Australia’s leading science agency, CSIRO, apologized to the nation for not being able to fulfill a seven-year-old girl’s dream of getting a pet dragon for Christmas, and promised to accelerate their dragon R&D program.
In a handwritten letter to the agency, little Sophie Lester from Queensland said the dragon should have a black face, possibly referring to Night Fury from DreamWork’s animated film How to Train Your Dragon, and that she would name it Toothless if a girl and Stuart if a boy.
“I would keep it in my special green grass area where there are lots of space. I would feed it raw fish and I would put a collar on it. If it got hurt I would bandage it if it hurt himself,” young Sophie wrote.
Rather than ignoring the impossible request, CSIRO offered a classy reply on their website. It starts off with a short list of proud achievements before moving on to saying they are sorry they haven’t been able to create a dragon or dragon egg.
“We’ve been doing science since 1926 and we’re quite proud of what we have achieved. We’ve put polymer banknotes in your wallet, insect repellent on your limbs and Wi-Fi in your devices. But we’ve missed something. There are no dragons,” Vanessa Hill wrote on behalf of CSIRO.
“Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs. We have sighted an eastern bearded dragon at one of our telescopes, observed dragonflies and even measured body temperatures of the mallee dragon. But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety.”
Over at the Lester household, Sophie’s parents were surprised and delighted with the unexpected response and the attention it’s been getting, not only in Australia, but also globally thanks to the Internet.
Mrs. Lester said Sophie was overjoyed with the feedback from CSIRO and has been telling everyone that dragon breath can be a new fuel.
“All her friends are now saying they want to be a scientist and Sophie says she now want to work in the CSIRO. She’s saying Australian scientists can do anything,” she said.
Perhaps in the future Sophie will be able to give us answers to other important questions such as the chemical properties of pixie dust, the weight of imagination, and how to get to the end of a rainbow.