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Now that I am a grandfather, I have some plans for my granddaughter Ellie. If my experience as a father offers any precedent, I suspect she will appreciate some of these plans more than others. Well, here is one plan I suspect both of us will enjoy – storytelling. Or as G. K. Chesterton might say “fairy tales.”

Chesterton shares the following statement in Tremendous Trifles, written in 1909. “Fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly, that is in the child already… The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.” It is stuff like this that makes us love Chesterton.

A variant of this thought showed up in Coraline in 2002 by Neil Gaiman, “Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.” Later, another variation occurred on television of all places. In 2007, on the show “Criminal Minds”, we heard “Fairytales don’t tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.”

Here is a prediction. You can write it down. We will be telling stories about dragons. We will enter dark caves and abandoned palaces; we will enter wherever dragons try to hide. And we will whoop them all. Ellie and I will be whooping on dragons til kingdom come.

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