Myths, Legends, and Folktales Trivia

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Myths, Legends, and Folktales Trivia
March 3, 2012
1. Before the fairy godmother waved her magic wand, what kind of animals were the six white horses who pulled Cinderella’s coach?
Mice. The seventh became the coachman.
2. North American folklore gave us the larger-than-life figure of Paul Bunyon. What was the name of his faithful animal companion?
Babe, the Blue Ox. (NE lumberjacks. First published 1906)
3. The love triangle between King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, and Sir Lancelot is the subject of this 1960 Lerner and Loewe Broadway musical.
Camelot. Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe.

(King Arthur – Richard Burton, Queen Guenevere – Julie Andrews, Sir Lancelot – Robert Goulet)

4. According to the Irish, where do leprechauns hide their pot of gold?
At the end of the rainbow.
5. This 14th century Swiss hero is believed to have shot an apple off his son’s head.

William Tell. William Tell Overture, from Guillame Tell by Gioachino Rossini.

6. Legend has it, this forest outlaw of the early 1300s stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

Robin Hood. Sherwood Forest.

7. Plato tells us that more than 10,000 years ago this legendary city sank to the bottom of the sea. People are still looking for it.


8. According to folk wisdom, if a woolly worm has more brown fur than black, it will be a mild winter. But, the woolly worm is not really a worm but what kind of animal?

A caterpillar. (an insect)

9. This apelike creature is believed to live in the forests of the American Pacific Northwest. It’s been tracked and sighted, but never captured.

Bigfoot (Sasquatch – its name in the Halkomelem Indian language).

Vs. Yeti, Abominable Snowman that lives in the Himalayas.

10. Greek mythology gave us this playful creature -- half-man, half-horse -- that may symoblie the unity of a man mounted on a horse.


11. According to Genesis 3:24, after God drove Adam & Eve out of Eden, he had this kind of angel guard the Tree of Life.

Cherubim. (4-faced man, ox, lion, eagle, 4 wings). 4 burning six-winged Seraphim guard the throne of God.

‘So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.’

12. According to Christian legend, Saint George saves the Libyan princess Sabra from this fearsome creature, and slays it, causing her people to convert.


13. These little creatures help Santa Claus make toys.


14. This little fairy helped Peter Pan and Wendy.

Tinker Bell.

15. On New Year’s Eve, this elderly bearded man hands over his duties to the New Year baby.

Father Time.

16. In popularizations of Middle Eastern legend, what do you need to rub in order to get three wishes from an entrapped genie?

A lamp, or bottle.

17. A popular figure of garden statuary, German folklore tells us that these little creatures wearing pointy hats will protect us.


18. In which folktale does the fearsome giant chant:


I smell the blood of an Englishman?
Jack and the Beanstalk.

19. Ladies, do you ever wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and say, ‘I look like Medusa’ – since your hair is sticking out like a bunch of snakes. In Greek mythology, what kind of mythical creature has snakes growing out of her head?

A gorgon.

20. Hans Christian Andersen gave us this charming fairytale of a mermaid willing to give up her tail and life in the sea for the love of a prince.

The Little Mermaid.

21. Some believe there is a large mysterious monster that lives in a Scottish loch.

Which loch would that be?
Loch Ness?

22. You probably have gutters, but in medieval architecture, these figures scare off evil spirits and divert rainwater from the walls through spouts in their mouths.


23. Just near the 3 great pyramids of Giza reclines this largest monolith statue in the world, a mythical creature with a lion’s body and a pharaoh’s head.

The Great Sphinx.
24. In ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ the goats need to cross a river to graze on the lush grass on the other side. But, the bridge over the river is guarded by what fearsome monster from Norse mythology?


25. According to the 1954 pop song sung by the Chordettes, who is requested to ‘ … bring me a dream / Make him the cutest thing that I’ve ever seen ….’

Mr. Sandman.

26. On Valentines this figure of Roman mythology is pictured shooting a ‘love arrow’.

27. Among the 8 planets left in our solar system – Pluto was recently disallowed as a planet – 7 bear the names of Greek or Roman gods or goddesses. Which one doesn’t?

Earth, Germanic ‘ground’.

Mercury, Roman god of travel. Venus, Roman goddess of love and beauty. Mars, Roman god of was. Jupiter, king of the Roman gods. Saturn, Roman god of agriculture. Uranus, ancient Greek king of the gods. Neptune, Roman god of the sea. Pluto, now a ‘dwarf planet’ Roman god of the underworld.

28. According to legend vampires are sometimes lying in their coffin, but sometimes flying around in the shape of what kind of animal?


29. It is believed that this mythical creature, that looks like a beautiful horse with a single horn, can only be captured by a virgin.


30. According to legend, what kind of wolf comes out in the light of the full moon, that looks like a very hairy man and tends to walk on two legs.


31. The other place, ‘hell’ is sometimes called by this name, after the Greek god of death?


32. According to Greek myth, Persephone was doomed to remain part of the year in the Underworld because she at a few of the many seeds of this North African fruit.


