The Brno dragon
I just hang about here these days, with people making fun of me. But it certainly wasn’t always this way.
Long ago, I was flying west, when I looked down and saw how pretty Brno looked. So I landed. Between Lišeň and Slatina I made my home – a kind of nest – and devoured everything that crossed my path. The best food was the local stuff that carted itself into Brno for sale in the town’s markets. For example, I snacked on the ladies of Tuřany with cabbage, washed down winemakers from Mikulov with Veltliner and Blaufränkisch, and I chomped on mead-makers from Břeclav to satisfy my sweet tooth. For dessert, of course. Nor did I turn up my snout at the sheep and goats grazing all around. That was the life!
But Brno citizens saw me as a thorn in their side. They would shake with terror just hearing me roar after lunch. One day, a young butcher journeyman came to town and devised a plan to get rid of me. He begged a cowhide from the councilmen, which he stuffed with quicklime and sewed back up. And I, the stupid dragon, gobbled it up. It was so disgusting that I tried to wash out the taste with water.
I flew to the river Svratka and there I gulped down as much water as I could swallow. For a whole day, the river ran dry. And then a bubbling started inside me, followed by a whistling, knocking, and hissing. Then it went quiet for a while. Phew, I thought, that was close. A huge cracking sound quickly followed, however, and I burst into a hundred and seventy-four pieces. Some are still missing. It took an awful long time to put me back together and hang me up in the town hall passage.
So now I’m suspended here, and people just stare up at me and mock. What’s it all come to? I ask.