FOLKTALE: A folktale is known as a tale or a legend that comes from a group of people or “folk”. They are usually traditional and they are told orally.


An example of a folktale is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A little girl was walking in the woods and she saw a house. She knocked on the door but no one answered, so she went inside. She saw on the table that there was three bowls of porridge. She tried the first bowl but it was too hot. She tried the second bowl it was too cold. She tried the last bowl, and it tasted just right. After she ate the porridge, she went into the living room and tried out the chairs. The first and second chair was too big, but the third one was just right. But when she sat on it, the chair broke, so she decided to go to the bedroom. The first bed was too hard, the second too soft, but the third was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep, and while she was sleeping, the bears came home and noticed what happened to their house. They went to the bedroom to look, and saw Goldilocks there asleep. She woke up and ran out of the house and away from the bears.



Myth A traditional story, usually involving a supernatural being, a hero, or event. Some are with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature. Many myths are about the Roman or Greek gods and tell stories of their experiences and life back rounds.


An example of a myth is The Twelve Labors of Hercules. King Eurystheus gave Hercules 12 difficult and dangerous tasks. These tasks are known as the Twelve Labors of Hercules. The hero's first task was to kill the Nemean Lion, a monstrous beast that terrorized the countryside and could not be killed by any weapon. So Hercules attacked the beast and strangled him with his bare hands and made a cloak out of his skin that made Hercules invulnerable. For his second labor, Hercules had to kill the Lernaean Hydra, a creature with nine heads that lived in a swamp. One of the beast's heads was immortal, and the others grew back when cut off. So Hercules asked his friend Iolaus to help him, and Hercules cut off the Hydra's eight heads and burned each wound, which prevented new heads from growing back. Because he could not cut off the ninth head, he buried the creature under a great rock. The next task was to capture the Cerynean Hind which was a golden-horned deer that was sacred to the goddess Artemis. Hercules hunted for a while and finally found and captured it. When he was taking it to Tiryns, Artemis stopped him and demanded that he return the deer. Hercules promised that the sacred animal would not be harmed, so Artemis allowed him to continue on. Hercules then had lots of more creatures to capture and/or kill for his tasks and he was very successful in The Twelve Labors of Hercules.


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Legend- An unrealistic story that is viewed as a historical event and is passed down by generations.


A legend that is commonly known by the Hmong people is “the Awaiting Bride (Nkauj Nyab).” It is a legend about a beautiful girl named Poj Sua that died while waiting for her boyfriend Pob Zeb to come back and marry her. Pob Zeb lives far away from her and didn’t know that she died. He comes back to fulfill his promise to her. He later started to find some strange things about her. Her smell smelled as something was rotting, how she always leave them in the dark, and how cold her hands were. He escapes from her, but later was found by her and became a ghost himself. She claimed him as hers forever, never to be departed.

These two lovers met in a short amount of time. Pob Zeb told Poj Sua that he has to go back home to earn money so that he can come back and marry her. He promises her that he’ll will come back in a month to marry her. Pob Zeb told Poj Sua that even she dies and becomes a ghost, he will always love her. Poj Sua replies back that she loves him so much that even if she dies, she’ll always be waiting for him. He leaves the next day and returns back to his parents who were upset because he went away for a long time. Poj Zeb told his parents about a beautiful girl that he met in a far away village. Pob Zeb works very hard and earns enough money to go marry Poj Sua. Unfortunately his mother was sick, so decides to stay and watch his mother while Poj Sua waits for his return. Poj Sua returns to the spot where they promise, but Pob Zeb never shows up. She believes that he lied to her. A month has gone by and Pob Zeb’s mother has recovered. Pob Zeb hurries back to Poj Sua’s village. Pob Zeb meets Poj Sua at the spot where they made the promise. Poj Sau insisted Pob Zeb to stay at her house for the night. As they entered the village Pob Zeb wonders where were all of the villagers. Poj Sua tells him that they are all sleeping at their garden house. Before they went to sleep, Poj Sua went to blow out the fire. Pob Zeb saw maggots flying out of Poj Sua’s mouth as she blows out the fire. Pob Zeb now knows that he has been with a ghost the whole time. In the middle of the night, he tries to escape from her. He told that he had to go use the restroom, and she tied a long rope onto him so that she knows he would not run away from her. Poj Zeb goes out of the house and untied the rope and tied it to a pillar. Poj Sua calls for him and pulls the rope, but does not hear an answer. She goes check and didn’t see him anywhere except for the rope that was tied to the pillar. As Pob Zeb runs through the jungle, he sees Poj Sua chasing after him. He grabs a mango branch and hits her with it. Scaring her off he runs back to his village. He changed his name so that Poj Sua will never find him, but unfortunately a friend of his called him by Pob Zeb. Which allowed Poj Sua to find Pob Zeb’s location. Poj Sua reclaimed him as hers. Pob Zeb became a ghost and were attached to Poj Sua for eternal.



Similarities and Differences- Myths vs. Folktales and Legends
Myths, folktales and legends are all similar. They all share stories of the past that are fictional. Some myths, folktales, and legends were believed to be true or accepted as a historical event. There is also a difference between the myth, folktale, and legend. Myths usually involve supernatural beings of ancient religious beliefs such as the Greeks and Romans. They often involve gods or heroes and were believed to be true at that time, but now they are known as religious beliefs. Folktales and legends were not based on religious beliefs but based more on living people or people that was thought to have been living at some point in history. These stories were passed down orally through the generations of a culture.

The stories about Olympians are myths because they are based off the supernatural beings of the religions of the Greeks and Romans. They were believed to be real to these religions. They are not folktales or legends because they were not based off of people that were believed to have lived on the earth or been seen before.