To honor G.K Chesterton, the great english writer, who passed away 79 years ago (completed in june, 14), I’ve wrote the following small text.
The chubby dragon slayer.
Robert always arrived very late at home and, unfortunately (like many blue-collar men), did not have enough time to enjoy the company of his 11 year old son, Tim.
But, in a devotional way, he would always tell a story (skeptics call them fairly tails) to put his son to sleep. It was not unusual to repeat a few, because he thought stories must always be retold until one can really understand them. He kept this routine untill he son started to grow up and lose the wisdom of childhood.
One day, Robert started to tell again on of his “new” old stories:
– Once upon a time there was a Dragon that tormented…. – Suddenly, he was interrupted by his son:
– Dad, I don’t want to here this story again and I’m sick of hearing “fairy tales”. I’m not a baby anymore. I want real things.
Roberto, after a few seconds, said:
– Son, do you remember how the hero finally defeated the Dragon? He was courageous and fought the monster that everyone feared. Despite all the adversity and his small size, he managed to conquer the Dragon with intelligence and faith.
– So what, Dad? There are no dragons. Fairy tails are not real – said Tim.
– Son, “Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten”*. If you possess the qualities of that great Hero, you will be able to face all the dragons that appear in your life.
Tim looked at Robert, admiring his wisdom, embraced him and asked:
– Dad, who told you all those things?
– It was a chubby English man named G.K Chesterton. After Saint George, he was the greatest dragon slayer the world has ever seen – smiled his wise old father.
*This quote has an interesting story. It got really famous after being wrongly attributed to Chesterton by Neil Gaiman in his book “Coraline”. Gaiman wrote it down by memory and, without knowing it, ended up writing his own version of the quote. Despite not being Chesterton’s literal words, It clearly follows the spirit of this text written by the great English writer:
Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. 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”. (Tremendous Trifles. Book XVII: The Red Angel).