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Dragon Myths & Legends: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mark Boster
If you like stories about dragons, this is the lesson to pay attention to. We'll learn the difference between a myth and a legend then look at an example of a dragon in each.

What Are Dragons, Myths, and Legends?

You probably already know about dragons. They're gigantic reptiles complete with claws and teeth. Most of them can fly and many breathe fire. Some are evil, while others can be good. The idea of what a dragon is can change depending on the time, place, and person telling the story.

But... are they real? Well, there are some that believe dragons are or were real at one time. Dragon myths and legends have been told throughout the world and throughout the ages. Before we look at a dragon myth and a dragon legend, we should know the difference between the two.

A myth is a made-up story that explains the mysteries of life, such as how the world was created or how birds first learned to fly.

A legend, on the other hand, is a story that someone says happened, although they have no proof. Legends are often inspired by history, like stories about Robin Hood and King Arthur.

The Myth of Yu

One day the Yellow Emperor, who was the supreme god, told the rain god to flood the earth because the people of the world were wicked. His grandson, Kun, asked him to not flood the earth, but the Yellow Emperor didn't listen.

Kun met an old tortoise that told him how to dry the land again. This upset the Yellow Emperor, so he had the fire god kill Kun. From Kun's dead body, another life came into being. This was Yu, Kun's son. He was a big, golden dragon with a beautiful mane.

Yu asked the Emperor to show him how to make dry land. The Emperor told him and made him the god of rain. Yu dragged his tail around to make the rivers and streams.

The people all liked the good dragon Yu and asked him to be their emperor. He agreed, turned into a man, and became the founder of the Xia dynasty. This dragon story is a myth because it explains where rivers came from and how the Xia dynasty began.

The Legend of Yu
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The Legend of St. George and the Dragon

In the city of Silene, there was an evil dragon that lived in a lake and spread disease to the people living nearby. Nobody wanted to make the dragon mad, so they fed him sheep and young women. The people of the city would draw lots to see who was to be sacrificed to the dragon.

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