33. What onion-like plant could you harvest from your garden that according to legend might ward off a vampire?


34. What mountain in Greece is believed to be the home of the Greek gods?

Mt. Olympus

35. The expression ‘Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts’ refers to a gift of the Greeks to the Trojans that led to the Fall of Troy. What was the gift?
The Trojan horse. A large wooden horse with Greek warriors hiding inside.
36. According to the fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin helps the poor miller’s daughter spin what into gold?
37. According to legend, St. Patrick used the leaf of this plant to explain the holy Trinity.

Shamrock. (kind of clover)

38. In Greek mythology, these fearsome women warriors may have cut off their left breast so they could shoot a bow more effectively.
39. According to many world myths, this sacred bird will emerge born-again from the ashes of a fire.
Phoenix. Phoenix, AZ is capital and largest city in AZ.
40. In the story of Snow White, what was the occupation of the 7 dwarfs?
Miners. Copper and gold.
41. In Aesop’s fable, a fox cannot reach the fruit he desires, despite his best effort. He consoles himself, concluding, ‘I am sure they are sour.’ What was the fruit?
‘Grapes.’ Sour Grapes. It is easy to despise what you cannot have.
42. The moral, ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ is the moral of which of Aesop’s fables?
The Tortoise and the Hare.
43. In Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’ the ‘ugly duckling’ is not in fact a ‘duck’ but what kind of waterbird?
A swan.
44. In the Aesop’s fable, a shepherd boy learns a lesson about lying after repeatedly tricking the nearby villagers by falsely calling out the name of this animal.
‘Wolf.’ The boy who cried wolf.

45. Hansel and Gretel cannot find their way home after being abandoned in the forest. The first time, they dropped white stones to show they way back, but this time they dropped what?

Bread crumbs. The crumbs were eaten by birds.
46. Who is credited as the author of the two great epics of Greece, the Illiad and the Odyssey?
47. The Greek hero Achilles was struck dead by an arrow that hit him in his only vulnerable spot. What part of his body did the arrow hit?
His heel. Achilles heel. ‘a vulnerable spot’.

48. The Roman God Janus has two faces that look opposite directions, representing the past and the future. Which of our months is named for this god?

49. A planet is named for this Roman goddess of love.
50. In Greek mythology, what is the name of the fabulous winged horse, the offspring of Poseidon and Medusa?
51. According to folklore, only this type of ammunition can succeed in killing a vampire.
Silver bullet.
52. King Arthur and his glorious knights sought ‘the Holy Grail’. What was ‘the Holy Grail’?
The cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. ORIGIN from Old French graal, from medieval Latin gradalis ‘dish.’
53. Today we tell people not to ‘open a can of worms’. But in the Middle Ages, the equivalent expression would ask that you not open whose box.
Pandora’s box.
54. According to the story, this little puppet’s nose will grow longer every time he tells a lie.

55. Who was the legendary magician who advised King Arthur?


56. ‘Food of the gods’ in Greek mythology. Also the name of a frothy dessert including marshmallows and fruit.


1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, 4 ounces sour cream, 6 ounces homemade mini marshmallows, approximately 3 cups, 1 cup clementine orange segments, approximately 6 clementines, 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple, 1 cup freshly grated coconut, 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries.

57. These tall artworks carved from large trees by American Indians of the Pacific Northwest might recount a familiar legend.
Totem poles.
58. In the story of Snow White, what does the wicked queen, her stepmother, ask her magic mirror?
‘Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who is the fairest of them all?’

‘You, my queen, are fairest of all.’

‘Queen, you are full fair, ‘tis true, but Snow White is fairer still than you.’
59. In Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, schoolteacher Ichabod Crane is pursued by a horseman missing which body part?
His head. A headless horseman. Eventually, Crane disappears.
60. In the German fairytale, what does the prince climb up in order to visit Rapunzel, who is imprisoned in a tower?
Rapanzel? Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair.
61. Legend has it that if you lose a tooth and put it under your pillow, this mythical being will take it away and leave a coin.
The Tooth Fairy.
62. In Greek mythology, due to a short-sighted wish, everything this king touched turned to gold, even his daughter.
King Midas.

63. This day of the week is named for the Norse god of thunder, ‘Thor’.

64. In the story of the 3 Little pigs, what did the first little pig build his house out of, thus it was easily blown down?
Straw. Straw, sticks, bricks.
65. In the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the little bear comes home to eat his supper, but his bowl is empty. What was in the bowl before Goldilocks ate it?
66. Greek myth tells us the god Hermes slew the 100-eyed giant Argus. Hera put the 100 eyes in the feathers of her favorite bird. This explains why this kind of bird has eyes in its feathers.
67. In the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie what is the occupation of Jeannie’s ‘master’?
Astronaut. Starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman.

68. The ancient Egyptians believed that writing was invented by the god Thoth. What is the name of their writing system, that translates to ‘sacred inscriptions’ in Greek’.

Hieroglyphics. The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek hieros (sacred) plus glypho (inscriptions) and was first used by Clement of Alexandria.
69. From the name of the Greek monster Typhoeus we get the names for the terrible diseases typhus and typhoid. Some have thought the destructive tropical storms that occur in Asia are named for the same monster. What kind of storm would that be?

Typhoon. Cf. Chinese tai fung ‘big wind’.

70. Egyptians saw the dung beetle, that rolls dung into a ball to lay its eggs in it, as a symbol of new creation. They made small ornaments in the shape of these beetles. What were these ornaments called?
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