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The Postilion of Mladá Boleslav


It has been long, long time ago since carriages still travelled the world, full of postcards and love letters. It was like that in Mladá Boleslav, where mail coaches passed through on their way north and south. And also the haunted riders, who scared the horses so many times that their legends are still told to this day. 

Back then there was a young postilion who sang merry songs when he came to a village. And when he was really happy, he would blow his post horn.

Already from a distance, the people in the village called him; “What are you bringing us today?”

He spurred his horse and cheerfully replied: “Only good news, from all over the world!”

He carefully guarded the chest he had in the coach, where he carried the valuable letters that people had trusted him with. He knew that he could not disappoint, that he had to deliver all the letters in time and to the right hands. And so he did.

But one day, the young postilion was late. There was feast in Mladá Boleslav and, of course, he could not miss it. He danced with the girls, tasted the best cakes and sausages, and in the evening he decided to go to a nearby village to deliver some letters.

“Don't go!” The town's magistrate warned him, “you know well what they say about the forests around of town.”

“I've no fear, and you know that very well! What sort of postman would I be if I didn't deliver a letter in time?”

He knew that some of the people who had been in the woods late at night had met a mysterious man on a horse. They were all afraid of him, and few were those who would go into the woods once it had got dark. In the surrounding villages it was said that it was the ghost of an evil foreman who only wanted to get rich and did not care for anyone. Now, for his sins, he had been condemned to haunt the woods.

The postilion jumped on his coach and left. The horses obeyed and he hummed his favourite tune, looking forward to again light up the eyes of all those waiting for one of the letters in the chest. He was sure they were waiting for him impatiently.

But in the middle of the forest, the horses stopped and refused to go any further.

“Come on! Go!” He ordered. But he saw a fiery glow on the road. He was scared at first, but then clucked and the horses broke into a trot. He came closer and saw a rider with a black hat and evil eyes. His horse was white as snow and blew fire from its nostrils, burning everything on its way.

Frowning, the strange rider cried: “Someone new has come to visit me. Come, come brave postman. Let's dance a fiery dance!”

But the young postilion was not afraid. He thought of all those letters that he still had to deliver to those longing hearts. He came closer still, until the rider could look into his eyes, and said: “If you want to dance, let's dance! But only with good music!”

He took his post horn and started to play it. And he played and he played, and the song echoed throughout the quite forest.

The postman noticed that the flames were fading from the horse's nostrils, and that the rider started to smile, and then laugh. And with happiness in his face, he disappeared from the woods.

The postilion kept on blowing his horn, and he blew it all the way to the village, where the people were already waiting for him. He delivered all the letters, bringing joy to many souls. But it was the joy he was able to bring to one heart what made him the most happy—the heart of the mysterious rider.

Later, he told everyone about his experience; they believed him, the postman had never lied.

From then on, nobody met the rider again, and it is said the it was actually the happy song the young postilion played that had set him free. And some days, when the rays of the sun sparkle in the forest, a beautiful melody can be heard. Who sings it? The mysterious rider? The postilion of Mladá Boleslav? The sun? The wind? Who knows...

So, when you travel around Mladá Boleslav, remember the brave postilion, who, with a happy song helped the soul of the evil foreman. And if you will also sing every day, the world will be a happier place.

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Created 16.6.2005 13:13:04 - updated 30.3.2020 8:51:45 | read 3985x | Jan