Myths and Legends
Myths and Legends for kids. Primary homework help in English. Find out what a myth, legend, folktale and a fable is.
What is a Myth?
A myth is a really old story that people used to tell a long time ago to explain things they didn't understand. For example, they might tell a story about how the sun and moon were created, or why thunder and lightning happen.
These stories often have gods, goddesses, or other magical characters in them, and they are passed down from generation to generation. They can help people understand their culture, beliefs, and values.
Now, even though these stories aren't true in the same way that things in real life are true, they can still be important because they teach us lessons about how to be good people and how to treat others. So even though myths might not be real, they can still be really important!
Myth: How giraffes got their long necks
Long ago, giraffes had short necks, just like other animals. One day, a giraffe named Karoo was grazing in the savanna when he saw a tree full of delicious leaves. He tried to reach the leaves, but his neck was too short. He tried to jump up, but he couldn't reach them. He was about to give up when he had an idea.
Karoo started stretching his neck as high as he could. He stretched and stretched and stretched. Finally, his neck was long enough to reach the leaves. He ate and ate until he was full.
Karoo was so happy that he had a long neck. He could now reach the highest leaves, and he didn't have to compete with the other animals for food. He was the envy of all the other giraffes.
Soon, all the other giraffes wanted long necks too. They started stretching their necks as high as they could. They stretched and stretched and stretched. And just like Karoo, their necks grew longer and longer.
And that's how giraffes got their long necks.
Greek myth: The story of Hercules
Hercules was the son of Zeus. He was born with superhuman strength, but he also had a temper. As a result, he often got into trouble. One day, Hercules was driven mad by the goddess Hera, and he killed his wife and children. To pay for his crime, he was forced to perform 12 labors, which were incredibly difficult tasks. Hercules completed all 12 labors, and he was eventually made a god.
This myth teaches us that even the strongest people can make mistakes, but that we can overcome our mistakes if we are willing to work hard.
Greek myth: The story of Perseus
Perseus was a young man who was destined to kill the evil Medusa. Medusa was a Gorgon, a monster with snakes for hair and the power to turn people to stone with her gaze. Perseus was given a magical shield that would reflect Medusa's gaze, and he used it to slay her. He then cut off her head and used it to defeat other monsters.
This myth teaches us that even the most difficult challenges can be overcome with courage and determination.
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Listen to free audio stories on Greek Myths.
What is a Legend?
A legend is a story that is based on real people or events from the past, but has been passed down for a long time and may have some imaginary or magical parts added to it. Legends often involve brave or famous people or creatures, and they help explain important customs or beliefs of a community.
A legend is about people and their actions or deeds. Stories about people mentioned in history are often told for a purpose and are based on facts, but they are not always completely true. The added bits make the story more interesting such as in the cases of Robin Hood, Queen Boadicea and King Arthur. For example, King Arthur was a man in the 5th/6th century but the parts about the round table and Merlin the Magician maybe not true. There was a Robin of Loxley (Robin Hood) and he helped the poor but he didn't have a band of robbers. Boadicea did exist but legend says that she escaped prison and carried on fighting, rather than dying there which is what really happened.
Legend: King Arthur
A long time ago, there was a young boy named Arthur who lived in England. Arthur was a kind and brave boy, and he was always willing to help others. One day, Arthur pulled a magic sword out of a stone. This meant that he was the rightful king of England.
Arthur became a great king, and he ruled England for many years. He was wise and just, and he brought peace and prosperity to the land. Arthur had many brave knights, including Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, and Sir Percival. These knights went on many adventures, and they helped Arthur to protect England from its enemies.
One of Arthur's greatest challenges was the quest for the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail was a magical cup that was said to have the power to heal any wound. Arthur and his knights searched for the Holy Grail for many years, but they were never able to find it.
Eventually, Arthur was betrayed by his own nephew, Mordred. Mordred led a rebellion against Arthur, and Arthur was killed in battle. Arthur's body was taken to the island of Avalon, where it is said to sleep until the day he returns to save England again.
The legend of King Arthur is a story about courage, honor, and the power of good over evil. It is a story that has been told for centuries, and it continues to inspire people all over the world.
Legend: Robin Hood
Long ago, there was a man named Robin Hood who lived in Sherwood Forest. Robin was a skilled archer and swordsman, and he was very good at fighting. He was also a kind and generous man, and he always helped those who were in need.
One day, Robin Hood met a man named Little John. Little John was a giant of a man, and he was very strong. Robin and Little John became friends, and they decided to start a band of outlaws.
