Hallandale Beach, Florida
This is one enormous horse, large enough to snuff out the life of a dragon by stepping on its neck. Wings too. Massive wings.
We behold the statue, 715 tons of steel and bronze, the drama playing out right along US-1.
The first horse with the power of flight was called Pegasus, a mythical, ancient winged stallion. Y’see, Perseus — son of Zeus, destroyer of monsters — cut off the head of Medusa — she of snakes instead of hair, she who would turn you into stone if you looked at her face. Like my high school prom date. Pegasus sprung forth from the blood of Medusa.
A regular horse, with its four feet on the ground, can represent a grounded stability. Add wings to the critter and you have a symbol of aspiration to the greatest heights of accomplishment. You introduce magic into the material plane.
Dragons are large mythical flying serpents. Perhaps they evolved from dinosaurs, which were real. Nile Crocodiles, from sub-Saharan Africa, were able to “high walk,” which is to say, they ambulate about with their trunk elevated off the ground. Perhaps the idea of dragons sprung from these upright reptiles.
In Australia, you may find the Goanna, a type of lizard. It’s got razors for teeth and claws, and these beasts are, shall we say, less than handsome. Their venomous bite can easily cause yucky infections. Dragons? Good question.
Behold one more possible origin of the dragon. It seems that many ancient cultures that had no relation to each other developed dragon myths. The one thing all these diverse cultures had in common was the human, and therefore the human mind. Throughout time, goes the theory, human evolution has embedded an innate fear of predators. So we can see danger where there may not be danger. Hence, dragons.
We behold this sculpture. It is so damned big it could be mythical too. It is 110 feet high. Lisa and I are about the size of one of its hoofs. The Dragon, clearly vanquished in this rendering, is house-sized, if you live in a small house. Some claim this is the second tallest statue in the United States — the Statue of Liberty is #1 — and the largest equine statue in the world. Could be.
The Pegasus & Dragon statue duels in front of Gulfstream Park, a racetrack and casino in the fast-growing community of Hallandale Beach, Florida. I’ll bet this statue cost $30 000 000.
Of course, under these suppositions of the origins of these creatures, the Pegasus will vanquish the Dragon, thus keeping us humans safe from harm, good versus evil, and all that. Although economic ruin at the casino, represented by gambling and vices, is left up to other forces.
As concerns the community, some like the statue, some don’t. Those who don’t are going to have to get used to it.