Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dream 23 "Sir Henry & The Sleeping Dragon" (Sir Henry Pellatt, 1923)

Sir Henry dreamed there was a dragon living in Casa Loma. He found it in the Great Hall, asleep atop a mountain of treasure. The beast must have collected every valuable object in the castle: gold and silver, paintings and tapestries, china and books and swords. Noxious smoke curled from the reptile’s nostrils. There were scorch marks on the ceilings and the walls.

Sir Henry crept carefully forward, plucked a sword free from the pile. Then he mustered all his courage, drew himself up to his full height, and bravely cleared his throat. “Excuse me, sir,” he called out in his most commanding tone, “but that is my treasure. I demand you remove yourself this instant!”

The dragon kept sleeping; didn’t so much as twitch.

So Sir Henry tried again. “I am a knight of the British Empire and you will do as I say!” And with that, he brought his sword down upon the slumbering beast’s scaly hide with every ounce of strength he had.

The blade bounced off harmlessly. There wasn’t even a scratch.

Finally, one of the lizard’s drowsy eyes cracked open. Sir Henry found himself staring into a pupil the size of a tabletop — but only for an instant before the eyelid slid back shut. Then, with a flick of its tail, the dragon sent the knight flying through the window, out into the garden, and down the Davenport hill.


Sir Henry Pellatt was one of the richest men in Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He built Casa Loma as an opulent home for himself and his wife before his corrupt business practices destroyed his fortune — and the life savings of thousands of other Canadians along with it. 

You can read more about Sir Henry and the building of Casa Loma here. Explore more Toronto Dreams Project postcards here.