Monday, January 23, 2012

The Dragon's Cave



There's nothing like a nice legend to get your Monday started off right. Especially when it involves dragons! (Which, as I just finished telling my fellow bloggers, always makes me think of Bradley James, in armor, riding in to rescue the fair princess, aka: me.) So, what was I saying... Bradley James, dragons... yes. What better place to set the scene for our story than romantic Krakow (Cracow), Poland. I'm sure you were all expecting our fantastic story to be set in a different place, but stick with me here, and I'll attempt to spin you a proper story so that you may indulge in a little work-place daydreaming.



So we shall begin our story of dragons and heroes and virgins (because no proper dragon story can be told without virgins)... 


Once upon a time, long before the world was round and women fought for their equality (thus swiftly and eagerly killing manly pursuits such as dragon slaying and door opening and other such polite mannerisms) there was a city with a hill with a hole with a legend about a fantastical fire-breathing beastie. And in this city with a hill with a hole with a legend, there was a village. And this village contained many quizzical and unbelieving youths, as most villages were wont to contain.




Because young people can never take what their older counterparts say at face value and must question life and the existence of certain particulars, they had no respect for the village elders and the story that was told around the campfire every night. The story their parent's parents had passed down, of the fearsome dragon who lived in the the hole on the hill in the city and was the legend, who had slumbered for some centuries and should not be awakened under any circumstances. 


As you can imagine, the group of young people decided the best course of action was to prove, once and for all, that there was no fire-breathing fiend living inside the the hill with the hole, and that the legend was just that- a legend. So they lit their torches and traversed into the dank cavern.


They blamed the sulfurous smell on being so far underground. And that scaly shining in the distance? Simply the light from their torches bouncing off the granite walls. But there was no way to rationalize the chilling roar and burst of fire that accompanied the sulfurous smell and shining scales, and so the youths ran out of the hill with the hole and told the village that the legend was true.


Now, there are always consequences for those unbelieving souls who think to poo-poo legend and myth and fate. What the village elders' parent's parents had decreed came to pass and the scaly, green-eyed, foul-smelling monster began terrorizing the city with a hill with a hole with a legend with a village. Whole flocks of sheep began disappearing and the village virgins feared for their lives, for they were the beastie's preferred form of dinner.


In the village in the city on the hill with the hole with the very true legend lived a man named Krakus. Now this man could have been a shoemaker or a magician or a wise man, but since this is a very old story, it is likely we'll never know. One thing Krakus most definitely was is smart. So he rounded up all the sheep left in the village and coated them with a dragon-luring concoction and herded them to the dragon's favorite haunt.


When the  lumbering giant saw the delectable feast awaiting him, he roared and devoured them all in two gulps. Our hero's dragon-luring cocktail created a great thirst in the ferocious reptile and he rushed to the shores of the Vistula river. He drank and drank and drank and drank until the the shiny scales on his belly turned from small triangles to pyramids. And still he drank until a small trickle began between the scaly pyramids, which then turned into a stream, a river, a tributary, an ocean, at which point the monster promptly exploded into a thousand shimmering pieces.




And so, there was once again peace in the village. Krakus was hailed as a hero and the city on Wawel hill with the hole with the new legend became known as Krakow in his honor. He became the first Polish king and erected a castle in the city with the hill with the hole with the legend. And when he died, he was so beloved by all that they gave him an elaborate burial mound with the inscription as follows:
KRAKUS, A POLISH PRINCE
RULED AD 730-750.
HERE IS THE CAVE
IN WHICH HAVING KILLED THE WILD DRAGON
HE SETTLED AT WAWEL, AND FOUNDED THE CITY OF CRACOW.

Thus our story in the city with the hill with the hole with the legend ends.

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