and winged dragon statues haunt
the Monkey Forest
During our first walk through the Monkey Forest Sanctuary, I am startled to come upon a pair of Komodo Dragons hunkering on boulders amid the jungle. Fortunately, these ferocious giant lizards are stone, not flesh. Robin tells us that Komodo Dragons still exist on a few islands in Indonesia, but not on Bali. The winged dragon statues undulating down a flight of stone stairs may represent Nāgas, the legendary serpent race who are the eternal enemies of Garuda, the mythical eagle. There are real Flying Dragons in Indonesia, though they are only about a foot long and their "wings" are flaps of skin which they extend to glide from tree to tree. Imagine having one of those land on your head!