This is subtitled ""An Anti-Romance"" and in fact it's anti-fiction, not even a fable but a gentle little lesson as given by Firedrake, a dragon and the custodian-preserver of the culture humans seem determined to ruin. He's a pythonosopher; a demythologizer (it was not St. George but a whole shipload of bibulous Greek sailors who took care of that other one) and an obsessive collector of anything from bottles to old cars to his sacred Chalice. He's also much more careful than any cigarette smoker not to set fire to his native Californian woods. During the slim annals here which precede a closing spectacle-debacle, he is visited by some contemporary manifestations, particularly the young girl Lilith who reads Hesse and regrets that her motorcyclist Bobby isn't committed to anything. Firedrake can't smile because his tongue is too long so that's why it's always in his cheek -- benignly.