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The Origin of Rubies

Víla Jizerína

One day, at the feet of the Jizerské hory Mountains, near Bohemian Paradise, in a place where the Jizera River flows among tall beeches and oaks, a dark-red ruby appeared. It was discovered thanks to Petr's love for Leontýnka. This legend tells their story. 

Mr. Weber, a glassmaker, built his glassworks between the forests. He wanted to make crystal vases and believed that his art would make the region more prosperous.

The work was going well, and after a few months, he hired some strong men to build a belfry to call the glass blowers to work.

One of the most skilful of those glass blowers was Petr. He worked very hard and old Weber could not speak highly enough of him. But one day, Weber's daughter, Leontýnka, fell in love with good Petr, and her father was not happy about it.

“No, and no! I've said it many times. Petr is not right for you. He's skilful and hard-working, that's true, but you are the daughter of a rich glass-maker and you deserve a better husband!” Explained Weber when Leontýnka told him about her love.

Life in the glassworks went on happily. Everything flourished, except the love between Petr and Leontýnka. The glass blowers could hardly manage to fulfil all the wishes of the people from the neighbouring villages.

But, as it happens, a sunny day is followed by a dark night. And not even Weber's glassworks could avoid that fate.

One day the coach came back home with a full load. “Nobody wants this; everybody at home already has glasses, pitchers and vases.”

Those words rang very sad in Weber's ears.

“What can we do? We aren't selling anything, and it's getting even worse! We need a new idea. Coloured crystal, that'd be something! Azure blue, green like the leaves of an oak in the spring, and red, red like a ruby!” Mused Weber, but even himself did not know how to make such crystal.

One by one, he had to let the glass blowers go, until it was Petr's turn. He did not want to abandon his beloved Leontýnka, but he could not live without money, either. “I will leave, earn money, and will come back to ask for your hand. Maybe I'll be able to convince your dad.” He promised Leontýnka.

On the way, Petr fell asleep under a green oak.

“Petr, what is your biggest wish?” A beautiful fairy appeared before him. “I'm the fairy Jizerýna, and I see that all people are satisfied.”

“What's my wish? I wish I knew how to make coloured crystal. That will save Mr Weber's glassworks and also our love with Leontýnka.

“It's very easy,” smiled Jizerýna, “throw two gold-rings in a crucible and you will be able to make a ruby!”

And then Petr woke up, not sure if that had been a dream or reality.

“But where can I get to gold-rings? My pockets are empty!”

He decided to try his luck at a mine not too far. He was very strong and was hired right away. He worked from morning till evening, on Saturdays and Sundays.

After a few months, he had saved enough to go to the local jeweller where he chose the two most beautiful gold-rings. With them in his pocket, he went back to Mr. Weber's glassworks.

“Petr!” screamed Leontýnka with joy. But then she asked, unhappy: “Why have you come back? It's so sad here. We're closing the glassworks today; the bell has tolled for the last time.”

“Trust me, it hasn't,” said Petr, holding her hands.

They went together to the furnace. Petr took the two rings and threw them into the crucible, they disappeared in the hot furnace...

The following day, in the morning, Mr.Weber came to the furnace to make one last vase for himself. He took the glass from the crucible and watched it cool... Suddenly he screamed in joy: “Red crystal! A ruby! This is really a ruby! This is really a ruby!”

When they heard him, Petr and Leontýnka came into the room.

“Father! Petr knows how to make ruby-red crystal,” laughed Leontýnka.

When Petr saw that the smile on the face of Mr. Weber wasn't fading away, he whispered his thanks to the fairy Jizerýna.

It was a day of joy at the glassworks. The belfry tolled from the morning till the evening, the glass-blowers danced and talked about the new ruby-red colour. The vases, the crystal animals and the pitchers were sold once again!

Mr. Weber gave his blessing to the engagement of Leontýnka and Petr, and Petr became the most famous glass-blower in the region.

When you are walking through these forests, remember the fairy Jizerýna, who walks over the moss carpets, watching over the satisfaction of the local people.

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Created 16.6.2005 13:21:03 - updated 30.3.2020 8:20:58 | read 5828x | Jan