yes, therapy helps!
The 10 best short legends (for children and adults)

The 10 best short legends (for children and adults)

April 29, 2024

The stories that we transmit orally over a long time , known as "legends", are one of the richest and most important cultural elements in many societies.

This is because they speak to us about the worldview, the values, the ideals, the fears, the interests and the generational transformations of those who have integrated a particular culture. For this reason they constitute an important pedagogical and historiographic resource.

Not only that, but being stories that are shared between different generations, they can be interesting and fun for children, young people and adults alike. In this article you will find a selection of 10 short legends They are part of different cultures, apart from a brief definition of legends compared to myths and fables.


  • Related article: "The 6 types of narrators, and how they are used in literature"

Legend, myth and fable: some differences

The legends are narrations that are transmitted orally from generation to generation. They transcend written records, they are stories that they have spread by word of mouth, generally from the older generations to the younger ones . However, its transmission is adapted to the conditions of our societies, with which the legends are also communicated and extended through texts, books and even movies.

It is, in any case, narrations that allude to facts about human life, which may have historical roots, or not, as well as mixing reality with fantasy. The latter is what makes a legend of a myth different, since the myth mainly tells the story of divine beings, and is Through such a story, religious beliefs and moral guidelines are founded .


On the other hand, both the legends and the myths are different stories to the fables. They differ in that the fables have as protagonists animals that speak and that through their adventures leave us a teaching.

In any case, the same story can contain elements of both legend and myth and fable , and all can provide explanations to natural and supernatural phenomena as well as to different social events. In all legends there are usually different versions, depending on the specific place where they are counted.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 5 ages of History (and its characteristics)"

10 short legends of different cultures

Although the legends of terror and lack of love are very popular, they are not the only topics that exist. Next we will see 10 short legends that have persisted for many years in different parts of the world.


1. Nessie

Better known as "The Loch Ness Monster", this legend is part of Scottish folklore and tells the story of a giant creature with prehistoric appearance, which first appeared in the sixteenth century in Loch Ness, but has been seen even in recent times. The legend regained strength when they claimed to see it in the year 1933, which has inspired different films and keeps those who visit the lake in suspense .

2. The salt mill

It is a Nordic legend that many years ago there was a giant that had a magic mill . The mill was small and could produce salt. One day, the giant gives it to a widowed woman and her little daughter. Both work with the mill and get so much salt that they can sell it to the people. Unfortunately an elf, jealous of the mill, steals it and throws it into the sea. And for this reason the sea water is so salty.

3. Robin Hood

Also known as the "prince of thieves", Robin Hood is one of the most famous English characters in the legends of Western culture. Its history has been inspired by different characters, although one of the most mentioned is Ghino di Tacco, an Italian hero of the 13th century. Written records about Robin Hood have been located since the 13th century , although it gained popularity from the fifteenth century.

It is a man who faced the rich to defend the poor. Without realizing it, he took belongings from the former to give them to those who needed them most; always in the company of his green suit, his bow and arrows.

4. La Llorona

La Llorona is a legend of Latin American origin, especially popular in Mexico . The most widespread version tells the story of a woman who had suffered the rejection of her husband, and she, in a sign of spite, murdered her children. The guilt makes her return at dawn in the form of a ghost that shouts "Oh my children!".

Other versions say that it is a representation of La Malinche, a woman who worked as a translator and interpreter for Hernán Cortés during the "conquest" of America.In this case, the cry of suffering has to do with the fact that some versions of the colonization process have unjustly attributed to Malinche the responsibility for what happened.

5. Tanabata

In this Japanese legend, Orihime (which means princess who weaves) was the daughter of de Tentei, the Lord of Heaven. The latter loved the clothes Orihime wove; but she, on the other hand, was discouraged because, thanks to her hard work, she had not had the chance to fall in love. Tentei, worried, introduces him to Hikoboshi, whom he fell madly in love with. When they got married, they both stopped fulfilling Tentei's mandates, with which the Lord of Heaven ends up separating them.

Before the tears of Orihime, Tentei allowed them to meet on the seventh day, once their responsibilities were finished (hence the name of Tanabata, which means "Night of the seventh"). But for this they had to cross a river where there was no bridge. She cried so much that a flock of magpies came over to make a bridge with their wings . Currently, there is a festival in Japan called Tanabata, or Festival of the Star. According to the legend, this is the day when lovers who have been separated meet again.

6. Krampus

Popular character in Eastern Europe, which has been described as half goat, half demon: has a pair of giant horns, very large legs and a hairy body. Every Christmas, Krampus comes to punish children who have behaved badly; in contrast to Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus or Santa Claus, who comes to reward those who have been very polite . It is a person whose origin is linked to the religious culture prior to Christianity.

7. The werewolf

The werewolf is probably one of the legends that has most inspired stories and films in Europe. They say that at the end of the 19th century, a man with lycanthropy killed 17 people. The explanation that he himself gave is that at night, he inevitably became a wolf whose insatiable need was to murder. In another version, of Guaraní origin, there is a human with an ungainly appearance and an unpleasant smell that transforms into a wolf during the nights of the full moon, and is dedicated to attacking farms and looking for carrion.

8. Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl

Legend has it that in the Aztec empire there was an important warrior named Popocatépetl, who loved the daughter of one of the chiefs: Iztaccihuatl. Before leaving for a war, Popocatépetl says goodbye to Iztaccihuatl, promising to return for her. Unfortunately, another of the soldiers who was also in love with her, spread the false news that Popocatépetl had died in combat .

When Iztaccíhuatl found out, he decided to take his own life. Some time later the warrior returns for her, and on finding that she was dead; He could not stand the sadness and he died too. At this, the gods were moved and transformed into two of the largest volcanoes in central Mexico, which currently bear their names.

9. The wandering Dutchman

A legend that goes back to the seventeenth century, where a Dutch captain named Hendrik Van Der Decken made a boat trip to India. In that, a strong storm lashes his boat, to which the captain resisted with strength and determination. This challenged the authority of God, who he condemned the captain to wander, along with his ship, aimlessly across the ocean . Since then, legend has it that the ghost of the wandering Dutchman appears at midnight along with other souls in pain. Its appearance is also synonymous with bad omen for the captains who see it.

10. Anahí and the ceibo flower

On the banks of the Paraná, in the east of Argentina, lived a young Guaraní woman who sang in a special way. Upon the arrival of the "conquerors", Anahí was captured along with other people from the town. One night he escaped, but they quickly discovered it. His sentence was death, tied to a tree to burn it. The day the sentence was served, and while her body burned, Anahí began to sing. The next morning, in the place where his body was consumed, Several red flowers appeared, which are now the National Flower Argentina and they are called "Flower of ceibo".


Top 10 Scariest Urban Legends (April 2024).


Similar Articles