Friday Scoop Of Tales – Part 23

Polish Folktale: The Legend of the Warsaw Mermaid

Once upon a time in the Mazowsze region in Poland, a prince went out with his men to hunt. He came across a wild beast while wandering in the jungle and was just about to shoot the arrow, but to his surprise, the creature had vanished into thin air.

Then, the prince reached a river. As he bent down to sip water, a mermaid appeared before him. She shot an arrow and asked him to follow it. The prince ran along the edge of the river until he came across a clearing.

There was a hut under a huge oak tree where a poor fisherwoman lived with her infants in the clearing. The prince was now tired and hungry, so he knocked on the door of the hut and asked for some food. A young woman opened the door. She was feeding her twins and happily shared her food with the prince.

After they had dinner, the woman and prince sat outside overlooking the river. The prince suggested she name her son, Wars and her daughter, Sawa; and advised her to start planting crops in the clearing as it now belongs to her (he gave that piece of land to her as a token of gratitude for feeding him). The prince said that he believes that through her and children’s hard work, the land would become a prosperous village that would be known as Warsaw.

The mermaid again rose from the river and said that in times to come Warsaw would become a beautiful and flourishing city because of the har-working fishermen.

Today, that same land is the sprawling capital city of Poland.

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