Do you remember when you were a small child and you had that one favorite relative whom you could always count on to send you off to bed with tales of dragons, unicorns, and goblins still floating around in your head? But then, after many years of believing in these magical creatures, one day they lost their meaning. That is the day that many associate with the end of childhood, when they no longer believe in the creatures that so consume fairy tales, myths, and legends. But where did these beings come from? Many say they are only mythical, made up by parents to scare their children into behaving early in history. However, I say that although creatures of a seemingly "magical" quality have popped up in stories all throughout history, they also live and breathe among us, and they should be accepted as real, instead of suffering/enduring the imaginary status they have been forced into by ignorant humans.

These creatures have been reported all over the world for thousands of years. From Phoenician mythology there exists an image, made sometime between 1050 and 850 B.C., of a being with two heads, wings, a body of a lion, one head of a lion, and the other head being of a human. Greek mythology tells of a creature called a Minotaur, a half-bull, half-human being that fed on human flesh, defeated in circa eighth century B.C. One of the first recorded unicorn sightings was in the fourth century B.C. by a Persian doctor named Ctesias. However, there are also legends that say there were unicorns at the time of Noah, from the Noah and the Ark story. They state that he closed the Ark too soon, and the unicorns did not make it onto the Ark. These are only three examples of creatures from different parts of the world and different periods of time that have one thing in common: they were revered, and sometimes feared, by humans for their power. These creatures were obviously very real to the people of old, yet we, as their descendents, refuse to do something as simple as believe in their existence, just as our ancestors did hundreds and thousands of years before us.

Recently there was a hoax involving a family who said that their son was accidentally sent up in the air in a large, homemade weather balloon. The media quickly tagged the boy as the "Balloon Boy" and for several days that was all anybody would talk about. At the beginning many were truly scared for Balloon Boy's well-being. All of America held its breath when the balloon finally touched the ground… but Balloon Boy was nowhere to be found. Fearing the worst, officials, and the public, called for a ground search to see if the boy had fallen out along the way. A day later the boy was found, alive, but not in a place he was expected or supposed to be: a box in his family's attic. The feelings of pity for his family made a quick turn-around, and suddenly all across America they were being called out for being fakes and that the whole craze over the balloon had just been a hoax. At first the family denied it, but now that they are being brought to court, they have apparently changed their minds as they are presently pleading guilty. But what does this have to do with mythical creatures? Very little, except that it proves a point. The American public, as a whole, believed that a little boy had been carried off by a balloon, but, again as a whole, they turn down the idea that a fairy could be living in their backyard, or a nymph could be dwelling beneath the murky waters of a nearby lake. Why? Well, one had the media on its side, and the other simply has years of history and years of being only a myth, despite the many years before of being accepted as existing.

Many might say that mythical creatures are just that: mythical. They might say that these beings were simply works of fiction to amuse little kids before bed, and if they did exist, wouldn't we see them all over the place on a daily basis? This is a very good point, and because of this I can see why such a large portion of the population no longer believes these amazing creatures exist. So why can't we see them? I have a theory that they are smart enough to know that it could potentially be dangerous to make themselves known to us. Think about it. Humans today are extremely curious. What scientist wouldn't kill to have a chance to study a minotaur or other creature of legend? So why would these magnificent creatures of their own free will walk directly into a nest of people wanting to cut them up and study their insides? Exactly. They wouldn't. No one in their right mind would. Therefore these creatures went into hiding, in remote locations where no one could ever find them, and we still haven't.

We all remember that relative from when we were little whose imagination just kept on going. We remember all of those absolutely wonderful stories, and many remember the bitter disappointment they felt when they discovered all of those stories they had grown up with weren't real. But what if they really were real? I believe they are, and I strongly believe many more should accept these elusive creatures as shy, not as figments of small children's imaginations. All myths and legends have to come from somewhere, and often even the most extravagant story has a seed of truth to it. So, I ask you sitting at home in your comfortable chair, why can't creatures from stories exist? Could it be that we, as humans, are not yet ready to know the truth? Will we ever be ready? This is not up to us, but to the creatures hiding from the rest of humanity. But maybe they aren't that far away, after all. Maybe we just can't see them because we're too caught up in ourselves to see what's right in front of our noses. Next time you're outside amidst nature, just slow down and look around. You might be surprised by what you might find…

A/N: I wrote this last week for my 9th grade English class and got 300/300. Obviously my teacher liked it, but the real question is, did you? I can't read your mind, you know, so review! It's real easy. Just press that button right below this. It may not be red and shiny, but a button's a button, no matter how boring, and buttons are made to be pressed. So fulfill this button's goal by clicking it!