Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Writing Prompt- Myths and Legends

So there's a whole treasure trove of myths and legends out there just waiting for someone to either rewrite or turn it into a full fledged story. So tonight, I'm turning to my Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures for some ideas.

Busse- According to medieval European lore, this creature had a body like that of a bull but it had antlers and the head of a stag. It could change colors and skillfully camouflaging its self from its hunters.

Calopus- Once again from medieval Europe, this was a horned wolf who had spines on its head and body like a porcupine. It often became tangled in undergrowth and therefore, unwary travellers could get away safely.

Ch'ang O- From Chinese myths, this creature was the king of snakes. He could change his size from tiny to huge in order to compete with his enemies. He was finally killed at the celestial battle of Mu which was fought between the gods and immortals.

Delgeth- From the Navajo people of North America, this carnivorous antelope  ( one of the evil creatures known as the Anaye) who during the time when men and women lived apart, it terrorized people until Nezgani and Thobadzistshini finally killed it and other creatures.

Dobharchu- (aka Dorraghow; or the King of the Lakes) The father of all otters in Ireland. He is powerful enough to break rocks and tunnel very fast into the earth. He is described as 6-8 ft from head to tail with short white fur and a dark-brown cross on his back. The otter was considered sacred among the Celts (for the margins of water was considered the gates to the Otherworld). Although ferocious and terrifying, he was held in the highest respect.

Eale- (Aka Yale) A composite animal from India. Black or twany, the size of a hippo, and had an elephant's tail and a boar's jaws. He had two swiveling horns which enabled him to fight opponents from all directions.

Kaukas- From Lithuania, this dragon is winged with a fiery tail. It often attaches itself to families and brings them good luck.

Ngarara- According to Maori legend, she was an atua or divine being. She was a beautiful woman with a long tail like a mermaid. When she wished, she could retract her tail and take on human legs. She may also have been a water-lizard woman with amphibious tendencies.

Tanuki- A badger with a mischievous spirit from Japanese folklore. Sometimes he takes on human shape and other times, he appears as a bottle of saki.

To see more, check out The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John & Caitlin Matthews.

So what kind of stories have you seen from myths? What is your favorite myth?


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