According to a Polish legend, many centuries ago, in the lands ruled by Prince Krakus, very strange events began to happen that no one could understand.
The story goes that in his domain there was a hill known as Wawel Hill. One day, without knowing why, people who lived in the neighboring towns began to be missing, people who suddenly one day disappeared and from whom nothing was ever heard from again. As if this were not enough, the shepherds also began to notice that, every time they counted sheep, their flocks were always missing one.
The inhabitants of the area were puzzled. How was it possible that people and animals disappeared as if they had been swallowed up by the earth? Something was wrong, but no one had a clue how to solve the mystery.
One day, a boy who was walking on the hill, discovered a huge cave covered by bushes. He poked his head out and froze with fear: inside slept a green dragon with glistening skin and enormous size. He looked terrifying and every time he snored, the cave walls vibrated as if they were made of paper.
Trembling like a flan, he ran out of there and went down to the nearest town to warn everyone. Later, he went to the castle to also communicate it to Prince Krakus, who, aware of the terrible threat posed by the winged reptile, sent the most courageous soldiers of his army to fight him.
A huge group, armed to the teeth, headed for the hill with a single mission: to take down the fearsome enemy! But the dragon, who was already awake, saw that the army was approaching and sensed that they were coming for him.
Very angry, he left his lair, took a breath and expelled them from there, throwing puffs of fire from his huge mouth. The soldiers flew off like rag dolls, wrapped in some kind of hot hurricane and with their butts a bit seared.
Obviously, the operation was a failure. The dragon was too fierce, too strong, and too dangerous to approach.
Prince Krakus, as a last resort, enacted a royal party: whoever managed to defeat the monster, would marry what he loved most: his sweet daughter Wanda.
News of such magnitude soon spread like wildfire and reached the ears of a young and handsome shoemaker. The boy, who was very humble but intelligent as anyone, decided to give it a try and drew up an infallible plan.
Do you want to know what he did? … He got the skin of a sheep, filled it with sulfur and tar, and at night, when the dragon slept, placed it at the entrance of the cave. As soon as it woke up from its deep sleep, the animal saw the false sheep, licked its lips and eagerly devoured it.
He ate it so fast and with such enthusiasm that when he finished he felt very thirsty and went down to the Vistula River to drink. The water gushed into his immense stomach, and when it came into contact with the sulfur and tar that he had inadvertently swallowed, his gut exploded into a thousand pieces.
The shoemaker was hailed as a true hero and received all possible honors, although the best of all awards was marrying the beautiful princess Wanda. They say they were very, very happy, throughout their lives.
Today, in Poland, there is a town around the hill where the dangerous dragon lived so many centuries ago. It is considered one of the most important and beautiful cities in the country and is called Krakow, in honor of one of the protagonists of this story: Prince Krakus.
If one day you go to visit it, you will be able to see how many of its inhabitants still remember this beautiful legend that their grandparents told them when they were children and that is passed from generation to generation.