Robin Hood and his band of outlaws lived in Sherwood Forest. They would steal from the rich and give to the poor. They were always fighting against the Sheriff of Nottingham, who was a cruel and unjust man.
Robin Hood and his band of outlaws were very popular with the people of England. They were seen as heroes, and they were always fighting for justice. Robin Hood's story has been told for centuries, and he is still a popular figure today.
Myths and legends links
These poems, about people and creatures from myths and legends, make excellent bedtime stories for young children, or fun poems for older children.
Stories from around the world. Explore them and find out how the Kangaroo got his tail, how Coyote made people and what happened to the ungrateful tiger.
Read the ancient myths & folktales. Stories from Africa, Ancient Greek, Native American, Ancient China, Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Rome, Egypt and more.
What is a folk tale?
Folk tales are also known as fairy tales and they are stories that have been made up by people (or folk). Folktales have imaginative characters, happy endings and may contain magic. These stories have always been children's favourite stories and many of them have been turned into well-known films. Folktales normally start with Once upon a time and end with lived happily ever after.
Folk tale: Little Red Riding Hood
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Little Red Riding Hood. She lived with her mother in a small village on the edge of a dark forest. One day, Little Red Riding Hood's mother asked her to take a basket of food to her grandmother, who lived on the other side of the forest.
Little Red Riding Hood set off into the forest. As she walked, she met a wolf. The wolf was very friendly, and he asked Little Red Riding Hood where she was going. Little Red Riding Hood told the wolf that she was going to visit her grandmother.
The wolf told Little Red Riding Hood that he was going to visit her grandmother too. The wolf ran ahead of Little Red Riding Hood and arrived at her grandmother's house first. The wolf knocked on the door, and Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother answered. The wolf pretended to be Little Red Riding Hood, and he tricked the grandmother into letting him in.
The wolf ate the grandmother, and then he put on her clothes and got into her bed. When Little Red Riding Hood arrived at her grandmother's house, she saw the wolf in bed. The wolf tried to eat Little Red Riding Hood, but a woodsman came and saved her.
The woodsman killed the wolf, and he rescued Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother lived happily ever after.
More folk tales/fairy tales
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- The Three Little Pigs
- Beauty and the Beast
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
- The Ugly Duckling
- Sleeping Beauty
- The Three Billy Goats Gruff
A Fairytale of Hansel and Gretel in Taleans. Trapped in the dark forest. Help them to find their way home
The Cinderella story. Follow the story and do the activities along the way.
Run through the streets of Baghdad and avoid obstacles.
Find all the hidden objects and answer the riddle in order to unlock all the princess dress up items.
Links for craft downloads, fun games, word games based on traditional stories/fairy tales.
What is a fable?
Fables are short stories that have a meaning. This meaning is called a moral. It teaches how we should behave and live our lives. Fables have animals as the main characters who can talk and act like humans. There is usually one animal who is weak and it often contains a hero or villain. The story often has a happy ending with a message about how to behave or what to believe. Popular fables are usually easy to read and understand for people of all ages.
Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare
The story goes that a hare was bragging about how fast he could run. A tortoise challenged him to a race, and the hare agreed, thinking it would be an easy win.
The race started, and the hare quickly took the lead. He was so far ahead of the tortoise that he decided to take a nap under a tree.
The tortoise, meanwhile, kept walking slowly but steadily. He never stopped, and he eventually passed the hare, who was still asleep.
The hare woke up and saw that the tortoise was about to cross the finish line. He started running as fast as he could, but it was too late. The tortoise had already won the race.
The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. It doesn't matter if you're not the fastest or the strongest, as long as you keep going and never give up, you can still achieve your goals.
Fable: The boy who cried wolf
A young boy was tasked with watching over a flock of sheep. To entertain himself, he repeatedly cries out that a wolf is attacking the sheep, even though there is no wolf.
The villagers, who hear his cries for help, come to his aid each time, only to find out that there is no wolf. After several false alarms, a real wolf attacks the flock, but when the boy cries out for help, no one comes to his aid, assuming it's just another false alarm. As a result, the wolf kills some of the sheep, and the boy learns a valuable lesson about the importance of honesty and trust.
The moral of the story is that lying or exaggerating the truth can lead to people not believing you, even when you tell the truth. It's important to always be truthful and honest, so that people can trust and believe you when it matters most.
- The wind and the sun
- The Ant and the Grasshopper
- The Lion and the Mouse
- The Goose that laid the golden eggs
- The dog and the wolf
- The Fisherman and his wife
Read the most famous fables.
40 of Aesop's Fables are told by an all-star cast, including Lindsay Duncan, Richard E Grant, Jane Horrocks, Alison Steadman and the late Richard Briers.