25th September 2019358 Woodstock Road, Belfast BT6 9DQWoodstock Library2pm – 3pm
Legendary Exhibition & Storytelling @ East
25th September 2019, 2pm – 3pm
358 Woodstock Road
Belfast BT6 9DQ
An exhibition about Polish Folk Legends in the background, Wawel’s Dragon storytelling and dragon art colouring session. The event has been designed to interest children from local schools and area. In cooperation with Libraries NI, Woodstock Library and Abroad Way Theatre.
The story of Wawel’s Dragon:
King Krak was a good and wise ruler. Under his guidance the lands were blooming, the walls of the
Wawel Castle growing and the people remaining happy and safe. However, one day a terrible dragon appeared in one of the caves underneath the Wawel Hill. No one knew when and where it came from – or maybe this ancient creature woke up in one of unexplored tunnels underneath the hill? The dragon started demanding offerings in a form of young maidens and cattle. Weeks were passing by and the whole-eater terrorized Krak’s lands completely. The best and the most courageous warriors who pledged to the king and also the various knights coming from faraway lands to slay the monster were all burnt to death. Dragon’s skin was too thick to be cut even with the finest swords, the best axes or the sharpest spears. Many people escaped the land
, choking in fear, and much of the fields and buildings were destroyed by the greedy creature.
Upon king’s desperate last call, a poor shoemaker’s apprentice named Skuba arrived in the throne room with an idea he wanted to share. Skuba said that he’d found a way to kill the dragon. The unusual certainty in his voice and logic behind his expressions convinced the king to give him a chance. But the boy refused to take any kind of armour, shield or sword which were offered to him, and asked only for all the sulphur held in the royal warehouse. On the next day all the king’s people begun to joke, first time in months, noticing that Skuba arrived indeed only with a sheepskin, shoemaker’s thread and few long needles to the royal workshop. But Krak was observing the boy and only nodding in silence from time to time.
Skuba stuffed the sheepskin with king’s sulphur and sewn it together carefully, covering some bigger holes with slices of meat in order to hide the smell of the minerals inside. Then, he carried the sheep outside and left it in front of the dragon’s den. Skuba hid behind a big rock, and the king with his court were observing the situation carefully from the high castle. When the evening came, the hungry dragon crawled out of the den and devoured the offering without hesitation as usual, only looking around for more. But it didn’t take much time until the sulphur reacted with dragon’s fiery entrails. Feeling the terrible burning inside its stomach, the dragon run down the hill to the Vistula River, and started drinking.
He drank and drank, and eventually drank so much water from the river that it couldn’t move around anymore.
Skuba came out of the hiding and the enraged dragon attempted to blow fire at him – but … boom! The sudden tension of dragon’s muscles appeared to be crucial – the dragon’s swollen body exploded! The land of Krak was free again.
***This legend comes from the city of Kraków (Cracow), one of the oldest cities of Poland and its former royal capital – seat of the Polish kings from the Medieval to Renaissance era. This story tells also about the semi-legendary king Krak (or Krakus), founder of the city of Kraków who might’ve lived in 8th century.
In the original version it was the king Krak who personally killed the dragon in a long battle. The dragon was killed either with a sword or a royal club, and Krak was described as one of the mightiest heroes. He ruled over the lands with a great fame reaching far away from Kraków.