As someone who has long loved fairy tales and mythology, I’ve always found it both interesting and kind of magical the way similar characters, themes, and motifs appear in the stories of different cultures throughout the world. Whether these similarities show up because of cross-cultural interactions or out of sheer coincidence, certain themes seem to be so universal to humanity that they take root in many times and places. Maybe there are some stories we all need to tell to help us make sense of this world we live in.
While poring over Persian myths and legends for my upcoming novel, Girl, Serpent, Thorn, I was always delightfully surprised whenever I came across a story that sounded familiar to me from my western upbringing. While I don’t have the expertise to speak to exactly how these stories found their way from one culture to another, or whether any of these stories were directly influenced by each other, I hope you’ll join me in marveling at the way some stories speak to and create common threads in all of us.