Australia’s national science agency has issued a rare apology to a seven-year-old girl for not being able to make her a fire-breathing dragon, blaming a lack of research into the mythical creatures.
The youngster, Sophie, wrote to a “Lovely Scientist” at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), politely asking whether they could make her a winged pet of her own.
“I would call it Toothless if it was a girl and if it is a boy I would name it Stuart,” she wrote in her letter, promising to feed it raw fish and play with it when she wasn’t at school.
Toothless is the name of a dragon befriended by a Viking teenager in the How to Train Your Dragon series of children’s books. Stuart is her father’s name.
Sophie’s request prompted an unusual apology from the 87-year-old institution, which admitted “we’ve missed something”.
“There are no dragons,” it said in a blog reply posted on its website this week.
“Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs,” it said.
“But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety. And for this Australia, we are sorry.”
“Would dragon fuel be a low emissions option? Thanks for the fuel for thought, Sophie. We’re looking into it,” it said.
The enquiry had a fairytale ending Friday when the CSIRO announced that, thanks to Sophie’s letter, “a dragon was born”.
Sophie’s mother Melissah Lester said her daughter had asked for a dragon for Christmas, and her father, Stuart, had told her it would not be possible, prompting the seven-year-old to contact a scientist for help.