Fairytales are a form of folklore. This wisdom and knowledge of community that varies from culture to culture and has always been a welcomed part of history.
Unlike legends which are exaggerations and folktales which focus upon 'real' people, places, animals, and things, fairytales are magical. This short story form usually features fantasy and enchantment with characters, such as goblins, witches, wizards, jewels, potions, crystals, caves, and talking animals with special powers.
Charming stories of prince and princess who find true love, make moral decisions, and face their fears and defeat mythical beasts in one form or other are characters almost everyone can identify with.
They often take place “Once Upon a time” in a faraway land. The generic nature of setting and time help listeners and readers easily identify with the stories. They offer guidance about how to handle difficult situations and they take people to another world; one that is filled with hope and imagination.
A fairytale can be a story that is far- fetched and it can also be true but might not ever happen again.
Many cultures share similar fairytales but also have their own exciting and unique tall tales.
Here are a few examples:
- Indian: How the Raja's Son won the Princess Labam: A love story of how a lower class man wins the heart of the lovely princess.
- Russian: The Magic Swan Geese: A story of a brother and sister who get in trouble with the evil geese and have to find their way home
- South American: How Night Came: A South American tale of how we were able to night was created in this world
- African: The Magic Ring: A story of the value of an important possession.