Usually dragons are slain, but Annie--she slayed me.
Not many towns can boast a dragon.
I thought Annie was beyond cool. Yet for years, I took the old girl for granted. She was always out there on point, a loyal harbinger for all who lived within her watch. Our dragon stood statuesque against a backdrop of Paradise and became as familiar as a lighthouse, standing strong in her resolution.
But it's sort of like raising dogs with children. Time has a way of flying by and before long, kids are no longer kids yet the dog ages right along with them, only on the fast track. The muzzle grays, the eyes cloud, the gait becomes a shuffle. The anxious feeling of borrowed time sets in. More love and appreciation is spent on Fido. More pats, more hugs, more special treats. Every day counts because each day might be the last.
We reacted the same to Annie. As news of her decrepit constitution spread, locals were in denial that the dragon could one day be felled. Causeway crossers scanned for and pointed out Annie more often to their friends and family, as if doing so would ward off the inevitable.
But in the end, the elements slew Annie. A strong storm crumbled this creature of local mythological proportions, sweeping her remains into the Banana River.
She was gone.
When I learned of the recent proposal to build a luxury hotel
where the dragon once stood, I sensed a rebirth for those cities and towns over whom Annie hovered--Eau Gallie, Indian Harbour, Satellite Beach, Melbourne and the southernmost tip of Merritt Island, her home for so long.
Annie is watching over us still.
Labels: Annie, landmark