Down the Mall: Surgery ensures Loong is the longest

Easter is a time for many things in Bendigo, including a time of dragons.

Our Sun Loong, the world’s largest imperial dragon, is rising from his annual slumber and will dominate our streets again during the parade.

How do we know he’s the world’s biggest? 'Cos Chinese museum founder and all-round expert Russell Jack says so.

Sun Loong was once officially just over 

30 metres loong, sorry, long, but some jealous folk in Melbourne created one a tad longer. Not to be outdone, Bendigo had some implant surgery done on Sun Loong, but no one will say exactly how long Loong loomed just in case the Melbourne mob do it again.

Dragons from our past

It’s amazing how much we don’t know about our Loong or loongs in general. For example, it’s thought that “loong”, the Chinese word for dragon, is (take a deep breath) onomatopoeic. A word that imitates a sound, in this case thunder.

It is also thought that the concept of dragons was partly inspired by nature and by people stumbling over dinosaur fossils. Australia had its own ancient dragons – far more fierce than our lovable Loong.

In ancient times we had a monster known as a Quinkana, a sort of crocodile more than seven metres long and weighing almost two tonnes. There was also a carnivorous goanna, of the same size. Some think these led to the ancient Aboriginal Dreamtime creature, the Rainbow Serpent.

I’d reckon they’d have trouble getting enough legs for that one as well.

Don't tell the kids

There are 109 separate activities listed for Bendigo this Easter (Yep, we counted them) and there’s some interesting cross-cultural things to do with rabbits on the agenda.

While yesterday, thousands of chocolate eggs were scabbed, sorry, scavenged by kids in the Easter Bunny’s  Easter Egg Hunt, you might not want to tell the kids that next Sunday, out at McIvor Estate in Tooborac, they’d holding a special dinner…”Celebrating the Bunny”.

More salivation than celebration, we suspect.  Three courses. All rabbit.

They’ll be lapin it up.

Outlook changes

It’s hard to know what we should be frightened of these days.

Last week, DTM noted the unusual timing of a headline in Kerang’s Northern Times: “Hotter and Drier” it thundered, warning of looming climate change… two days before a cold, wet snap with twice the April average falling in one day.

The Times followed up with another big black headline this week.

“Very real risk!”

Yes, a new report warned of the “very real risk” of major flood damage in the future.

So, it’s going to be hotter, drier and wetter. Sounds like one afternoon in Melbourne.

Dad thinks on feet

Back to that rabbit/egg issue, a mate tells me he was trying to keep the idea of the Easter bunny alive to a very sceptical five-year-old daughter.

“But Dad, rabbits don’t lay eggs. They have little babies.”

“Not the Easter bunny. It’s special. It has chocolate eggs.”

“And where does this magic rabbit get these eggs, Dad?”

He thought quickly and replied matter-of-factly: “Eggplants.”


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