied her hair to the tree. With a firm knot tied, he said he needed to gather a wandering goat. As he walked away the Vishap tried to attack but was tied to the tree. Suren picked up the sheep and came back. standing a few feet away from the Vishap. he demanded the key to unlock the cage of prisoners and to get the eyes of his adopted parents. The Vishap said she did not know the whereabouts of the key - that was something only her older sister knew. Displeased Suren set his lions upon her who tore the Dragon into pieces. This happened a second time but to avail. With two Dragons slain and two months later the older sister Vishap came. she two fell for the trick and was coerced into telling Suren the whereabouts of the key. With this knowledge he ordered his lions to kill the Vishap and her rescued the prisoners and returned the eyes to his foster parents.
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