Make a Balloon Animal

Eustace the Dragon

C.S. Lewis, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (volume 3 of the Narnia series) tell how a boy named Eustace was transformed into a dragon and what it took to restore him to human form. First, the sculpture instructions, and then the story.

You will need two balloons of the same color - usually green or red, leaving about 6 inches uninflated.
Begin with a hook twist and then take the hooked part and twist it into a small soft bubble. Twist this small bubble into two equal bubbles. You now have the dragon's snout and nostrils. Follow this with a 1" pinch twist and give it a toe twist to make eyes. Another 1" pinch twist makes the forehead and sets the angle for the neck.
The rest of the balloon will become the neck, one wing and one front leg. The neck is about a 6" bubble. For the wing twist a 4", 1.5", 4", 1.5", 7", fastening the last twist back to the base of the neck. You should have a 3-4" leg left over. Pinch twist the 1.5" bubbles on the wing.
With the second balloon. Make a foreleg and wing to match what you already have and twist connect it at the base of the neck. Twist a 4" body, followed by 3-4" rear legs lock twisted together, leaving a long tail.

For variation, you can follow the neck with the body, rear legs and tail, and then make both wings and front legs from a contrasting color second balloon.

Now for the story . . .

Eustace never got along with others because he only thought about himself. If anyone disagreed with him, he thought they were just stupid, and he never did anything to help unless he was forced to. So when the ship Dawn Treader stopped at an unknown island for repairs, he wandered off by himself.
Eustace found his way to an abandoned cave that had once been a dragon's lair. In it there was a pile of treasure hoarded by the dragon. Eustace stuffed his pockets with jewels and coins, put on a golden arm band and fell asleep. But sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he became a dragon himself. Through this disaster and other events that followed, Eustace had a change of heart, and in his dragon form even proved to be quite helpful in procuring a new mast and gathering game to replenish the ship's larder.
But he was still a dragon, and the arm band, which was now very tight on his large dragon foreleg gave him constant pain.
Then one night he met the great Lion, Aslan, who led him to a clear pool. He thought that if he could bathe in the pool it would ease his pain. But Aslan told him he had to undress first. Three times, Eustace scratched at his scales and shed his dragonish skin. But every time there was still another dragon skin beneath.
"You have to let me undress you," Aslan told him. Here's how Eustace described it:

"The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.... Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off--just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt--and there it was lying in the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly looking than the others had been."*

After bathing in the pool, the pain was gone, and Eustace was once again a boy. Aslan gave him a new set of clothes and transported him back to the the beach by the ship.

The story is a beautiful analogy of God's work in our lives. Our selfish behaviors can bring results that prompt us to change, but we may not fully respond until some very severe consequences come our way. We may try to shed our old ways on our own, but there is still a "dragon" beneath that comes to the surface. Only as we yield to God and His renewing power can we be set free and restored. So what happened next with Eustace?

"It would be nice, and fairly nearly true, to say that 'from that time forth Eustace was a different boy.' To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses....But most of these I shall not notice. The cure had begun."*

*C.S.Lewis, The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"(New York: Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Co.,Inc. 1952),p 90, 93.







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