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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Myths, folk tales, poems from your country

    Hello everyone,

    international community that it is, I'd be interested if the Playgrounders have some fairy tales, legends, historical anecdotes, poems or whatever from their country that they especially like and would want to share.

    For starters, not so very far from where I live, in the south of Germany, there's the City of Weinsberg. It has the ruins of a castle called "Weibertreue"("women's loyality").

    I don't know how much of it is historically proven, but how it got it's name is a popular story:

    It was in the year 1140, during the conflict of the Guelphs("Welfen" in German), a line of Bavarian dukes who supported the pope, and the supporters of the German Emperor.

    King Konrad III had laid siege to city of Weinsberg, which for a long time resisted, but after Konrad defeated his opponents' army in battle and the citizens of Weinsberg ran out of food, it was inevitable to surrender.
    But as the King and his men were enraged about the long resistance, it was obvious that the taking of the city would be cruel. There were rumours about all men to be executed.

    Konrad gave the delegation of Weinsberg only one concession: The women should grab as much of their most valuable possessions as they were able to carry themselves and would be allowed the leave before the King's army marches into the town.

    On Dec 21, the day of the capitulation, Konrad and his army awaited the opening of the town gates. When it happened, however, out came the long line of leaving women, all stumbling under a heavy weight, as they all carried their most valuable posessions: Their husbands, sons and brothers.

    The chancellor regarded this as trickery, and some of Konrad's knights were in such an anger that they prepared to forcefully interrupt the evacuation, but the King stopped them and declared that he had given the women his royal word, and this word would stand neither interpreted nor broken.
    From this day on, the castle was called "Weibertreue".

    (Amusing sidenote: The poet Adalbert von Chamisso (1781-1838) used his poem about this event for a political slap when he ends it how the legend rises from "half-forgotten times(...) when a King's word was still hold sacred in the German Fatherland." )

    Your turn!
    Last edited by faerwain; 2008-08-12 at 12:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Myths, folk tales, poems from your country

    Cool Idea for a thread. Being from a country, as big as the USA, I'd probably wan't them to be from my region of it, so I'll go dig some up.
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    Default Re: Myths, folk tales, poems from your country

    Hm. Well, the most popular folk tale around here in Poland is probably about the Wawel dragon killed by a cobbler Skuba. One day, a dragon made its lair in a cave near Cracow and started eating sheep, cows and people. Many warriors tried tried to kill it, but to no avail. When everyone lost all hope, a young cobbler apprentice approached king Krak and said that he knows how to find a dragon. The king, quite desperate by then, accepted. The cobbler's plan consisted of getting a sheep skin, stuffing it with tar, sulfur and other nasty stuff and putting it near dragon's cave. The dragon, who was hungry after eating or scaring away everyone in the vincinity, ate the false sheep. All those junk they put in it made him horribly thirsty though, so he ran towards Vistula river and drank until he exploded. The people, of course, cheered.
    Other classic tale, is as classic as you can get, as it tells of the very beginning of the nation. According to it, three brothers, Lech(Poland) Czech(Czech, duh) and Rus(Russia) vere travelling together with their families and retinues, but at one point they decided to split up. Czech went south, Rus east, and Lech headed north. There, he found a mighty eagle nesting on a high tree. He decided to build his town there, and name it Gniezno(from gniazdo, which means nest, although back then it might have been very well "gniezno" rather than "gniazdo") which is, surprise, the first capital of Poland.
    There are a lot more of it, and I have a whole book of Polish folk tales(although many of them are a propaganda of sorts) but I don't know how interesting they might be. I can't recall any folk tales specifically tied to my region though.
    EDIT: I can't belive I forgot about the tale of Prince Popiel. Said prince ruled the castle of Kruszwica and nearby villages. He was ruthless, cruel and greedy. This made many of his family displeased, and they came to his castle to put him in line. He pretended to be nice to them, and he made a feast to their honor. After the feast however, he poisoned them all and had their bodies thrown into the moat. This was too much, and the punishment was at hand. In the night, thousands of mice crawled out of Popiel's relatives' bodies and went into the castle. Popiel tried to escape into the tower at the middle of the lake, but the mice swam after him and ate him.
    There's another tale connected to this one, the tale of Piast, mythical progenitor of Polish nation. Piast lived near Kruszwica and was respected and liked by all his neighbors. One day, when Piast was holding out first haircut of his youngest son, two travellers arrived at Kruszwica. At first, they came looking for a place to sleep at Popiel's(who was alive back then) castle, but were told to go away. Turning their backs on Popiel's castle, they tried their luck in Piast's house. Piast was a generous man, so he invited them in to rest, clean up and eat something. That's when first strange thing happened- although there was a lot of guests at the party, food and drinks didn't seem to run out, and Piast and his wife didn't know how, although they were praised for being such good hosts. After some time, the haircut ceremony itself started. Piast cut his son's hair for the first time and asked the gods to look over him. The two travellers asked if they could add their own blessings in the name of their own God, and Piast accepted. They blessed the boy, calling him Ziemowit and disappeared suddenly. Everyone was amazed, but concluded that Piast must be held in special regard by gods. After Popiel died, Piast was appointed as a prince. I hope I haven't mixed anything up.
    Last edited by Morty; 2008-08-12 at 02:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Myths, folk tales, poems from your country

