Introduction to an International Schools Project on Myths and Legends

The way we pass on legends is changing. The tradition of oral storytelling that carried these classic stories for centuries is giving way to other forms; television, films… and, of course, written stories. Sometimes that change is not easy, and stories can fall between the gaps, to be lost forever.

Nowadays, we write stories in the forms of books, magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs. But even though the way we tell stories is changing, the kinds of stories we want to hear are essentially the same as those that were told hundreds, even thousands of years ago. We crave tales of danger, excitement, horror, romance and friendship, mystery and magic, humour and humanity. We want heroes. We want to be held spellbound by the power of words. The legends that have been passed down to us have lasted because they delivered all of this.

As storytelling passes through this revolutionary period, it is important that we do not lose the very tales that taught us how to tell stories. We must record our legends before they are lost to future generations.

A story changes in the telling, and by writing the legends down, we will be making our own mark on them as others have done before us. And we can also create new tales too. Every era should have stories to tell. So write a story today. Who knows? Perhaps it will last a thousand years.

Oisin McGann, April, 2008.