On Supernatural

Keepers of the Lore

By Shanna Swendson

Once upon a time, before the advent of television or radio, before electric lighting made it possible to get things done after the sun went down, people had to create their own entertainment, and so they told stories. They sat by the fire and told tales meant to amuse, entertain, frighten, inform, and explain the world around them. A wealth of valuable advice is hidden in those stories: be kind to old beggar women and small forest creatures (you never know when you might need their help), don’t take apples from strange women, think about the exact wording of an offer before you agree to it, stealing from giants can get you in trouble, there are dangerous things lurking in the woods, and the king won’t be thrilled about his daughter marrying the foolish youngest son of a woodsman, so be prepared for treachery on the eve of the wedding.

We may not sit around the fire when we tell stories today, except perhaps at camp or during a blackout when there’s nothing else to do for fun, but we do still tell stories. They’re just more likely to be passed around the Internet as events that happened to a friend’s mother’s cousin. And there is that flickering box we sit around that tells us stories.

Some of the stories on that flickering box are about two brothers who travel the country. They’re the keepers of the lore, the ones who remember what others have forgotten or who believe in what others  …

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