    Hmm. I suppose theres lots of Aboriginal myths and such that could be put out here... Aussie playgrounders, help me out, cause I'm just gunna be singing John Williamson.
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    Default Re: Myths, folk tales, poems from your country

    There's only one I can remember from the top of my head and I don't even remember the details.
    Anyway. Some explanation first.
    A "Senn" is a special kind of herder, who drives a farmers cattle up in the mountains during summer and back down in the winter, when the mountain pastures are snowed in. They usually do this alone.
    Now, for the legend.
    Three Senns, alone on an alp, began to feel lonely, so they made a straw puppet, which they, first as a joke, called "their woman", named her, began to talk to her and, according to some versions, even fed her and had sex with her.
    Then, only a few days before they went back down, the puppet came to life. Some say it was posessed by the devil, others say it wanted revenge or it was an angry mountain spirit.
    The puppet killed two of the three, flayed the third one alive and kept him as a "husband".

    Yeah, pretty cruel.
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    Default Re: Myths, folk tales, poems from your country

    Great beginning!
    I liked the tales, 'though I can normally not approve of exploding dragons.

    No. 1: Eldan, I know the movie to this! We saw it in history lessons, actually. At this time, we were studying witch trials, and watched it as an example for a succubus. It was a little explicit, and later I found the movie at the "adults only" section of our video store(and now, it wasn't the horror movie row )
    But no one was really surprised, although a cool guy and teacher, that was typical for him. I choose to sit before the two girls with the biggest boobs, so he would concentrate on them and leave me alone(and I had a big time crush on one of them and wanted to talk to her).

    No. 2: The story about the mice is quite similar to one about the Mäuseturm("Mice-Tower"), which still stands on an island on the river Rhine, at the town of Bingen.
    There it was a greedy Bishop who sold wheat to high prices during a famine and imprisoned his debtors. When an uprising started, the Emperor sent him troops, and with their help he captured the rebels and burned them alive in the granaries, insulting their dying cries with "Hear, how the mice are cheeping!". The next night, he was killed by a great number of mice, despite fleeing to the tower in the middle of the river.

    That's Axel, the noble bandrowdy and his female side
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    Default Re: Myths, folk tales, poems from your country

    Quote Originally Posted by faerwain View Post
    I liked the tales, 'though I can normally not approve of exploding dragons.
    Ah, but that's how you can tell this tale is for children.

    No. 2: The story about the mice is quite similar to one about the Mäuseturm("Mice-Tower"), which still stands on an island on the river Rhine, at the town of Bingen.
    There it was a greedy Bishop who sold wheat to high prices during a famine and imprisoned his debtors. When an uprising started, the Emperor sent him troops, and with their help he captured the rebels and burned them alive in the granaries, insulting their dying cries with "Hear, how the mice are cheeping!". The next night, he was killed by a great number of mice, despite fleeing to the tower in the middle of the river.
    Well, themes in folk tales are repeated in various cultures. Maybe one of those stories inspired the second or they're both rooted in entirely another one.
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