Certain animals are known for undergoing remarkable transformations through age and growth, from tadpoles into frogs to caterpillars into butterflies. I read somewhere that the dragons of Japan underwent metamorphoses of their own. From aquatic to amphibious to aerial, the Japanese dragons go through a change that is nothing short of extraordinary.
The first transformation a dragon goes through resembles that of a frog. It begins as a water-bound carp. But over the course of years, even centuries, the carp develops a draconic head. Then it grows in size, along with four three-digit limbs and a serpentine physique. All this goes on until eventually, it attains the form of a genuine dragon.
But there is yet another form the dragon takes the way a caterpillar does. Its name: Hai-Riyo. Once a dragon reached yet another certain age, it would levitate into the sky, an auspicious instance the Japanese referred to as Fuku-Riu, meaning "ascending dragon." Airborne, all but the dragon's head wou