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The Five Types Of Stories:

Myth, Saga, Fable, Folk-Tale, and Fairy-Tale

Stories have been around since the beginning of time, passed down to us in oral and written form. There are five main types of stories: myths, sagas, fables, folk-tales, and fairy-tales.

MYTH - Myths are legendary stories that ancient people created to explain the mysteries of life, death, the beginning of the world, and natural powers. They were not able to understand these mysteries, so they wove stories on the basis of their imagination. Since myths are imaginary stories, they have imaginary characters in them like dragons, monsters, fairies, giants, and gods. All these characters had magical powers and were much more powerful than human beings. Different types of myths were woven about the same thing in different parts of the world. These very myths gave rise to different religions in various parts of the world.

SAGA - The word "saga" was originally used for any story of heroic deeds of a medieval Norwegian hero. Gradually, it came to mean a long eventful narrative about a family, social group, or dynasty with several chapters, cantos or even volumes. A saga has several legends of heroes added to it. These heroes may be real or half-real and half-imaginary, but on the whole, the frame work of the main story is based on truth. An epic is a saga in poetry form, while a saga is in prose.

FABLE - A fable is a short tale which involves animals as essential characters in it and carries a moral for the readers. The animals are described to be talking to people or to one another wisely, foolishly, cunningly, and in ways human beings do. Aesop's Fables are a very good example. The lessons imparted by fables are very useful and practicable. They can impart guidance in most difficult situations and lead one out of them. Fables are a good source of wisdom, tact, and other noble means. Thus they go a long way to put one onto the road to success and well-being if their morals are translated into daily life. Fables should not be read for amusement only, but for learning to be a successful person as well.

FOLK-TALE - Folk-tales are light imaginary stories handed down orally from generation to generation. They are popular because they describe the hopes and fears of common people in a natural fanciful way. Since, human hopes and fears are the same everywhere, we can find similar folk-tales in distantly apart countries. There may be slight differences in the versions of these similar folk-tales, but their theme is almost the same. Almost every social group has its own folk-lore traditions and beliefs. A social group's folk-tales are based on these traditions and beliefs, therefore, folk-tales are very near to day-to-day life. The element of fancy and imagination gives them color and interest thus, making them very fascinating.

FAIRY-TALE - Fairy-tales are magical stories about fairies. A fairy is a tiny imaginary being with supernatural powers. Fairies are believed to be very beautiful and delicate. They help people when in a good mood, but they may harm evil people using their supernatural powers when they are angry. Fairies are believed to have wings for flying and live in their own land called, "Fairyland." This land is ruled by the fairy queen who has a large magnificent palace. Fairyland is considered to be a land of lakes, lush green meadows, bright flowers, and fruit trees. Children enjoy fairy-tales very much because of the enchantment and magical power such stories hold.

Note: I spotted the above definitions in, "The Daily Star" a popular newspaper in Bangladesh. I do not know the original source, but I rewrote the passages above filling in my own thoughts and phrases.


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