Well, the wyvern is part dragon, at least. It’s got the head of a dragon, bat wings, the tail of a snake, and (sometimes) a couple of legs. It’s bigger than a lion. Its name comes from the old French word for viper. You often see them in heraldry, like these sea wyverns from the crest of West Dorset.
But wyverns don’t just spend their time holding up shields. Like other dragons, they also like to eat things.
Once upon a time in Mordiford (I love that name), Herefordshire, a little girl by the name of Maud adopted a strange looking creature the size of a puppy. She hid it in the woods, sensing her parents wouldn’t approve, and fed it on milk.
Unfortunately, as it grew, it developed leathery wings and green scales. It also developed a taste for sheep and cows. As it grew, the milk no longer satisfied it, so the local farmers started to lose livestock.
And then farmers started to lose… themselves. Humans tasty.
The wyvern terrorized everyone in the town except Maud. The villagers had no clue what to do until a wandering traveller stopped by–as they often do in legends. This guy, named Garston, hunted down the wyvern and killed it while Maud watched and wept.
You know, I like that legend. Mostly because it doesn’t end with Maud and Garston getting married. Nope, he just kills her pet and leaves.