The Legend of Wawel's Dragon
Legends add colour and interest to local landmarks, as Zofia reminds us.
|Wawel is a hill in the old Polish capital city called
Cracov. On the top of this hill is an old castle which was a place where
Polish kings lived for a very long time. You can see this castle today
as well as a little cave at the foot of the hill. The legend says that
a long time ago in this cave lived the Wawel's dragon.
Many years ago in Cracov lived an old king. His name was Krak. He had only one, very beautiful daughter. He was a very good king but he had a very big problem. In the little cave near the Vistula river lived a big, green dragon with a long tail and wings. It had an unusual appetite: it liked to eat young girls very much. And it didn't do anything wrong as long as people from Cracov town gave it its dues: a girl once a month for breakfast.
But after a few years there were no more young girls left in king Krak's land - only one was left: the King's daughter. So King Krak declared that he would give half of his land and his daughter's hand to any knight who would conquer the dragon. Many knights tried to kill the dragon but they all failed.
In the NSW Blue Mountains are The Three Sisters and an important related legend.
What important legends are associated with famous places elsewhere?
|After a few days a young, poor but clever
cobbler (shoemaker) came to King Krak. He asked the King if he would let
him try to save the princess and the King agreed. The young cobbler was
very clever. He knew that he had to use his intelligence not his muscles.
He caught a sheep, killed it and put sulphur in its body. Next he left
the sheep near the dragon's cave.
When the dragon woke up it saw a fat sheep lying on the ground. It devoured the sheep and lay down to rest. But after a few minutes the dragon felt a fire in its stomach. It wanted to put it out so it went to the bank of the River Vistula and started to drink the water. But it didn't work. The dragon still felt a fire so it didn't stop drinking. Wawel's dragon got bigger and bigger and in the end it exploded.
All the people in the town were very happy. The cobbler married the beautiful princess and after King Krak's death he became a wise ruler. He and his wife were married a long time and were very, very happy.
Today the statue of the Wawel's Dragon stands in front of the cave to commemorate the legend.